Metaio Rocks Adobe MAX!

October 10, 2014
Courtesy of Adobe

Courtesy of Adobe

wall of art

Just the smallest tidbit of art seen at MAX.

This week saw the coming and going of Adobe MAX 2014 – Adobe’s annual convention and expo. For the first time, Metaio was pleased to be a bronze sponsor for the event. MAX attracts over 5,000 creative professionals from all around the world and brings them together in Los Angeles in celebration of their craft while providing an in-depth refresher on all that’s new in the world of technology and design. It’s a time of year where the deadline weary, logo crafting, DPI insistent design types shrug off their busy jobs and join together to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the design industry.

One Part Conference, One Part Awesome

monster model

Ma always said I had a face for Hollywood.

MAX is one part conference, one part celebration. While workshops and seminars run on an intense schedule throughout the five day event, there’s plenty of fun to go around. Photoshop maniacs competed in Sapient Nitro’s Battle of the Hands to see who could create the best movie poster….with only eight minutes! Doodle walls, creativity zones, and even an arcade decorated the expo floor to keep the creative juices flowing outside the classes. To top it all off, all attendees were invited to an indulgent MAX Bash party featuring food and drinks galore. To top THAT off, Adobe brought in the Kings of Leon to play for everyone in a hip, modern outdoor venue. MAX certainly nailed it with the right balance of work & play.

Making Augmented Reality Easy

By combing the power of the Metaio Creator with InDesign,  creating Augmented Reality becomes even easier for designers.

By combing the power of the Metaio Creator with InDesign, creating Augmented Reality becomes even easier for designers.

Metaio also brought something special to this event: an entirely new software product – the Metaio AR Creator plugin for InDesign. The plugin works directly in Adobe’s software, and we thought it would be a great way to tap into the huge creative community of Adobe users to join in building content in the AR world. We had a great response to the software and an overall shock that creating AR scenarios was so easy – whether it be with the Metaio Creator or the new InDesign plugin. Metaio definitely opened some eyes and spurred some imagination at the event!

Designing for the Future

Look what we found.

I spy, with my little eye, some people relaxing on the job.

As MAX approached an end, Adobe hosted a sneak preview event to show off what technology is in the pipeline for future products. This is where things got really Sci-Fi. Adobe researchers demoed a tool that could change the time of day in a photo. Took a photo at night and want to see what it would have looked like at noon? One button click and the image magically changes. Another Adobe researcher  announced “Project Layup“, an app that finally takes mobile seriously and has thought about touch interface from the ground up. The researchers also demoed the “3D Photo Magic” app – a demo that superimposes 3D furniture into an image of a room (sound familiar?). It was certainly interesting to see what lies ahead for Adobe, and it was even more exciting to see that much of it relies on making our computers better at understanding images.

Winding Down

Adobe MAX 2014 was inspiring, exciting and exhausting all at once. Augmented Reality was extremely well received by the Adobe user community, and we are really excited to see what amazing work will come. Our work doesn’t stop there though. Now that MAX is behind us it’s time to get excited for another major gathering – Metaio’s own InsideAR! In just a few weeks we ramp up all the excitement again for a celebration of all things Augmented and come together with over 1,000 AR professionals to discuss the future of Augmented Reality. Learn more about InsideAR here. Tickets are still available – see you there!

Cheers from the Metaio team (and photobomber)!

Cheers from the Metaio team (and photobomber)!


Weekest Links: February 10th

February 10, 2014

Love is in the AR.

nitro-pos-innen-pic

Wicked Slopes Bro.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Quantified Reality: How AR is teaching us more about our customers [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality Raises GERD Awareness [Augmented Blog]

Nitro Snowboard Co. Spices Up Marketing with Augmented Reality [Junaio Blog]

Webinar: How Will Augmented Reality Change Business in 2014? (Will be up on the Dev Portal soon!) [Youtube]

Interesting Stuff Happening

Perceptual Computing: From Science Fiction to Science Fact [Technology Spectator]

Word Lens adds the Russian language for the Olympics [Android Authority]

Interview with Technical Illusions about CastAR [VentureBeat]

Amazon adds Flow to its Shopping App [CNET]

AR Hackathon in Vancouver [Eventbrite]

Upcoming Events

Mobile World Congress: We’ll be there, want to come with us? [Facebook]

Sorry folks, no webinar this week. Hopefully this will make up for it.

Pick of the Week

I’m pretty sure Indiana Jones was really looking for this Ark. An awesome Augmented Reality projection-mapping project in Oaxaca by AntiVJ. They’ve done some amazing work so be sure to check out their website.


