Make Topps baseball cards 3-D with your webcam: A trick we’ve seen before, but a good trick nonetheless
Check out this article in yesterday’s New York Times on how Topps Sports Cards is using something called “augmented reality” to drum up interest in their product line among the next generation of baseball card nerds. Basically, it works like this, you hold a special Topps card in front of your webcam and a 3-D avatar of the player will appear in your hand. You can rotate the card and the avatar will rotate in kind. All in all, it’s a pretty good way to stun and amaze your friends who haven’t seen this technique executed before.
Michael Eisner’s Tornante Company and Madison Dearborn Parntners bought Topps for $385 million in 2007. I don’t know if this trick is good enough to help them turn a profit on their investment or not. That being said, I applaud them for figuring out a way to leverage technology to bring renewed relevance to a product based on 15th-century technology. Even the biggest fans of the printing press must now acknowledge that Gutenberg has lost a few miles an hour off his fastball.