So long, and thanks for all the Augmented Reality.

June 27, 2014

I remember the first time I saw it.

Almost 5 years ago Brendan Scully walked into my room in the house we shared in college. I was trying desperately at the time to devise a most insidiously clever first tweet, which as I recall was something along the lines of “destabilize the discourse” (though Twitter itself belies these memories, I can assure you that was the original). Rudely, Brendan interrupted my most-important mission, demanding my attention.

“Trak. Trak.”

“…”

“TRAK.”

“…”

“TRAAAAAAAAAA-“

“What?!”

AugmentedReality.”

(Interestingly enough, this would later become Brendan’s chosen icebreaker for nearly any conversation or situation. Standing in line in 2011 for what was to be a godawful post-WWDC party at the Roe, Brendan once proposed that we run up and down said line shouting, “AUGMENTED REALITY,” to “see what happens”.)

Brendan ushered me into his room, where he took print-out of a funny-looking bar code and displayed it in front of the webcam of his computer, only to have the object burst into a multi-colored 3-D animation of varying sizes of geometric shapes.

By today’s standards, the frame-rate was intolerable; the latency was more than noticeable.

It was beautiful.

That one moment was the first in a series of events that led myself (along with Brendan) to join Metaio. This was, in retrospect, not the first time I encountered AR: Bladerunner, Terminator, Predator, Minority Report, Iron Man, comics, science fiction novels, video games; as a society we had always manifested our dreams for technology in popular culture. And we will never lose sight of those dreams and expectations- it’s only a matter of time.

But in that moment, sitting in the only flat-roofed house in New Hampshire in a poorly-lighted room, the glow of the monitor illuminating our grinning faces in the graininess of the camera view, I saw the future.

And I wanted to be part of it.

That is why it is with heaviness of heart that I announce that I am leaving Metaio. The last three years have been nothing short of wondrous. But in the spirit of this blog, and because I said I was going to do it, I will now interview myself.

Where are you going?!

I am going to Google, where I will join the Waze team. More on this later, but I can tell you that position doesn’t have anything to do with augmented reality.

Are you done with AR?

Not in the least. I still hold a childlike fascination for the magic of computer vision, and just because I’m moving on doesn’t mean I won’t stop writing about it, either. In fact, depending on my schedule I will still try to write about technology, including AR, in my blog that I literally just started today. Please feel free to keep up with me there, as well as LinkedIn and Twitter.

from Brendan: Is Humanity ready for AR? 

I would counter that question with “Is AR ready for humanity?” It’s the decathlon of technologies, and it takes years of training for a human to run a decathlon. That being said, technology is only going to improve, so expect in the next few years to watch former barriers crumble beneath the might of optimization. I know for a fact you’re going to see some great things from Metaio in the very near future.

What was your favorite part about working for Metaio?

(Other than every InsideAR and AWE ever) Four things:

1) The Team

2) The Technology

3) Traveling

4) Talking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For anyone considering working in Augmented Reality, you really can’t get better than Metaio. I have been so fortunate to work at a company full of such fun, passionate and determined individuals. I have traveled all over the world with them, and many will be lifelong friends.

To all of you I’ve met along the way, It’s been a blast.

To the Metaio Team- you all know who you are, and you’re the best. I know that I would not have been able to accomplish anything in the last three years without your support.

To Augmented Reality- don’t think I’m done with you yet.

 

 

 


Microsoft Allegedly Acquiring Augmented Reality IP

April 1, 2014

Those Microsoft guys are a bunch of ipsters. Also, this is not a joke. The Germans don’t do that. 

Image from ODG Patent for "Virtual Reality Headset"

Do not adjust your browser- this is not the Oculus Rift.

While everyone and the internet was gushing about the strange and confusing (yet, oddly satisfying) purchase of Oculus by Facebook for around $2 billion, TechCrunch broke a story that Microsoft had quietly purchased a hundred million odd dollars worth of IP from the Osterhout Design Group (ODG).

According to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch, Microsoft walked away from the deal with more than 80 patents in the wearable technology and Augmented Reality space, including the image above (which looks suspiciously like the Oculus).

Since Microsoft has neither denied nor commented on any of this information, speculation abounds at how they might apply this newly-purchased technology, but all roads seem to lead to a Project Morpheus-like gaming system that will interface with Microsoft’s existing and popular IP, their XBox gaming system.

What does this mean?

