Augmenting Augmented Reality: Metaio Reveals 3D Depth Sensor Support for SDK 6

October 23, 2014

metaio depth sensing capabilities

Yesterday turned out to be a very big day for the world of Augmented Reality. Why? Because Metaio unveiled a few new details about the Metaio SDK 6 – support for 3D depth-sensing camera systems.

project tango and metaioFor those of you who didn’t hear the latest news about depth-sensing cameras and the enormous improvement they pose for AR technology, we’ll kindly nudge you in the direction of our previous blog post. With that refresher you’ll see why yesterday’s news is an important stepping-stone for the future of Augmented Reality.

According to Metaio CTO and co-founder, Peter Meier, “Smartphones and tablets have historically made use of single, ‘2D’ cameras primarily intended for image capture, but as smart devices have become more powerful, we are demanding more and more from the optics of these devices.With the ability to understand depth information, mobile devices will become significantly more powerful when it comes to Augmented Reality and computer vision tasks.”

With giants like Google and Intel announcing new generations of high-tech devices that are able to “see” the world in 3D via RGB-D (Red, Green, Blue, Depth) sensors, it seems natural for Metaio to support this technology on the Metaio SDK.

The video below illustrates how added 3D sensors in both a Windows tablet and an iPad make Augmented Reality much more powerful by virtually eliminating the need for markers in many use cases, and even more importantly,, solving the occlusion problem – where virtual data is incorrectly rendered into the environment.

occiptial and ipadOccipital’s Structure Sensor is one of the first devices to be supported in the Metaio SDK. According to Occipital CEO and co-founder, Jeff Powers, “We share a common goal with Metaio of allowing developers to create powerful and convincing 3D and AR experiences. It’s why we created the Structure Sensor. Metaio’s support of the Structure Sensor and SDK will bring added realism to AR experiences with real world scale and occlusion.”

This brings new possibilities in Augmented Reality gaming by enabling digital objects to react and interact with physical environments. Indoor navigation that does not require a GPS signal will be possible and precise, and scanners that can extract 3D models from the environment will no longer be a vision of the future.

Metaio’s flagship SDK will be updated to version 6.0 during InsideAR Munich, and will support depth sensor input from devices including Occipital Structure sensor and others to come in early 2015.

“Knowing that the likes of Google and Intel are heavily investing in depth-sensing camera devices, we made sure our SDK is prepared for the next big surge of of innovation that this hardware provides developers,” says Peter Meier. With development options for iOS, Android, and Windows PC, and the most advanced tracking technology available, the Metaio SDK is the most powerful Augmented Reality developer tool on the market.

There will be a  live demonstration highlighting the important benefits of RGB-D devices  during InsideAR Munich on October 29th and 30th. Just one of the many reasons to attend this year’s most exciting Augmented Reality conference. But hurry, there are only a few days left for you to secure your ticket. Don’t miss out and join us now!

Learn more at: http://www.insidear2014.com/


InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Carl Byers of NGRAIN

October 23, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014

Welcome to our fourteenth edition of our InsideAR Speaker Spotlight series!

For our fourteenth edition of the InsideAR Speaker Spotlight, we are happy to introduce Carl Byers, Chief Strategy Officer of NGRAIN. Carl has been working with virtual and augmented technology since 1986. At NGRAIN he focuses on business innovation and expansion through integrated product development, market diversification, and collaborative partnership and advocacy strategies.

Meet Carl Byers of NGRAIN!

Meet Carl Byers of NGRAIN!

What are you going to present at InsideAR 2014?

Carl Byers: I will presenting on the topic: NGRAIN 3DAR – The Visual Language of the Industrial Internet of Things.

Have you ever attended InsideAR before and what was the most exciting part for you at previous events?

CBI had the pleasure and privilege to attend and speak at insideAR in Munich in 2013 and others from our organization participated in insideAR Japan earlier this year. We were all impressed by the caliber of attendees and talks. In particular, the real-world insights and applications that are driving this market forward were extremely interesting. The blend of consumer and industrial presentations was also valuable as we continuously look for cross-over opportunities and implementation lessons. 

What is the next challenge in AR that you would like to see overcome?

CBTwo of the biggest upcoming challenges in AR will be discovery and compatibility/interoperability. As more AR experiences are developed and deployed for both consumer and industrial applications, the ability to automatically find or know that an AR experience is available near you or for a piece of equipment you are working on, regardless of the browser or player that you are using, will become critical. If we are not able to get to this point, the true utility of AR will not be achieved and we will end up with more and more fragmented experiences that we will never be aware of.

