Become a Beta tester for Junaio on Android

July 25, 2014

junaio-on-android-devicesBeginning today anyone can become a Junaio Beta tester – no legal papers necessary – and for free. We publicly publish Junaio Beta releases (for Android) on a regular basis within the beta tester group before the releases are submitted into the Google play store.

How can You Join?

Simply join our Junaio Google+ Group and as soon as you are accepted as member of group you can request access to the beta testing group here. Note: we recommend that the Google + account matches your Google Play account.

Why should every Junaio developer participate?

As a member of our group you get early access to all Junaio Beta releases and learn about new features, improvements and bug fixes in advance.
Use the chance to test your current projects with upcoming releases/features to avoid any surprises with the official release.

Help us improve the stability and robustness of upcoming releases by identifying bugs and errors as early as possible.

We are looking forward to welcoming you as a Beta tester for Junaio!

 

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Vectorform shows visionary sales application for Google Glass

July 24, 2014

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Hardly any technology in recent times has been as controversial to society  as Google Glass. Many have opinions, yet few have actually had the opportunity to experience the device first-hand. When it comes to “true” Augmented Reality, what is Glass really capable of? Vectorform – one of the leading agencies for technology and design  has for some time now been hard at work developing applications for mobile devices such as data glasses.

In association with Mediaplus and Serviceplan, Vectorform has become the first company in Germany to develop an AR vehicle exploration tool. Launching on the BMW i8 hybrid supercar,  the Augmented Reality technology powered by Metaio (SDK) combined with Google Glass allows users a first-hand look at the super-cool BMW i8 like never before:

“While the social acceptance often lags behind in new technologies, companies need to seize the opportunity early in order to remain competitive. The Google Glass technology here makes use of new approaches and perspectives for marketing, service, production and sales, “said Alissia Iljaitsch, Executive Director Vectorform EMEA. “Pioneering new technologies are often the automobile manufacturers. In the sale of modern vehicles, the revolutionary glasses offers exactly to the important framework to highlight specific features into focus and to emphasize the innovation of the vehicles.””

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Identify internal and external values ​​with Google Glass

When promoting a vehicle to new buyers, companies often only have a short window of attention to present new and unique features. As such, innovative communication methods are always valuable. Google Glass combines the actual car exploration experience with the digital world in order to offer prospective buyers a completely new way of seeing the i8.

Here’s the application at a glance: Distributed around the vehicle are various “touch points” where Google Glass recognizes the contours of the car using Metaio 3D tracking technology. The first touch point demonstrates the new laser headlights by projecting virtual light beams right out of the car’s lamps. Subsequent touch points  illuminate the inner workings of the chassis or illustrate drive-train components with an  “X-ray” view. In addition, the aerodynamic shape of the vehicle is demonstrated using a virtual wind current that smoothly curves and swirls around the car’s bodywork. This “augmented reality” experience accompanies the buyer in a special way during the customer journey and delivers an innovative sales tool for an equally innovative vehicle.

Framework thought as an important element

During the development of the Google Glass App, the implementation of an appropriate content management system played an essential role. This allows Vectorform to easily update and support content (such as images, videos and texts) directly by the company itself. This ensures the application brings added value on an ongoing basis, rather than being a one-off demonstration.

We would like to congratulate Vectorform and their partners on this excellent application. We are very proud that our software encourages developers and creative agencies like you to create such great Augmented Reality!

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InsideAR Tokyo 2014: From Wearable 3-D Sensors to turning the world into a TouchScreen

July 24, 2014

InsideAR Tokyo – the 2nd edition – is over and has been a huge success for us. We thank all participants and partners from Cybernet, Intel, Canon, Epson, Fujitsu, Erba Holdings and Vuzix! This year we invited a diverse group of exhibitors, which we believe are of high interest for Japanese customers.
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Over 300 guests from 192 companies joined us to be in the center of AR innovations; we saw huge interest from a very diverse groups of participants – from  3D designers to app developers to  large players who have been  developing their own AR algorithms for over a decade now and looking into utilizing AR for high-accuracy industrial applications. Most importantly, the Gurus of AR and MR joined us on stage to share their knowledge, their success stories and collaboratively discuss the path of AR development for the upcoming year.

2nd edition rocked: InsideAR Tokyo tripled its attendees

InsideAR has a format of an open conference and everyone is invited to present their vision on the technology and exhibit their innovations. We hope you enjoyed the live demonstrations, workshops, and were -most importantly-  inspired by the speeches from the leaders of the industry: Prof. Kato, Canon, Intel, Epson, Fujitsu, Erba Holdings, Vuzix, and many more who contributed to making this conference bigger than last year: we are proud of tripling the number of attendees and doubling the amount of speakers.

