Baseball cards + Webcams = Sports Figure Avitars in your HAND?!?!

Yet another example of how we live in the future … or in Harry Potter’s magical land of witchcraft and wizardry. Either way I’m in a perpetual state of “WTF?”! – D.Blawg

bballcards

Webcam Brings 3-D to Topps Sports Cards

Since the 1950s, Topps has sold baseball trading cards filled with photos and stats, bringing the game to life. Now the company is bringing its cards to life.

Beginning Monday, collectors who hold a special Topps 3D Live baseball card in front of a webcam will see a three-dimensional avatar of the player on the computer screen. Rotate the card, and the figure rotates in full perspective. It’s called “augmented reality,” a combination of a real image with a virtual one

…Topps needs to augment reality because baseball cards are struggling in the Internet age. Today’s collectors, most of whom are still boys, can just as easily and less expensively find the sports facts they want online….

Michael Eisner, the former chief of Walt Disney, (aka: the Devil) … and in 2007 his Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Partners bought Topps for $385 million. They hatched big plans to make trading cards relevant again.

Total Immersion, a French company, brought Topps the augmented reality technology. It has already been used in a theme park and for some auto design work. Using the technology, card collectors see a three-dimensional version of a player and can play elementary pitching, batting and catching games using the computer keyboard….

…Mr. Eisner says he does not see Topps as a trading card business. “I see it as a cultural, iconic institution not that different from Disney; it conjures up an emotional response that has a feel good, Proustian kind of uplift,” he said.

Mr. Eisner has also created Back on Topps, a 17-episode Internet comedy that spoofs his acquisition of the company. He is developing a movie based on another of the company’s products, Bazooka Joe bubble gum. He also wants to create sports films…

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