Owney was a scruffy mutt who became a regular fixture at the Albany, New York, post office in 1888. Owney loved the mail! Owney began to ride with the bags on Railway Post Office (RPO) train cars across the state . . . and then the country! In 1895 Owney even made an around-the-world trip. Owney has been preserved and is on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. This application allows you to participate in an augmented reality experience, as Owney the Dog runs and barks above his official US commemorative stamp released July 27, 2011. Use the Owney commemorative stamp to launch the application or print out a sample marker.
AR uses the viewer in a mobile phone (via an app) or a web cam (with an app) similar to a pair of 3D glasses to change ("augment") what you see ("reality"). When the user views a "marker" (in the case of Owney, the marker is Owney's commemorative stamp) the app plays a 3D video sequence above the recognized marker. When the user moves the marker in relation to the viewer the 3D experience adjusts the experience (so you can zoom in or out, see the side, etc etc.). If you take the marker out of view, the experience stops until the marker comes back into view.
Any computer connected to the internet, running a standard updated browser (IE7, Firefox 3.5, Chrome 4, Safari 4) with a webcam, and with the downloaded AR plug-in can view the experience. Mobile devices that have a camera and run i0S 4.x (includes iPhones 3GS, 4, & 4S, iPad2, iPod Touch) and the iPhone app available at the Apple App Store for free can run the experience.
It may be a bit trickier with smaller objects such as a stamp, but it does work. Hold the stamp close to the camera and keep steady so the application can recognize the marker (the stamp). Once it is recognized you can pull back and move the stamp around to enjoy the experience (see technical requirements listed under "Web Experience"). Many cancelled stamps work as long as the image of Owney is viewable. If you are having trouble with the stamp simply print out a larger maker here.
Simply print out a version of the stamp image here.
Currently, Owney is the only stamp that has an AR experience.
Owney was a real dog that loved the mail and the postal service. Owney has been preserved and is on display at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. More information about Owney can be found at: www.postalmuseum.si.edu/owney
Just send a mail to: NPMWeb@si.edu.
The web AR experience requires downloading the web plug-in which automatically prompts you to install the first time you visit the site (www.postalmuseum.si.edu/owneyapp) - make sure that security software or pop-up blocking software allows the plug-in to be downloaded. Once installed the app window will engage the webcam. Use the app viewer to look at the Owney commemorative stamp or a stamp image (here). Hold the image close to the webcam so you can see the full image and keep steady for several seconds. Once the Owney sequence starts you can move the image around as long as it remains in view.
The Owney experience is best viewed with IE7, Firefox 3.5, Chrome 4, Safari 4 (or higher versions of these browsers). If you have an older version, please visit the official website of your preferred browser to download an upgrade. The site is also designed to be viewed on at least an 1024x768 pixel display. Check your monitor's settings to adjust your resolution if you can only see a portion of the page in your browser window.
Newer browser versions may cause plug-in failures, we suggest trying an alternate browser until browser software is updated for compatibility with the D’Fusion plug-in.
Yes, the Owney the Dog AR runs on a plug-in which is installed on your first use, and will not require a re-install until you update your browser. This will only enable the experience to work and will have no other effect on your computer. The technical requirements are listed in this table:
The Owney the Dog AR experience works best on computers with faster processors, but most computers capable of running your preferred web browser software should be adequate to enjoy the experience. You will need a web camera enabled to run the web version of the experience. Also, like any website or web application, the faster internet connection you have the faster the experience will load.
Yes, the experience requires a camera and for the web experience it requires a webcam. The experience can also be run off of select mobile devices.
The mobile AR experience requires downloading the "Owney the Dog" app from the Apple App Store (for free) to a compatible device (camera + iOS 4.x). Once installed, open the app and use the app viewer to look at the Owney commemorative stamp or a stamp image (here). Hold the image close to the camera so you can see the full image and keep steady for several seconds. Once the Owney sequence starts you can move the image around as long as it remains in view.
Mobile devices that have a camera and run i0S 4.x (includes iPhones 3GS, 4, & 4S, iPad2, iPod Touch) and the iPhone app available at the Apple App Store for free can run the experience.