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Best feedback from our guests in the visitor’s survey!

 

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Wearable 3D Sensors are the most driving innovation in the AR field, today. Augmented Reality on Head-Mounted-Displays was one of the main topics on the agenda. It was, represented by renowned manufacturers, such as Epson (who teamed up with Mitsubishi to demonstrate the AR Maintenance scenario on the Aircon unit) and Vuzix, but also by the new players in the field, as Brillianservice (Mirama Glass with gesture control) and Westunitis (ultralight inforod glass aimed for industrial tasks). Metaio also showcased scenarios on Google Glass.
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R&D insights

Turning the whole world into a touchscreen could be realized by a visionary approach from Metaio’s R&D Labs. The Thermal Touch is a patented future method of triggering AR on a selected object. RGB sensors combined with an infrared camera help to register a person’s heat signature on any surface and then combine it with Metaio’s AR software.

However, it was not all about wearables. From Intel, Canon, Fujitsu and NGrain we received insights on Industrial AR approaches used today, and were excited by all the possibilities.

The workshop presentations are available to download on our website.

 


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And what says the team?

Here is some feedback from our team members who helped organise the conference this year:

Dr. Irina Gusakova, Senior Product Sales Manager:

“We were very pleased to see so many new corporations joining us for InsideAR Tokyo this year – united in our goal to make the Japanese AR segment bigger and better. Metaio has a very strong relationship with its Eco-system in Japan, as it has always been one of the top markets for our company, and we like to believe that our customers would say the same about Metaio. Japan became a new home for Junaio, a broad circle of local developers here brought to life some of the most successful campaigns, such as Penguin Navi or Starbucks. This is a very positive sign for us, it means we are doing a good job, and are appreciated by both our developers and users.

We received very positive feedback around the conference and the current trend makes us believe that 2015 we will meet you all again in Tokyo!”

Matthias Greiner, Senior Business Development Manager Junaio:

“It was a great experience to visit Tokyo and insideAR 2014  this year. Being in one of the most exciting cities in the world, having interesting discussions with AR specialists from all over Asia, getting in touch with impressive technology demos and, of course, the delicious Japanese food has made insideAR 2014 a great happening. Japan is one of the most interesting and fastest growing AR markets today. It was amazing to talk to local developers and technology providers and having the chance to learn about their current and future AR projects.”

Thomas Berton,Software Engineer

“InsideAR Tokyo 2014 was,in my opinion,. a very successful event. This was made possible Not only because we had great speakers but also because our  guests  were very interested in the technology. We can definitely see that wearables are one of the next generation of devices that are promoting Augmented Reality. I was personally impressed by the number of wearables that are now available on the market, all of them having their own special customization. Amazing!”

Sudhanshu Kapoor, Business Development Manager OEMs:

“When they first told me that I was going to be on a plane to Tokyo next week, I was the happiest person on the planet. It has always been a dream of mine to go to Japan – I not only wanted to witness the Japanese hi-tech world but also wanted to present my hi-tech solutions to them. Fortunately,  “insideAR Tokyo 2014”  was a great success- we got such a great and warm response from the visitors. It was a busy and exciting time I had no time to even take a coffee break OR click a few pictures. I was asked so many sincerely technical questions from our Japanese visitors, that not only showed their affection towards Augmented Reality, but also the growing awareness of it among developers, and hi-tech enthusiasts.

As I drive Metaio´s hardware IP division – primarily promoting and licensing our AREngine to  chipset OEMs-  it was very impressive to see that the visitors really acknowledged such need of having HW acceleration to enable “Always ON, Always Augmented” scenarios. All in all, it was a great trip to Japan – InsideAR, Japanese hospitality, amazing vegetarian food, well managed transport, respect towards rules, their culture, warmness,…. and what not. Looking forward to being there again for much longer time now!”

We are happy that all our guests made it an unforgettable event! See you in Japan next year for the 3rd edition of InsideAR Tokyo! 

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A guestpost by Dr. Irina Gusakova


Doing Magic with Augmented Reality… for real!

July 17, 2014

A guestpost by Andreea Raducan

If you could do magic, what would be your favorite trick? Well, some might say: “let’s make money!” So too did Simon Pierro  with his “How to get rich…!” magic trick, which he is now sharing with everyone in an amazing video proving that it is truly possible!

What is the mystery behind the “AR Money”?