Weekest Links, Early February

February 3, 2014

Roses are red, violets are blue, AR is sweet, all thanks to you.

We don’t just change art, we augment it.

Metaio | Junaio recap

Digital Surrogates: Tele-travel & the Future of Long Distance Relationships (LDRs) [Dirrogate]

Metaio at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: Win your free ticket now! [Augmented Blog]

Metaio to lead AR become the user interface tech of the future [webrazzi]

DLD Conference and Metaio present interactive Museum Tour [Metaio]

Metaio Augmented Reality Solutions Now Available with Education Discounts at Studica.com [abc27]

Interesting Stuff Happening

Insurance companies could be the driver Google Glass needs [Live Insurance News]

Augmented reality launched on buses in Scotland [Mobile Commerce Press]

How Augmented Reality is Augmented Its Own Future [TheNextWeb]

Prototype lets users read the web in augmented reality [BBC News]

Augmented Reality Samsung Wearables are on their way [QR Code Press]

10 ways  how augmented reality can help retailers [Mobile Marketer]

End of the mechanic? BMW smart glasses make it possible for ANYONE to spot and fix a car engine fault just by looking at it. [Daily Mail]

Upcoming Events

Webinar: How Will Augmented Reality Change Business in 2014? with Trak Lord [Metaio Developer Portal]

Mobile World Congress – We’re going, and you’re coming with us! [Facebook]

Pick of the Week: Augmented Reality TV System

This would have came in handy during the Super Bowl. We’d love to interact with the web without changing a channel. Here’s a Mashable article and their Kickstarter page.


11 Steps to Create Pixories Christmas Cards with a personalised Video at myprintcard.de

December 9, 2013

A guest post by Rainer Lonau, pixories

Thanks Metaio for the opportunity to share our service with the AR world. The pixories API is integrated at two German webshops since insideAR in Oktober. Right now we’re looking forward for new partners to use our API and the pixories Apps.

Maybe some of you are still searching a cool way to share their Christmas greetings?! With this step to step tutorial you can create your own augmented Christmas cards. I wish you a very happy Christmas and all good things in 2014!

Instruction for creating pixories Christmas cards

In two weeks  it’s this special time again, Christmas is coming. For those who want to send a special Christmas card this year, take a look at the following instructions to create a pixories Christmas card. Our partner myprintcard.de offers different Greeting cards which can be created and ordered.

1. Select a myprintcard.de Christmas card

Select a myprintcard.de Christmas card. Go to printcard.de and click on “zu den Karten”, to be forwarded to the overview of pixories Greeting cards. Choose your Christmas card.

pixories_1

2. Confirm the card

Confirm the card

pixories_2

Do you like the template? Click on “zur Gestaltung” to go to the next step.

3. Select tools

Select tools

pixories_3

Now the card can be designed: Enter your own text and upload a photo. Now the special thing is the tool selection. Here you get to the “embed video” function.

4. Embed video

Embed video

pixories_4

Select the “Video einbinden” option at the tools menu.

5. Upload video

Upload video

pixories_5

Upload your personal video. This video will be stored on the card and the recipient or recipients of your Christmas card can experience it with the pixories app.

6. Close video option

Close video option

pixories_6

In this video menu several videos can be managed. Select “verwenden” for the video you want to be on the card. Click “Schliessen” to return to the design page.

7. Notes to the recipient

Notes to the recipient

pixories_7

Blue circle: If a video is embedded for pixories, a note on the back of the card is printed automatically. The recipient of the Greeting card gains information about pixories and the video which is stored on the card.

Red circle: Click “3D Ansicht” to get to preview the card.

8. Print preview

Print preview

pixories_8

Use the preview function to see how the Christmas card will look like. “A” shows the front on the right side and the back of the card on the left side. “B” shows the inside of the greeting card. At this design an image and text can be edited on the inside of the card.

9. Video preview in 2-D and 3-D

Video preview in 2-D and 3-D

pixories_9

With the preview mode the video can be viewed. This is possible in a 2-D and 3-D view. Just click the buttons above the “Browservorschau”.

10. Preview with the pixories app

Preview with the pixories app

pixories_10

Even with the pixories app the video can be tested directly at the monitor. You get a good impression of the later experience. Simply download the free pixories app (iOS and Android). With the shown QR code, the app can be downloaded, if it is not already installed on your smartphone. The personal content can then be loaded in the pixories app by entering the pixID or scanning the QR code.