What is your personal vision of the future of AR? What Application do you wish you had today?

CBMy personal vision of AR is on always on personal assistant that will help, notify and guide me in the decisions that need to be made. Integrating the vast amount of information around us and in our businesses, and giving only the information to me that I need, when I need it, using various forms of augmentations applicable to the environment I’m in or the job I’m doing. This is my personal vision and the vision of the future that NGRAIN is building for industrial environments.

Carl’s presentation will cover the NGRAIN 3DAR platform as a “visual language” that connects together sensory data. He’ll also go over how the NGRAIN 3DAR platform provides contextual AR information, so that any field can access data where they need it, when they need it, and how they need it.

That’s it from us for this week – be sure to visit our previous spotlight and if you’d like to watch some of the presentations from last year’s InsideAR event, check out our InsideAR YouTube playlist.

 


 InsideAR Munich takes place on October 29th and 30th, 2014 at the Kleine Olympiahalle in Munich. Learn more at http://www.insidear2014.com/

Need a ticket? Register here: http://www.insidear2014.com/register

 Interested in becoming a speaker? Get in touch with our team via: insidear@metaio.com

Want to join us as a journalist or become a media partner? Send us an email: press@metaio.com.


Phun&Dunn – Agencies Get To Work

October 22, 2014

We’ve always enjoyed working with companies to produce some amazing Augmented Reality projects. Last year, San Francisco-based agency Phun&Dunn released an app in association with Chouffe USA called “Summon the Chouffe.” You can read about it here.

Recently, we got to chat with Phun&Dunn’s team – Trevor Oldershaw (Creative Director), Tommy Giovagnoli (Creative Director), Pamela Gonzalez (Designer), and Leslie Edelman (Production) – about the Summon the Chouffe app. They were happy to share some details.


 

P&D-Logo

What was the overall goal of the project?

chouffe family backgroundIn the world of import craft beers, it’s about connecting more deeply with a very small group of enthusiasts, rather than making a play for broad awareness. After all, a beer like Chouffe will only be distributing in relatively small quantities to a particular set of bars and restaurants that focus on better beers. So the primary goal here was to excite the brand’s entire ecosystem of distributors, accounts, and customers – enthusiasts, one and all, by giving them a very special view into the magical and legendary world of the Chouffe gnomes.

Why did you decide to use Augmented Reality?

Seeing things that aren’t really there? Somehow, AR just seems like a natural choice in context of strong Belgian beer brewed by community of 6,000 year-old forest gnomes.

StickersHow long has the project been online?

We dipped our toes into the AR water back in 2012, and then took a huge leap forward with new artwork and new technical capabilities thanks to Metaio. 

How long did development take?

The app took nearly four months to create, but that was driven as much by the creation of the original artwork and animations as the pure dev involved. Creating the app itself, including versions for iOS and Android, took roughly three months.

What resources were already available? What resources need to be created?

This was a real storytelling effort, and a real team adventure. Phun&Dunn designed all the campaign elements – copy, art, animations and fundamental app planning and design. This history and legend of Chouffe beer was a story there to be told, but it required all-new illustrations, and required us to create whole new chapters. 

Chouffe USA, experts themselves in the production of beer collateral, handled the printing of all the collateral with triggers: posters, coasters, table tents and stickers.

Technically, we based the structure from an earlier version, but rebuilt everything from the ground up with our developer-partners, Apptitude Digital. They were able to include not only the AR component that made our stories spring to life from the various triggers, but also a fun and engaging “Gnome Thyself” module that allowed users to put their own faces into the illustrated world of Chouffe. 

Master illustrator Michael Dziekan rendered the world for us, giving more detail and backstory than before. coaster part 1

What tools did you use?

Other than native platform SDK’s and standard backend management, we used Metaio’s SDK to create fast and awesome AR experience.

What were some difficulties in development? How were they handled?

Our biggest single hurdle was handling the video performance across legacy device issues in the Android ecosystem. iOS was really no problem, but Android did create some challenges as we set about supporting a number or prior releases and less robust processors on early smart phones.

choufee app uiHow was the app received?