The key ingredients are: a brilliant mind, some Augmented Reality “magic”, plus a sprinkle of “real” magic. From these three elements, the AR part is perhaps the easiest one. Since Simon is already equipped with the other two, all he had to do was to contact Metaio for support with the Augmented Reality part.  It all started in 2010, when he first discovered AR and its potential. At a time when AR was known only to a few, Simon found Metaio: a team he describes as “very flexible, creative and open to new ideas”, with extensive knowledge and experience in Augmented Reality. Together, they built the “Christmas show ”. “We had lots of fun” he said, and “stayed in contact for a long time”. According to him, “Metaio is very reliable”, both in terms of technology and as partners. This is why he decided to contact Metaio again in 2014 – to “be creative together”.

Where is the boundary between Augmented Reality and the real magic?

You probably noticed the hand-drawn dollar bills in the video. The role of AR in this trick is to digitally recognize (or “track”) these bills and “transform” them into realistic looking ones on the display of the device. One remarkable feature in this tracking process is the stability and robustness of the rendering: the digital banknotes follow precisely the movement of the physical ones under the tablet.

However, the “real” magic happens afterwards, when the physical, hand-drawn banknotes are transformed into real physical ones. Brilliant, isn’t it?

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So how does he manage to do this? You might wonder.

Well, as much as I wanted to find out myself, I could not convince him to reveal his secret. What I did manage to do, is to discover how ideas come to his mind. Unlike others might think, “Inspiration doesn’t just come out of the blue”, Simon says, “You need to concentrate on what you do and look for opportunities around you, never stop thinking! Then, when you have an idea, you just have to believe in it and work hard to make it happen. You need to make efforts to find that idea and then to bring it to life; it will not happen magically.”

Thus did the “How to get rich..!” idea become reality. When Simon discovered AR, he became “absolutely fascinated” by the technology. “The factor that AR and magic have in common is that they both make things appear and disappear”. The question for him was, how to bring these two together and make people believe in both. He was convinced that such a combination would open endless possibilities. He did find a way, and what an incredible way, isn’t it?! Simon just loves to be creative and work with interesting people.

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Simon also loves the freedom of pursuing his ideas, turning visions into reality, while interacting with so many people. He loves seeing the impact his work creates – the reactions he draws from people. Seeing how they relate to his work, “with tears in their eyes”. “Moreover, it is so interesting to see how people from different countries express their emotions and impressions differently!”

I asked Simon what he is doing with all the money. He laughed saying “they all go with my illusion”. When asked about his future ambitions, Simon says “I don’t have plans for the next 10 years. Things are changing so much! For example, 5 years ago I had no clue about Augmented Reality. Who knows what the future will bring?  You should really stay flexible and open.”

For the time being, we are about to witness one of his dreams come true: performing live in front of large public audience. This is something he wished for a long time and which is going happen, as he will be performing his magic tricks live in Mannheim  (October 28) and Munich  (October 29). If you want to see the magic for yourself, this is your chance! Until then, discover more on his website.


Google’s Augmented Reality Game INGRESS now available for iOS

July 14, 2014

Long expected, finally available! 

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Launched in 2012, more than 4 million people in over 200 countries have already played Ingress on Android-based devices. Today, Google’s Niantic Labs has released the iOS version of the Alternate Reality game that lets gamers explore more than 300 million portals worldwide. In the game you decide to either join the resistance or enlightened group and “battle to collect and control the powerful ‘Exotic Matter,’ which is virtually located in real-life locations worldwide.” (TechCrunch)

Through GPS and Augmented Reality, the portals can be found anywhere: for example in or around monuments, special buildings or street art in the real world. To take a portal, the agent can locate, attack and equip the conquest case. The portals can be connected with each other and several linked portals create energy fields. The area which covers these fields is counted as conquered. Thousands of passionate Ingress gamers organize meet-ups all over the world. An impressive case was Operation Green Marble, where gamers from the Enlightened team tried to convert the north half of the Earth to “Green”.

We will definitely try it and discover the Ingress world!

Note: Every Thursday, the Ingress Report is your source for all the latest on the Niantic Project.

Ingress is available for download in the App Store.


Metaio Presents Augmented Reality for Smart Watches

July 9, 2014

Metaio is announcing the first ever object recognition solution for smart watches today. We are releasing a video that demonstrates a computer vision-based health & lifestyle app for wearable devices implemented using Metaio technology as well as a solution for retail to quickly scan products to purchase and request delivery to your home.

SmartWatch_1Smart watch manufacturers are still struggling to find the balance between simplicity and functionality. By adding computer visual recognition functionality, the goal of fast and effective interaction with a smart watch is achieved. Utilizing the camera of a smart watch, users snap an image which a companion smartphone then checks for matches using Metaio visual search technology. When a match is found, data is returned to the user in the form of glanceable information on the watch, or rich, interactive data on the smartphone.

