Land Rover – Augmented Cars in a New Way

April 9, 2014

If you haven’t heard already, Land Rover is working on an augmented reality car hood concept that makes your hood transparent. The concept is simple: when begins tipping up (on a rising hill for instance) the hood or “bonnet” becomes transparent allowing the driver to see the space normally obscured by the hood at such an angle. If you’ve ever driven in San Francisco  (or any place where you seem to drive uphill more often than not) this is pretty big news. Applied to vehicles going off-road it can help you can avoid hidden trenches; applied to vehicles in an urban environment it can help you can avoid dangerous accidents.

 

Concept Video

Courtesy of Land Rover UK

Thinking outside of the proposed concept, imagine having similar augmented reality tech on your car’s blind spots or installed on slow-moving trucks. There’s a vast amount of potential this augmented reality concept could bring to the automotive industry, but its implementation may be difficult considering the rugged nature of Land Rovers and the camera’s location. Hopefully the concept turns into a reality, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Check out Land Rover’s concept video below:


Weekest Links – Early April

April 7, 2014

April showers bring AR flowers

Courtesy of Google Maps

Only the most adventurous explorers experience augmented reality

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Come on baby, light my fire: Light switches in a new dimension [Augmented Blog]

Meet Metaio at the Laval Virtual Conference, April 9th – 11th [Augmented Blog]

Microsoft Allegedly Acquiring Augmented Reality IP [Augmented Blog]

Artscape – See the World Through the Eyes of Artists [Junaio Blog]

Augmented Reality News in the World

Augmented Reality will turns us all Superman [GamesBeat]

How eCommerce, Augmented & Virtual Reality will Redefine the Retail Experience [Business 2 Community]

Legal issues may define the future of wearable technology [Mobile Commerce News]

Tell me a story: augmented reality technology in museums [The Guardian]

Vuzix: Undervalued Augmented and Virtual Reality Play; New Products To Drive Growth In ’14 [Seeking Alpha]

Raytheon Uses Augmented Reality To Speed Missile Design [InformationWeek]

Sulon Cortex Blends Virtual Reality with Augmented Reality [Tom's Hardware]

Tim Sweeney: Virtual reality will be bigger than smartphones [Kit Guru]

PS4 dev: Virtual reality and augmented reality “the future of gaming” [Gamespot]

Augmented Reality – A Compelling Mobile Embedded Vision Opportunity [Electronic Engineering Journal]

Did Facebook Buy Virtual Reality too Soon? [New York Times]

Upcoming Events

AugmentaMe EDU 2014 [Ciberespiral blog]

Metaio at Laval Virtual Conference – Come visit us at stand D19! [Laval Virtual]

#MetaioWearsEpson Giveaway – Ends Wednesday at 11:59 pm PST [Register Here]

Webinar – Metaio and the Epson Moverio BT-200 [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

With April Fools’ it comes as no surprise that tech companies around the world would come up with obscure news and events for their products. From unfair game modes to personalized weather vents on planes, April Fools’ always gets interesting. But this year, Google grabbed everyone’s attention with their Google Maps Pokemon Challenge. 150 Pokemon were hidden through the Google Maps world and would-be Pokemon Masters around the world spent hours capturing Pokemon. But alas, with only 150 of  the 719 existing species available for capture, a true Pokemon Master will only exist in the Pokemon games. Maybe next year. . . .

I wanna be..the very best


Come on baby, light my fire: Light switches in a new dimension

April 7, 2014

The release of the BUSCH-JAEGER light switch application magically projects virtual light switches onto the walls of your home. 

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Do you want to experience the light switch of your choice on your wall even before it is installed? Now, that’s possible with the new BUSCH-JAEGER light switch app. The new 3D-LiveView transforms a marker tacked to the wall into a deceptively realistic light switch. You can then look at the three-dimensional switch from different angles – amazingly believable. In addition to the 3-D-visualization of the complete BUSCH-JAEGER light switch line, the app also uses location based AR to determine and display sales partners in the area.  2

The marketing team of Q:marketing  has developed this Augmented Reality app with the help of the Metaio SDK.

“With augmented reality applications we offer our clients a new and innovative approach to a more intense and sustainable dialogue with their customers. Our main intention is to deliver digital added value. Metaio and its AR SDK are providing us with the technical framework for bringing our ideas to live.”, says Sascha Wenning, Q:marketing, Head of Department Screendesign & Mobile Development. 

The app is intended to strengthen the brand of BUSCH-JAEGER with an innovative approach to product presentation. The app is available for iOS and Android free of charge. The marker can be downloaded via link within the app or on the BUSCH-JAEGER website.

The application enjoys increasing popularity due to the added value it provides. It will receive further updates and new functions in the future. Up next is a tablet version for iOS.  BUSCH-JAEGER will certainly expand the AR features even further.

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Meet Metaio at the Laval Virtual Conference, April 9th-11th

April 4, 2014

Laval

Metaio will attend the upcoming Laval Virtual conference in April. Don’t miss the best industrial AR projects presented by Thomas Jouhanneau both on stage and in the Expo Area together with our partners from CLARTE.