11. Experience the video through pixories app

Experience the video through pixories app

pixories_11

If you want to test the pixories effect directly at the monitor use this demo card.

Summary and free card

I hope you enjoyed the instruction for creating pixories Christmas cards. Here’s a tip: You can create a free card at mybabycard.de. Those who are interested in pixories, can create a test card and later order their Christmas cards at myprintcard.de.


Enabling Augmented Reality with Stronger Hardware – A Review from InsideAR 2013

November 22, 2013
Metaio augmented reality hardware, AREngine

Power Overwhelming

Before we continue our series of reviews from InsideAR 2013 we have a question for you: what allows always on, always augmented? Powerful Hardware! Take a seat and watch as Neil Trevett of NVIDIA, Ofri Wechsler of Intel, Paul Evans of Imagination Technologies, Deborah Meduna of Sensor Platforms and Markus Tremmel of Metaio give their impressions on the future of augmented reality hardware.

Neil Trevett, NVIDIA: Silicon Innovation and APIs for Mobile Augmented Reality

Neil has spent over thirty years in the 3-D graphics industry and is currently responsible for driving the apps ecosystem on NVIDIA Tegra mobile devices. Neil is also the elected President of the Khronos Group where he initiated the Open GL ES standard, helped create the WebGL initiative and chairs the OpenCL and EGL working groups. Khronos is defining open, international standards for advanced compute, graphics, camera, vision and sensor processing on a wide range of mobile, embedded and desktop systems – many of which will for the foundation for accelerated Augmented Reality applications.

Ofri Wechsler, Intel: AR Acceleration – Challenges and Opportunities

Ofri Wechsler joined Intel in 1988 and served in many architecture related roles throughout the recent 25 years. Until 3 years ago, Ofri served as the architecture lead of Intel’s Israel Design Center and was responsible for defining and delivering the architecture of many successful products such as Intel’s first mobile CPU (code named Centrino), Intel’s first dual core processor (Yonah), Intel’s first converged server-mobile architecture (Intel’s Core™), Intel’s first integrated GFX CPU (code named Sandy Bridge) and many others. 3 years ago, when Intel formed the Visual and Parallel Group Ofri transitioned to lead VPG architecture focusing on media, imaging, computer vision and high performance computing. The recent Haswell and IvyBridge products are a great demonstration of Intel’s capabilities in the media and imaging space. Ofri is working closely with the Mobile Computing Group to make Intel’s media, imaging and computer vision solutions are optimized for mobile usage.

Paul Evans, Imagination Technologies: Improving the Augmented Reality Experience

Paul Evans joined Imagination Technologies in January 2012 as the Business Development Manager responsible for the CPU division and Cloud Services. Prior to joining Imagination, Paul worked for Altera Corporation for 11 years, most recently as the Senior Marketing Product Line Manager for Altera’s mid-range Arria family FPGA series. Prior to Altera, Paul acted as Technical Services Manager for Ometron Ltd. where he established Ometron’s technical services department. Paul has also held engineering positions at Image Automation Inc. and Smiths Inudstries Ltd. He holds a BEng in digital electronic engineering from the University of Kent at Canterbury in England.

Deborah Meduna, Sensor Platforms: Integrating Pedestrian Dead Reckoning with Computer Vision Localization

Deborah Meduna is the lead engineer of context-aware and localization algorithms in the Sensor Platform‘s FreeMotion™ Library. Prior to joining Sensor Platforms, she developed terrain based localization algorithms for her doctoral research. Using this work, she enabled beacon-free navigation capabilities on sensor limited and computationally constrained autonomous underwater vehicles at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. She holds a Ph.D. and M.S in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Stanford University and a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College. This presentation shows the results from fusing PDR from the Senor Platform’s FreeMotion™ Library with a computer vision engine on a standard Android device. The combination of these sub-systems increase accuracy compared to vision-based localization alone, especially where the vision system loses track due to camera occlusion (e.g. the device is in a pocket) or from rapid device motions. In addition, the vision system can assist PDR when it loses track due to an absence of steps.

Some crazy stuff, right? Stay tuned for more InsideAR 2013 reviews or check out our Youtube channel for the complete collection.


The new Metaio Creator – The perfect tool to optimize AR Scenario development

November 14, 2013

The new Metaio Creator was just released in October. Released in 2011 as a tool for AR newcomers and non-developers, the Metaio Creator has become a powerful and reliable solution that allows you to make your professional AR development faster, easier and more efficient.