“When we gave phones and glasses the ability to see the world around them, it opened up huge opportunities for all kinds of mobile apps”, said Metaio CEO, Dr. Thomas Alt. “We can see that smart watches are going be a huge part of the mobile computing revolution, so we wanted to make sure that we could bring the power of computer vision and augmented reality to this form factor.”

SmartWatch_3There exist millions of objects in our environment that can be scanned by a smart device, but it is not always convenient for users to be constantly removing their smart phones from pockets or purses. Placing object recognition capabilities on the wrist allows for convenient access to visual search and augmented reality applications that already exist today.

Metaio presents a video showing a working demo of a health & lifestyle application. Rather than entering nutritional information manually; users simply scan the food package from the wrist, which automatically populates a daily nutrition diary on a companion device. The video also illustrates smart watches being used in retail to quickly scan products to purchase and request delivery to the home.

According to Metaio the technology can be implemented on existing smart watches currently on the market and will be running a live demo of the application at the upcoming InsideAR Munich conference,  on October 29th and 30th, 2014.

Read the interview with Thomas Alt on TechCrunch: “Metaio CEO Thomas Alt Discusses Augmented Reality For Smartwatches, Google Glass And More”

 


AR Toys Competition Jury Member #4: Introducing Pati Keilwerth

July 2, 2014

All great things come to an end.

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The submission deadline for the AR Toys Competition from Toywheel and Metaio was on Monday this week and we want to specially thank all AR fans who submitted their ideas! There are great proposals and we are now checking and evaluating all of them very carefully. Our great Jury will then carefully select their favorites and we will let you know as soon as they decide the winner of the AR Junior Award and the  AR Toymaker award!

In the meantime, we would like to continue by introducing our 4th member of the awesome AR Jury …..drum roll…..

Pati_KeilworthPati Keilwerth: A storyteller par excellence

PATI KEILWERTH after finishing law school at the University Passau, was hired to coordinate the protocol of the Berlin Film Festival. She continued working for the Berlinale in various departments and for the Broadcaster rbb and some media labs – all while also studying Audiovisual Media Science at the Filmschool HFF “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Directly after her diploma with a thesis on international Co-Production she began employment with German filmmaker and playwright Wim Wenders.

After a three-year tenure as Wim Wenders’s Executive Assistant, she embarked on new terrain in the media industry and has been engaged in cross media and interactive storytelling ever since. The past two years she worked for RTL Disney in the online department and focuses now on projects with PATISSERIE FILM.

AR Toys competition is awesome because…

“…I’m happy to be invited to be part of the Jury. In the past years I have been very involved with interactive storytelling, games and digital toys for kids and we also frequently tested some augmented reality features with kids. They had a lot of fun. So I’m curious to see what new app ideas there are and which of these I would like to try out with the kids of my friends and family.”

Thank you, Pati for supporting us!


Last reminder AR Toys Competition & a new jury member

June 27, 2014

Weekend is coming and exactly 3 days are left to join our AR Toys Competition!

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The competition is open to everyone including developers, non-developers, parents, AND children all over the world. The competition features two categories: the “AR Toymaker Award” which is specifically targeted towards adults and the “AR Junior Award” is open to children and entrants under the age of 18. Each category requires the participant to submit a concept of an augmented reality game or toy.

New jury member Rolf Kosakowski

Portrait Rolf Kosakowski_finalWe are happy to introduce our latest jury member, Rolf Kosakowski to you: 46 years old he has been an entrepreneur ever since he left school. He is a huge fan of technology, in fact, there is a load of gadgets in his office and he can answer any questions related to digital tools.

Since the age of 17, Rolf has managed his own advertising agency, KB&B – The Kids Group. The company now has 25 employees, and Rolf operates it together with his wife, Julia. Throughout their international marketing activities, they have consulted customers such as; Super RTL, Sony Entertainment, Lufthansa, MIGROS, and many others in the children and family market.

Children and family marketing by KB&B – The Kids Group

By analyzing the children market trends and developing individual strategies – from TV-Spot to website, online, offline and apps – they have developed international advertising campaigns. Rolf is very proud of KB&B’s latest baby: The Lufthansa children app “Take-Off – The fun-packed journey for little passengers”, is now ranked among the top 10 free iPad apps for kids on the iTunes Store. Rolf’s Motto is: “Crazy enough to be taken seriously by kids! Serious enough to make adults understand that it’s not crazy!”

