Powered by Amusme Smithsonian National Postal Museum

About Owney

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's 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.

FAQs


      GENERAL
      What is Augmented Reality (AR)? »
      What devices can I use to run the AR experience? »
      Does the Owney experience work off of a stamp? How about a cancelled stamp? »
      What if I don't have the Owney Commemorative stamp? »
      Does this work with other stamps? »
      Was Owney real? Where can I find Owney and Owney related artifacts now? »
      What if I have further questions? »

      WEB EXPERIENCE
      How does the web experience work? »
      What are the web browser requirements for Owney the Dog AR? »
      Do I need a plug-in to run Owney the Dog AR on the web? »
      What hardware suggestions do you have for me to properly enjoy Owney the Dog AR? »
      Do I need a webcam to run the web service of Owney the Dog AR? »

      MOBILE EXPERIENCE
      How does the mobile service work? »
      What mobile devices run the Owney the Dog AR experience? »

 

General

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

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.

What devices can I use to run the AR experience?

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.

Does the Owney experience work off of a stamp? How about a cancelled stamp?

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.

What if I don't have the Owney Commemorative stamp?

Simply print out a version of the stamp image here.

Does this work with other stamps?

Currently, Owney is the only stamp that has an AR experience.

Was Owney real? Where can I find Owney and Owney related artifacts now?

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

What if I have further questions?

Just send a mail to: NPMWeb@si.edu.

Web Experience

How does the web experience work?

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.

What are the web browser requirements for Owney the Dog AR?

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.

Do I need a plug-in to run Owney the Dog AR on the web?

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:

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

Platform

PC

Mac (Intel Architecture)

OS

Windows XP SP3 32

Windows Vista SP1 32 & 64

Windows Seven 32 & 64

Mac OX 10.5 Leopard

MacOS 10.6 Snow Leopard

Browser

Internet Explorer
(32 bits)

Minimum: IE 7
Maximum: IE 9
Recommended: IE 8, IE 9 (32 bits)

N/A

Firefox

Minimum: Firefox 3.0
Maximum: Firefox 4.0
Recommended: Firefox 3.6, 4.0

Minimum: Firefox 3.0
Maximum: Firefox 4.0 (32 bits only)
Recommended: Firefox 3.6

Safari

Some versions may work.
5.1 Not Supported

Minimum: Safari 3.0
Recommended: Safari 4.0, 5.0

Chrome

Chrome 10.0

Chrome 10.0

CPU

Minimum: Intel Dual Core (or core 2 duo) 1.5 GHz or AMD equivalent
Recommended: Intel Dual Core (or core 2 due) 2.4 GHz or AMD equivalent

Memory

Minimum: 1 GB
Recommended: 2 GB

Graphic Card

Minimum: Most graphics cards (NVIDIA, ATI, Intel chipset except VIA chipset)
Recommended: Powerful graphic card (NVidia, ATI) with 256 MB memory

Hard Disk

Minimum: 100 MB

Other

Lower end machines, machines with outdated components may not be compatible with this application. Application does not support 64 bit architecture.

 

What hardware suggestions do you have for me to properly enjoy Owney the Dog AR?

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.

Do I need a webcam to run the web service of Owney the Dog AR?

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.

Mobile Experience

How does the mobile service work?

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.

What mobile devices run the Owney the Dog AR 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.

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Compatible Devices

The app is available for free download at the Apple App store. The Amusme service requires a camera and iOS 4.x and is compatible with the following devices:


iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, & 5
iPad2
iPod Touch

Contact

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