With unique features like the new AREL script editor, automated 3-D model shading and optimized pipelines for brand new tracking technologies the Metaio Creator is the perfect tool to support and optimize your AR scenario creation process.

creator-imac

Easier AR development with Metaio Creator:

The new Creator comes with an AREL scripting editor. This unique feature allows you to create the basic AR workflow with some simple Drag & Drop functionality and extend it by adding individual adjustments and extensions directly in the creator interface. Afterwards you can easily copy paste the AREL code of specific elements or even export the full AREL script and include it into your channel development.

Curious about how to get started with the new Metaio Creator? Check out the latest webinar for a video walkthrough of all the new features:

Automated creation and flexible optimization of 2-D & 3-D tracking data:

In addition the new Creator is the perfect tool for creation and management of your 2-D and 3-D tracking configurations. Use GUI-based pipelines, improved authoring and support for expert tweaking to get the best tracking performance in the most efficient way.

IMG-render_comparisonEnhanced realism with improved rendering quality of 3D models

Improve the visual appearance of your 3-D content with just one click – Automatically add shadows and ambient occlusion to increase the immersive effect of your AR scenario without any manual efforts.

More enjoyable and efficient experience with improved usability:

We have also included a bunch of new features which make your life easier using Metaio Creator. Easily replace trackables or contents within your scenario, Copy/Paste your contents on several pages or flexibly decide on the needed resolution of in page videos.

Metaio and Junaio Certified Developers are finding Metaio Creator an extremely valuable tool for automatically validating and optimizing tracking data, rapidly building prototypes for client proposals, export AREL scripts and to quickly update content in their cloud based apps.

Sign up in our developer portal and download the Metaio Creator 3.0!

See a list of features the new Metaio Creator has for you:

  • AREL scripting and scripting editor for adding custom AREL/JavaScript scripting logic to objects for advanced and more complex scenarios
  • Full export compatibility of Creator AREL scripts to support your manual channel and application development
  • Automated creation and flexible optimization of 2D & 3D tracking data:
  • Automated creation and evaluation of trackables/Tracking data (optimized in latest version)
  • GUI based creation pipeline for the New 3D markerless object tracking based on CAD data (BETA) for difficult to track objects in changing light conditions
  • Improved authoring when using 3D object tracking using 3D point-clouds/maps created by the Metaio Toolbox (e.g. for removing of 3D erroneous data points from the point cloud)
  • Support for expert tweaking of tracking configuration parameters:
  • adjust the detection threshold of 2D and 3D trackables
  • gravity assistance which uses the built-in inertial sensor of mobile devices to stabilize tracking of targets that are located horizontally (e.g. on the table/the ground)
  • tracking fallback that will keep the last tracking position for some time and/or use the orientation sensor of mobile devices to continue tracking, extensible tracking of 3D trackables which dynamically increases the 3D point cloud during use(learns the environment on the fly)
  • Full export capability of tracking data to support your manual channel and application development
  • Enhanced realism with improved rendering quality of 3D models
  • Support for automatically adding shadows to 3D models
  • Support for automatically improving the texture of loaded .fbx models by calculating self-shadowing/ambient occlusion for an improved visualization
  • Automatically optimize your 3D content in Creator and then export into your manual channel development
  • More enjoyable and efficient experience with improved usability:
  • Added support for replacing resources/content and trackables without having to start from scratch when e.g. exchanging an trackable
  • Added support to Copy/Paste of Contents on multiple trackables
  • Improvements in 3D navigation (bookmark views, front, right, top view shortcuts, etc.)
  • Flexible adjustment of in page video resolution
  • Display of FTP login details to the Metaio cloud space server to allows using any FTP client to access your cloud space independently

Many Certified Developers and the Metaio Service team are finding Metaio Creator an extremely valuable tool for automatically validating and optimizing tracking data, rapidly building prototypes for client proposals, export AREL scripts and to quickly update content in their cloud based apps.

Find more information about Metaio Creator:

And in case you didn’t watch the presentation from InsideAR 2013 “The Metaio AR Platform for developers and creative users” yet, that’s your chance:


Working with the Metaio Creator 3.0 – A user’s experience

November 5, 2013

My name is Jan Graf and in October I started a marketing & sales internship at Metaio’s office in Munich. One of my first tasks was to test the new version of the software Metaio Creator 3.0. With the Metaio Creator 3.0 nearly anybody is said to be able to create own augmented reality (AR) projects. Since I am a newcomer to AR, I was very curious to find out how it works.

Download the Metaio Creator for free!