Again, this was not a game of going viral for us. It was more about exciting and energizing a rabid core. So while a number like 1,600 downloads might not seem like a major victory, the impact felt throughout the sales channel and on premise with key accounts can’t be underestimated. The app became a true “wow” moment for everyone involved. And those who engaged did stay within the app for nearly five minutes as they enjoyed many tiny revelations while watching our small tall tales.

Was this released in conjunction with other campaigns?

Yes, this release was actually a key brand-building component for the launch of our “Summon the Chouffe” campaign. The tag line was a three-fold meaning: Summon the light-hearted spirit of the Chouffe beer within yourself; Summon a delicious Chouffe by signaling the bartender right now; and, of course, bring the gnomes of Chouffe to life before your eyes by summoning them with our AR app on your smart phone. 

Did you notice any trends?

Chouffe is still a brand that markets based on events and promotions. The brew itself is revered, and the model is to build word-of-mouth excitement. So, rest assured, usage and additional downloads spike with each new event or promotion.

cheers to chouffe


 

Thanks Phun&Dunn! We can’t wait to see what you guys develop in the future!

For any of you SF locals out there, Chouffe Fest is just around the corner. Check it out!

 

P&D_shieldONLY


InsideAR and What’s so amazing about it – Highlights of this Year’s Most Exciting AR Conference

October 21, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014 is just around the corner! If you haven’t read anything about it yet, you’ve come to the right place. Let me give you the grand tour of everything this conference has to offer:

insideAR2013-7First and foremost, let’s cover the basics! InsideAR was founded eight years ago as a small company event by Metaio. The fundamental goal of the event was informing customers and employees about ongoing projects and the current standards of Augmented Reality. Nobody would have guessed that not even ten years later, InsideAR would evolve into the world’s most exciting AR conference. After two very successful conferences in Beijing and Tokyo this year, we are expecting more than 1000 attendees at InsideAR Munich.

Now let me blow you away!

Highlights at InsideAR Munich:

Never before have we had so many renowned companies speaking at InsideAR: Volkswagen, Audi, Daimler, Cisco, DHL, Intel, NVIDIA, Vectorform and BMW are just a few of our valued partners who will be joining us. Famous speakers (this year almost 60!!), fascinating topics, captivating workshops and mind blowing demos will all be waiting for you on two fully dedicated stages.

One thing is certain – you won’t be bored in those two days.

Emerging Technologies, New Sensors, Smart Homes, Hyper Reality and Privacy

On the morning of Day 1, Metaio’s Thomas Alt and Peter Meier will kick off the event by giving you the newest information on teaching devices to understand reality. A big part of this year’s focus will be on wearables and their importance for AR. Wearable technologies made a huge step forward this year, and AR has grown in popularity and use in the last couple of months (just take a look at the Gartner Hype Cycle) because of that.  Be the first to know how to use those hands-free technologies in your favor by attending Annette Zimmermann’s  speech about wearables and the new business opportunities they provide. Additionally, Cisco’s Dirk Schlesinger will talk about the ‘Internet of Things’ as a stepping stone for future innovation.

Our keynotes will give answers to questions regarding diverse industries,including AR in medicine, Industry 4.0, retail, advertising, logistics, education and more. For example: Jaguar’s Artur Grzybowski will be presenting one of the most exciting AR innovations for the automotive industry, and you’ll have to be at InsideAR Munich to see it!

If you ever wondered, what exactly the word ‘Hyper Reality’ contains, be sure to attend Keiichi Matsuda’s speech about “Hyper Reality and the Future of Information Environments.”  Be part of Dorothea Martin’s workshop on AR Storytelling and learn what it takes to turn any AR application into something unique and engaging. Or learn “How to build the ultimate shopping scanner” in our workshop on Wednsday.

Since a theoretical approach always needs a practical follow-up, we are proud to present over 30 different AR demos in our exhibition area. Key among them will be an original BMW i8 with an AR application on Google Glass. Yes that’s right, a BMW i8 and Google Glass.We know it as the BMW i8 INNOVATION LIVE case study by Vectorform, and you can experience it first hand at InsideAR Munich.

insideAR2013-81

The future is now: What’s next for Augmented Reality?

What is the status quo of AR? What will AR look like 5, 10, even 20 years from now? Will Augmented Reality be the user interface of our everyday life? Mary Lynne Nielsen and Christine Perey will present their answers to these questions at InsideAR Munich. Joining them is Fast Future’s Rohit Talwar, who will also address the future of AR in his keynote about emerging technologies and their impact on Augmented Reality.