I was strolling around the 2014 San Francisco Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) the other day and it was a bit of a shock: major companies like Sony showing tethered VR experiences; new form factors like SeeBright debuting; Kickstarter projects like Omni drawing lines; the newest version of the Oculus Rift inaccessible beyond a 2 hour wait. The common denominator was gaming, which seems to be the driving force for these new Virtual Reality devices and experiences. Even if all of this is just a reaction to the early success of the Oculus, a rising tide floats all boats- expect VR to enjoy a prolonged reprieve, and of course immersive and interactive software like augmented reality to keep powering it.

Metaio has a significant amount of research & development already invested into wearable computing and immersive environments. Whether it’s Google Glass, Oculus Rift, or some as-of-yet unreleased or unpublished device, Metaio will be sure to evaluate it for the future of interactive technology.

 

 


Weekest Links, 2014 Consumer Electronics Show Edition

January 15, 2014

CES and desist. 

Kobayashi-san of Epson

Kobayashi-san of Epson repairs the Mitsubishi Electric unit with augmented reality, and honor. 

We just came back from a riveting and harrowing 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For those of you who have never attended, CES is a never-ending journey consisting of smoke-filled casinos, endless lines, iPhone cases, and strange and confusing conference food. But the chance to see many of the gadgets and technology that will be released later this year along with 150,000 other attendees keeps us going back year after year. And, in addition to a strong showing by augmented reality and wearable technology, CES was full of innovations like smart home tech, drones, robots, 3-D printing and more.

CES 2014 Wrap-Up:

  • 10 Innovations from CES you should know about [Business Insider]
  • 2014 CES: Hardware Startups are big at Consumer Electronics Show [LA Times]
  • Android dominates Apple at CES 2014 [Business Insider]
  • 5 trends we noticed at CES [Digital Trends]
  • CES 2014: Auto Tech Developers Getting Into the Fast Lane [Time Warner NY1]
  • CES 2014 proves that wearables are still a work in progress [TechCrunch]
  • The story of CES as told by Tweeted cries for help [Digiday]

Augmented Reality @ CES:

  • CES: Wearables break out all over the body [USA Today]
  • CES 2014: Best in Show [ZDNet]
  • Epson introduces new Moverio glasses with head-motion tracking and camera [engadget]
  • Metaio leads next-generation augmented reality on wearables at CES 2014 [blog]
  • Augmented Reality smart-glasses impress at CES 2014 [Mobile Marketing Watch]
  • Wearables with augmented reality are mind-blowing – and an ethical nightmare [CNET]
  • Metaio integrates 3-D augmented reality into Intel RealSense SDK [blog]

Upcoming Events

  • Back to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2014! Metaio will be in the App Planet once again- stay tuned for more!
  • South By Southwest Interactive 2014, Metaio’s Trak Lord will speak on a panel entitled “DIY Everything with In-Car Augmented Reality” [panel info]

Pick of CES: The AirDroid Pocket Drone

Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. There’s still time to fund these guys on their Kickstarter page, but check out this video from the CES Expo floor.


Post-Thanksgiving Weekest Links

December 2, 2013

So long, and thanks for all the tryptophan. 

Mirage: illusions of grandeur.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

  • Metaio CEO Thomas Alt discusses augmented reality for smartwatches, Google Glass and more [TechCrunch]
  • Junaio featured on US TV Channel ABC 6 In Philadelphia through “Virtual View” [Junaio Blog]
  • Xcope – creating an immersive AR experience [Augmented Blog]
  • Satisfying consumers with Augmented Reality [Augmented Blog]
  • SCARLET: Interactive learning for augmented reality [Junaio Blog]
  • Enabling AR with stronger hardware[Augmented Blog]
  • Vanatur and Warner present AURYN’s augmented reality debut [Augmented Blog]
  • The new Metaio Creator – the perfect tool to optimize AR scenarios [Augmented Blog]
  • Cars, cars, and more cars – Junaio & Automotive augmented reality [Junaio Blog]

There are things that are happening

  • CastAR and the promise of augmented reality games [Gamasutra]
  • Apple Confirms Acquisition of 3-D Sensor Startup PrimeSense [AllThingsD]
  • Augmented Reality: General Electric meets Google Glass [Wired: Beyond the Beyond]
  • The “AR Rift” – Grad Student William Steptoe hacks the Oculus Rift into a 360 augmented reality machine – check it out [Project Website]
  • Visionary – Google Glass moves from concept to clinical care [Forbes]
  • Epic Google Glass Douchebaggery 101 [VentureBeat]
  • Current TV Founder Michael Rosenblum writes of his first two days with Google Glass [Huffington Post]
  • Seattle restaurant boots Glass-wearing patron [PCMag]

Events

  • Catch Metaio at the APPNATION V “Garage”, December 4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA [event site]
  • Going to the 2014 CES in Las Vegas? Don’t miss Metaio CEO Thomas Alt’s panel, “Augmented Reality: Next Big Thing or Information Overload?” [link]

Pick of the week: Augmented Reality Super Mario [Kotaku]

No, it’s not real. Yes, we wish it were. No, not really possible with current technology. But still fun to watch.


