If you thought a puzzle of a Jackson Pollock painting was bad, wait until you try out the next step - reality.
For the jigsaw puzzle addict, Jigsaw Live seems like the perfect solution - an puzzle with an ever-changing image. The app is for the iPhone 3GS and uses the phone's video camera capabilities to create the puzzle's canvas.
While puzzles are certainly nothing groundbreaking, it is interesting to see live video scrambled and made into manipulatable bits on the iPhone's touch screen. The company writes about this technology in its blog:
For Jigsaw Live the development team extracted raw image data from the iPhone's camera and spliced the live video feed into multiple channels - one per puzzle piece. To accomplish this at a real-time frame rate, the developers utilized the programmable graphics pipeline with both vertex and fragment shaders. This off-loaded many intensive mathematical operations to the GPU and freed up processing cycles for additional features. Notably, they implemented real-time lighting (with a bump-mapped bevel), a platfom independent input system, and a scene graph to organize and manage relationships between objects. These elements will be incorporated into XMG's AR Engine for use in future games and applications.
As with most things AR, we are obviously at a beginning point. We don't see puzzles doing anything earth-shattering to technology as we know it, but the ability to work with live video in this way could be used in many other ways.
That might be the part we're most excited about - rather than simply overlaying a game on top of reality, having the visual of reality actually be altered as part of a game.
The app, shown in the video below, can be bought in the App Store for $2.99.