Let’s not forget Ronald Azuma presentation about Intel’s famous flying whale, Leviathan, or how Tim Last got aliens to attack a London bus shelters not too long ago.

For those who have an appetite for classical musics, we have something special in store for you. The FH Düsseldorf will present their PavARotti project, which enables you to experience the music of the virtuoso in a whole new way. How exactly? Well, you’ll need to be there, to find out! Additionally, Professor Geiger and his students will show you what happens when you augment a beer brewery. To answer the question on your mind right now: yes, you will be able to drink it. After all, what would Munich be without its famous beer?

Be the first…

Metaio6-700x525v2You will be the very first to get deep insight into Metaio 6. With brand-new features and state-of-the-art technologies, you don’t want miss the chance to explore the alterations and innovations yourself before everyone else. And only at InsideAR Munich!

We will also exhibit our visionary Thermal Touch, our award-winning edge-based tracking, and our improved face recognition. You will be able to try it all yourself – No strings attached.

The list goes on and on. If you need any additional reason to join us for InsideAR, visit our webpage and take a look at the full program.

InsideAR will be on a whole different level of AWESOME this year and you’d seriously miss out if you miss this opportunity!  Get your tickets here and hurry – there are only a few more days left!

We’ll see you at InsideAR Munich on 29th and 30th October!

 

insideAR2013-2 insideAR2013-28 insideAR2013-23


AR Weekly – Late October

October 20, 2014

Excited for InsideAR? We certainly are!

Image Courtesy of Augmented Marketing and YouTube.

Image Courtesy of Augmented Marketing and YouTube.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research [Augmented Blog]

Niantic’s Fascinating New (Tr)Endgame [Augmented Blog]

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Martin Vesper of digitalSTROM [Augmented Blog]

Here are the winners of the ‘AR Toys Competition':  Once upon an AR time. . . [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality News

SAP applications support Vuzix’ M100 smart glasses [Financial News]

Augmented reality may triumph virtual reality for work and play [San Jose Mercury News]

Silicon Valley’s next disruption: Reality! [Computerworld]

Using virtual reality to desensitize troops [Yahoo! News]

SAP Teams With Vuzix on New Apps for Video Eyewear [eWeek]

The Intel Experience Opens Exclusively in 50 Best Buy Stores [Financial]

Augmented reality frees games from TV [TribLive]

castAR bets big on its augmented reality hardware with move to Silicon Valley [Engadget]

Research and Markets: The Office of the Future – Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, and Wearable Devices [Business Wire]

All shades up: Honeywell’s new Google Glass app allows hands-free control on business jets [Phoenix Business Journal]

The Intel Experience Opens Exclusively in 50 Best Buy Stores [Business Wire]

Startup Builds Business Software for Google Glass, Smartwatches [CIO Journal]

Augmented Reality World Created Once Again Through Google Mobile Game [Mobile Commerce Press]

Heads-Up Displays: Technologies and Global Markets [PR Newswire]

Can It Be Real? Augmented Reality Melds Work, Play [ABC News]

Do We Want An Augmented Reality Or A Transformed Reality? [Science 2.0]

‘The Walking Dead’ Campaign take Vienna with augmented reality-digital signage campaign [Digital Signage Today]

Upcoming Events

InsideAR Munich, October 29th, 30th [Register Here - There's still time!]

Pick of the Week

While we’re excited to see Technical Illusions come to Silicon Valley, this week’s Pick of the Week goes to the Walking Dead campaign that occurred in Vienna not too long ago. It’s very reminiscent of the Pepsi MAX campaign and brings a little more excitement to an otherwise dead part of town. With Halloween just around the corner, maybe we’ll get some more Augmented Reality scares.


InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research

October 20, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014

Welcome to our thirteenth edition of our InsideAR Speaker Spotlight series!

For our thirteenth edition of the InsideAR Speaker Spotlight, we are happy to introduce Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research. An already popular futurist technology speaker, Rohit has been an active futurist for years. At Fast Future, he leads the research division to produce studies across a series of topics.

Rohit-Talwar-pic

Meet Rohit Talwar of Fast Future Research!

What are you going to present at InsideAR 2014?

Rohit Talwar: I am going to explore the future evolution of AR as a variety of technologies come together e.g. wearable and embedded devices, artificial intelligence, immersive, multi-sensory internet, gesture interfaces and brainwave recognition. I will highlight the opportunities these developments could bring about and explore opportunities from different industries. 