To use the Creator and to test a created scenario on a mobile device, you will also require a Metaio developer account and the AR browser Junaio on your smart phone or tablet. But both are easy to get or to create and both are free of charge. After you install the Creator, you can access online tutorials, webinars and a helpdesk forum for support. I consulted all of these resources for my experiences described below, and I recommend the same to any new user.

choose tracking technologyAt first I had to choose a so-called “trackable” to which I wanted to attach digital content. This can be a 2-D object like a magazine or photo (image tracking), or even a 3-D object like a building (object tracking) or even complete outdoor areas (environment tracking). Another technology is called instant tracking which allows you to add content spontaneously to anything you can find in the real world. To start I tried out “image tracking“ with a picture of the Oktoberfest, Munich’s annual celebration of Bavarian culture.

A nice feature of the Creator is that it automatically estimates the quality of your photo. As you can see, my picture just got one out of three stars so it might possibly not work well. But I tried it anyway.

On the right you find the resources with which you can augment your trackable. You can choose between 3-D models, audio files, websites, (YouTube) videos and graphics, among others. For my scenario I used Metaio’s provided sample content, which is good if you don’t want to spend time making your own 3-D models.

add content

Drag and Drop content to create your own AR experience

My plan was to get to the website of each beer tent by clicking on the tent on my scanned photo in Junaio. To do this,  I chose the “?” button and put it on each tent on my trackable in the editing area. Using the features of the Creator is very simple. You can easily drag and drop the resources, change the size and the proportions of elements, rotate them and determine the distance to your trackable in the 3-D view. On the left you select the view. Zooming is possible with the mouse wheel. Theoretically, you can add a limitless amount of content items to a trackable. Unfortunately I didn’t figure out whether and how I can change the color of the provided sample content, how to process multiple objects simultaneously or add text to an object- but all of this is explained in the available tutorials on Metaio’s Dev Portal.

After a right click on a button of my scenario and a left click on “Properties” I could determined what should happen when I click on “?” buttons. For my project I selected “Open a hyperlink” and entered the links to each website of the beer tents. In the same way I added a link to the Wikipedia entry of the Bavarian statue, also pictured, though this time I used a magnifier as button. Additionally I attached a play button on my trackable that starts a YouTube video, but I didn’t use the “YouTube” resource, since in this case the video would start automatically after scanning my photo with Junaio, and I wanted a video texture to play on the image itself. With a clickable button I can define the time of playing. Done!

hyperlink

If you have a webcam, you can preview your scenario directly on your PC. For that you have to print your trackable or you can also point your camera to the digital image on your screen. Unfortunately I have no webcam so I tested my scenario with my smart phone. In order to enjoy your AR experience with Junaio, you first have to upload it to a server. With the Creator you can easily upload your project to the provided cloud space by Metaio or to your own server.

create channelIn the section, “Upload to Metaio Cloud” on the bottom right I chose “New channel”, next “Create”, named the channel for my scenario “Oktoberfest” and pressed “Create” again. A few seconds later a QR code appeared on my screen that I had to scan with Junaio. That’s it. Now I should be able to experience my first own AR project by pointing the camera of my smart phone on my printed trackable. What can I say, the result looks very good, although the quality of my print doesn’t, and my buttons work!

After this encouraging result, I also tried the “instant tracking”  that doesn’t need a predefined trackable. I did not have to select a picture, but place the content items directly on a mapped grid in the editing area of the Creator.

 

channel uploaded

Among the sample content, I found the 3-D model of a pumpkin and added it to my AR scenario. Then the UI Designer (user interface designer) you can see on the bottom left opened automatically and a camera and a cross button appeared on a mapped mobile device. These buttons will activate or deactivate the instant tracking. With the UI Designer I can place all menu elements wherever I want to see them later on my smart phone. After that I finished my AR scenario as described in the test before and scanned the QR code with Junaio. The amazing result you can see on the pictures.

UI Designer

User-friendly Interface to manage your Content

pumpkin 1 Overall, I can say that the Metaio Creator 3.0 delivers what its developers promised. The software has a very user-friendly and clear interface that allows you to simply drag and drop content on your scenario. The tutorials are well-written and easy to understand, so even if you are not a developer or know little about the technology behind augmented reality and just want to have fun, you can create and enjoy your own projects within a short time. But of course the Metaio Creator is also a tool for professionals who can put much more functionality to AR scenarios with the AREL Script Editor within the Creator.pumpkin 2 It is not difficult to imagine that you can create added value to print media by creating a multimedia extension with the Creator and that the Metaio Creator is a great marketing tool for many companies. But there are surely many opportunities for the industry as well. So there is a huge audience for the Creator and I’m sure I will be using the software in the future.


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