Why do you support the competition?

“App development is our most important new business field at KB&B – The Kids Group. Augmented Reality presents  a huge opportunity for all kinds of app development. Merging real life and fictional storytelling is just the perfect concept for any kind of toy. I am very happy to learn more about the ideas, and especially curious about the concepts the young participants hand in. Maybe I will be spotting some new talents?”

In your words – what’s the potential in Augmented Reality for kids?

“Kids have a huge benefit when compared to adults: They are very curious and adapt to new technologies quickly and joyfully. I believe that Augmented Reality can teach in a way that has not been possible before.  Furthermore, AR has the ability to lift kid’s fantasies to new a whole new level. I see a lot of potential in AR-apps.”

What would you like upcoming apps for kids to be like?

As with any kind of app, childrens applications should also be technically high performing, entertaining and secure. It is self-evident that they may not implement salecalls, since this in inappropriate for children  and, not to mention, illegal. They should address kids at their level: If the target group is preschoolers the app must operate without text. If it is for teenagers, then safe communication tools should be included.

But most of all, I wish that the new concepts that come out of this competition are mind blowing, creative and fresh; in other words, something that we have never seen before. So, Good luck to all the competitors. I am excited to learn about your ideas.


Metaio R&D Lab Releases 6D Augmented Reality Holodeck Technology to Developers

June 25, 2014

Yesterday we were revealing the world’s first 6D Holodeck technology that places virtual environments directly in the real world allowing smartphone users to explore them with their on-board cameras. We are now offering two sample source codes for the technology to developers so that they may build immersive and interactive experiences like next-generation augmented reality games.

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“Virtual and 360 experiences need true immersion,” said Metaio CTO Peter Meier. “If you’re in a virtual environment, you should be able to move around as if it were the real world; that’s what we want to enable with our 6D technology- we want to enable the Holodeck.”

But how does it work?

The 6D Augmented Reality Holodeck technology (or 6D-AR, for short), utilizes the latest Simultaneous Learning And Mapping (SLAM) algorithms working in tandem with the on-board motion sensors (IMUs) to anchor a virtual environment local to the user. Once the virtual environment is attached to the real world, the user can move and navigate in and around the virtual area as if it were there in real life, needing only the camera of their smart device.

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Metaio is releasing the source code of two 6D example projects on its developer’s portal. We are hoping that these examples inspire our developers and creatives to design next-generation augmented and virtual reality experiences, like an action game someone could play in reality itself, or immersive educational experiences like visiting foreign places or navigating an electron shell of an atom at close range.

The source code for the 6D-AR Holodeck examples is now available. Developers can download the Metaio SDK and the source code here.


Festo and the Bionic Learning Network

June 6, 2014

Festo is a worldwide leader in automation and a world market leader in technical training and development. One source for new knowledge and future technologies is bionics. It provides astonishing impetus for automation technology and leads to new approaches to solutions for industrial practice. That is why  in 2006 Festo brought to life a research association with reputable universities and institutes, development companies and private inventors: the Bionic Learning Network. Since then over 40 bionic projects have been completed within the association.

Purpose of the Biomechatronic Footprint

Besides media (brochures, films, animations, websites) about the individual projects, Metaio developer madness has developed the concept for the Augmented Reality Biomechatronic Footprint folding poster in six languages (German, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese). The DIN A1 poster shows a selection of the completed projects and illustrates the line of thinking from natural models to basic technical principles and bionic adaptation right through to industrial applications. The Biomechatronic Footprint is suitable as a door-opener to explain why Festo is involved with bionics and what advantage is gained from this method of procedure that is unique among its competitors.

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Function of the Augmented Reality Biomechatronic Footprint poster

The front face shows a decorative poster motif with a striking character, which explains individual evolutionary curves and depicts the highlights from 2006 to the present day. On the reverse side, there is detailed information about the Bionic Learning Network as well as brief descriptions of the selected projects. In order for onlookers to get all the information, even if the poster is hanging on the wall, an Augmented Reality experience has been added to the front.

After scanning the image with the Junaio application nine of the objects depicted are highlighted at a virtual level and can be selected separately. Besides the brief written description, the onlooker can call up a film and brochure about the project. On the bottom edge of the screen is a menu with nine more sections – for example about the manufacturing process, the technologies used and the fields where the bionic objects could potentially be used. Festo 004

If the user accesses a section, all the objects about the relevant topic are networked, thus highlighting what connects the different projects. Another click calls up a brief description about the respective subject.

For those interested who do not have a mobile device, the additional virtual information is also available in the form of an interactive graphic on Festo’s classic website.


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