Have you ever attended InsideAR before and what was the most exciting part for you at previous events?

RTThis is my first time to attend and I am keen to see where different players think AR could be heading in the next 5-10 years.

What is the next challenge in AR that you would like to see overcome?

RT: Integration with other personal technologies e.g. mind reading headsets and wearable/embedded devices.

What is your personal vision of the future of AR? What Application do you wish you had today?

RTI think it has a wide variety of applications as part of an integrated personal technology ecosystem. I can see diverse applications in leisure, retail, security, entertainment, maintenance and repair.  

Rohit’s talk “Augmented Futures – How the next generation of emerging technologies could impact AR and the applications of that could emerge” will touch base on his futurist beliefs, and hopefully provide a positive outlook on Augmented Reality’s future.

That’s it from us for now – be sure to visit our previous spotlight and if you’d like to watch some of the presentations from last year’s InsideAR event, check out our InsideAR YouTube playlist.

 


 InsideAR Munich takes place on October 29th and 30th, 2014 at the Kleine Olympiahalle in Munich. Learn more at http://www.insidear2014.com/

Need a ticket? Register here: http://www.insidear2014.com/register

 Interested in becoming a speaker? Get in touch with our team via: insidear@metaio.com

Want to join us as a journalist or become a media partner? Send us an email: press@metaio.com.


Niantic’s Fascinating New (Tr)Endgame

October 17, 2014

A guest post by Vanessa Oswald

1280_Game

I’m so excited. Why? Because of the news that flooded the internet over the last couple of days; news about a book (well, three books actually) which will be far more than just mere paper novels. Welcome to James Frey’s Endgame!

You’ve probably already heard about this new multilayered project before In case you haven’t, let me try to clear things up for you:

THE BASICS

91-nNxO5k2LEndgame is a book trilogy, whose first installment was released a few days ago on Oct. 7th. The books tell a story of earth’s impending doom and 12 ancient tribes chosen to participate in a scavenger hunt across the planet: the Endgame. The task itself is simple: Find three keys hidden somewhere on earth. The obstacles though, are enormous. Only the descendants of the tribe that finds all keys during the game will survive. Essentially, your fellow players turn into your mortal enemies.

That’s all well and good, right? There’s more: The books themselves contain puzzles and clues, which will lead to a total of three real-life keys. Whoever finds a key, will receive $500,000 in solid gold. Quite an incentive to get up and out into the world, isn’t it?

But these books are only the tip of the fantasy iceberg. The planned content will consist of novellas, movies, blogs, vlogs and, most importantly, an augmented reality game for everybody all over the world. James Frey and co-author Nils Johnson-Shelton collaborated with Google’s Niantic Labs – the creators of the world’s most successful AR game ‘Ingress’ – to make this adventure possible for each and every one of us.

“I think the future of video games is not on a screen, it’s in the world”, says James Frey, “How do we turn the world into a video game, how do I make something, that allows a reader, a gamer, or a consumer to be engaged with our property everywhere they go”.

The massive project Frey inaugurated is only possible because of our modern way of living and coexistence with powerful mobile devices. The game is announced to run on both iOS and Android devices.

The Game

Endgame will be a location-based game, much like Ingress, making it possible for you to walk around a map created out of real-life Google Maps data. You can literally explore the whole world. Players will have to choose one of the twelve different ancient tribes and fight for them during the game. There will be approximately a million hotspots all over the world radiating weapons, power and protection. Once you’re close enough, you can access the hotspot and loot the special items it’s holding. The bigger the hotspot, the more power and players will be needed to access it. According to Frey and Niantic, you will also be able to attack other players if they are in a radius of 50 yards, giving you the possibility to interact closely with other participants.

12_societies

The more hotspots you’re accessing and the more enemies you’re defeating, the more powerful you’ll get. An extra bonus will be the additional clues you’ll receive. These clues will help you solve the complicated puzzle in the books. The concept itself is absolutely fascinating and since Niantic Labs has acquired a huge amount of experience with Ingress, we can probably expect one hell of a game.

By the way, you don’t have to read the books to be able to play the game and the other way around. But let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you?

The authors and masterminds of Niantic Labs created this vast universe, for all those who are hungry to not only read about their favorite adventure, but to participate in it as well. We all love to be heroes, after all. Real life and science fiction have never been so closely entwined.

I can’t wait to be a part of this epic project. I’ll see you out there. Make sure you’re ready!


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