A video of how the ad works (via Today’s Big Thing) is above:
When you log onto GE’s site, you can do this yourself pretty easily. Basically, you print out a special marker that looks like a solar panel, activate your computer’s webcam, and then point the marker so it faces your webcam. The smart grid should automatically open up on your screen, and you can even blow into your computer’s microphone to make the turbines spin faster. The Augmented Reality ad also has a solar energy option.
So who helped GE make this ad? The site says that the Augmented Reality ad is powered by FLARToolKit’s open source code, using Flash. We’ve reported on this digital hologram technology being used in the gaming and toy world. But it also makes for really engaging online ads. We just hope the folks at Crispin Porter + Bogusky don’t use it for a creepy Burger King ad.