Metaio CEO Thomas Alt Discusses Augmented Reality For Smartwatches, Google Glass And More

November 26, 2013

Trak:

Today in TechCrunch, Metaio CEO Thomas Alt sits down with Jay Donovan to discuss the state of augmented reality and wearable devices. Read on and learn all about the exciting announcements and developments that have happened since InsideAR 2013!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Augmented Reality pioneers Metaio hardly qualify as a startup these days (being incorporated since 2003 and funded by a stream of project work from the likes of Volkswagen and IKEA), but they behave very much like a startup and are constantly inventing new systems for their considerable augmented reality SDK.

Many of their yearly announcements come from an annual event called insideAR that they host in their hometown of Munich, Germany.

This year there were many announcements. Everything from their new “Edge-Based Tracking” methodology to the new augmented reality browser they built for Google Glass called Junaio Mirage. The event took place in October, but I recently had a chance to speak with Metaio CEO Thomas Alt and discuss some of these announcements in greater detail along with his viewpoint on the general state of augmented reality today. You can read the interview below (or just skip to the…

View original 1,882 more words


Weekest Links November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Note from the editor: As much as I love puns and defunct British game shows, I’ll be renaming “Weekest Links” in the near future. 

LeVar Burton [Geordi!] on Google Glass: “It disturbed me.” [engadget

Metaio | Junaio Recap

  • Augmented Reality has changed the gaming universe [Augmented Reality Trends]
  • The Metaio Creator 3.0: A user’s experience [blog]
  • Xcope: Virtual & Augmented Reality Headset [Kickstarter]
  • Brendan Scully talks about how AR will revolutionalize maintenance and information transfer [video]

There are things that are happening

  • Smartphones + Smart Glasses: Augmented Reality to jump 333% by 2018 [VentureBeat]
  • Google Glass second-hand sales no longer disabled [SlashGear]
  • Six new technologies set to lift off in 2014 [StartupSmart]
  • Augmented Reality projection turns windshield into navigation screen [PSFK]
  • Google’s augmented reality game Ingress is coming to all Android owners next month [FastCompany]

Events

  • Did you miss InsideAR 2013? Check out photos from the event and catch up on what you missed! [photos]
  • All the InsideAR presentations from Day 1 and Day 2 are available on Metaio’s YouTube page [youtube.com/metaioAR]

Pick of the week: Blow Up Traffic App

I’m sure some of you out there appreciate this. I’m looking at you, people who drive in Connecticut.


November 4, 2013: Weekest Links

November 4, 2013

Remember remember the fourth of November. 

I remember this from that one night in college.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

  • Augmented Reality: Ikea Catalogue and beyond [Econsultancy]
  • New Webinar: Learn all about the new features in the Metaio Creator 3.0 [video]
  • CastAR: A future in Augmented Reality and Videogames [blog]
  • InsideAR 2013: The Future of Wearable Computing [blog]
  • AR Dirt Podcast: InsideAR Recap [AR Dirt]

There are things that are happening

  • Google gesture patent would let Glass wearers “heart” real-world objects [engadget]
  • Virtual Reality: All you need to know about input devices for the bright new future of gaming [Gamasutra]
  • The rise of Augmented Reality in gaming [IQ Intel Blog]
  • Peering into the future of Augmented Reality Gaming [Gamasutra]

Events

  • Trak Lord will present at this year’s Visual Media Alliance in San Francisco, “How to: Augment Reality into a Real Thing”, November 6 [event site]
  • Brendan Scully will participate in a panel on AR at the 7th GeoWeb Summit, November 7 in New York City [50% discount]
  • All the InsideAR presentations from Day 1 and Day 2 are available on Metaio’s YouTube page [youtube.com/metaioAR]

Pick of the week: Pixelstick – Light Painting Evolved

For those of you who don’t know about light painting, it’s basically twirling around gigantic light-saber type things to slow-capture large digital impressions on reality. Maybe not computer vision, but extremely creative and visually stimulating. Enjoy the video- more on their Kickstarter page.


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