We spoke to Thomas and asked him about Metaio’s attendance at Laval:

Meet Thomas Jouhanneau, Product Manager Engineering Solutions at Metaio

Meet Thomas Jouhanneau, Product Manager Engineering Solutions at Metaio

What will you present at the Conference?

Metaio will be joining the expo area at the stand of our Partner CLARTE. We will show two demos: a Service & Maintenance Demo on a Mitsubishi climate machine and a Demo on AR for Documentation.

I will also provide a presentation about AR Solutions for Enterprise Users. During the presentation I will show how AR and especially how Metaio solutions can be used as a tool in an Enterprise to improve industrial processes.  Additionally, I will join other experts and customers in a Round Table on “How to use Augmented Reality to Improve Technical Documentation and Manuals”. In that Round Table, I will participate together with other experts such as Yvon Patte, Innovation Manager at GRTgaz, and Zile Liu, Co-founder & CEO of Laster Technologies. More information can be found on the conference’s website.

Mitsubishi_Maintenance

Mitsubishi Maintenance: Advanced step by step guidance through complex maintenance tasks provides improved support for technicians

Why will you be focusing on Enterprise Solutions along the Product Life Cycle?

Today, many people have heard about Augmented Reality but are not necessarily aware of the real utility of this technology. It is important for us that people come out of our presentation knowing that Augmented Reality is not only used for marketing campaigns and video games but also can be used as a tool to simplify complex tasks or to improve communication within an Enterprise.
Because Augmented Reality is an interface to superimpose digital information on the world around us, this technology can be used as a tool along the Product Lifecycle: from conception to entrance into the market until after sales.

Companies are now facing various problems such as reducing operating errors, increasing flexibility operators or accelerating decisions.
For each of these problems, augmented reality can be used as a tool. I will illustrate my presentation with examples we have developed for our customers. (e.g MARTA, Audi eKurzinfo, Mitsubishi Electric)

For which applications in an Enterprise do you see AR as an added value?

As an engineer, I see using Augmented Reality to improve Service & Maintenance tasks in the after sales domain as adding the most value for the industry. Why?

Metaio developed together with Volkswagen the Project MARTA - a service and maintenance tool for the XL1

Metaio developed together with Volkswagen the Project MARTA – a service and maintenance tool for the XL1

The Technical Reason:

The possibility of tracking a car under all light conditions – it works everywhere

Benefits for the Enterprise:

  • Bringing data to the right context on a light device – e.g. a 300 gram tablet.
  • Information (and updates) are always available for the operator
  • Reduced training time and accelerated maintenance tasks
  • Reduce error rate during complex tasks
  • Improved flexibility for the operator

A symbolic reason is that Metaio was originally founded for Service & Maintenance use cases. Ten years later, it is possible to use AR everywhere to help the operator and this is really amazing for me.

Thank you, Thomas for your insights! Meet you at Laval! 

For our French speakers, find also an interview with Thomas at RA Pro’ by following this link.


Weekest Links: First Week of April

March 31, 2014

We have to March into April first

Peter Meier 2

Peter Meier discusses the future of AR in light of the recent Facebook-Oculus purchase.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

#MetaioWearsEpson Sweepstakes! [Augmented Blog]

Virtual Technologies are on the move & Mark Zuckerberg dreams of Augmented Reality [Augmented Blog]

AVK Terway augments Tamaris’ Spring/Summer Collection [Junaio Blog]

Movin’ Klee: A Paul Klee ARt Installation [Augmented Blog]

SLAM: It’s about tracking and mapping your world [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality News

One of America’s Largest Hospitals Brings Google Glass to the ER [Fast Company]

Turning the Snake Game into a Location-Based Exergame that Encourages Walking [Youtube]

John Carmack speaks up about Facebook buying Oculus VR [Polygon]

This cool pad and pen lets you sketch in 3D using augmented reality [SPLOID]

Jeri Ellsworth talks castAR’s accidental beginnings and its augmented reality future [Engadget]

Tomorrow’s Cargo Ships Will Use Augmented Reality to Sail the Seas [WIRED]

How Real is Real Time Marketing [Gartner Blog]

From science-fiction to reality — augmented reality that is [Deseret News]

Seebright Headset Creates Smartphone-Powered Virtual Reality [Tom's Guide]

USC is Offering a Google Glass Course for Journalism [Mashable]

Facebook buying Oculus VR for $2 billion [The Verge]

Augmented Reality Is About to Turn Football Into a Real-Life Videogame [WIRED]

Upcoming Events

AWE is just around the corner, will you be attending? [Augmented World Expo]

No webinar this week folks, apologies. Did we mention our giveaway?

Pick of the Week

Even with all the buzz surrounding Facebook’s purchasing Oculus VR and Sony’s Project Morpheus, we can’t help to be excited about the Yelpulus Rift. We’re well on our way to producing some amazing applications for this state of the art device. Look out Oculus and Sony, Yelp’s got your number and they’re coming for you!


Virtual Technologies are on the move & Mark Zuckerberg dreams of Augmented Reality

March 28, 2014

It’s a decisive time for tech industries and we were overwhelmed and thrilled by the announcement of the Metaio AREngine, the developer version of the  Google Glass, Apple buying PrimeSense and Intel announcing RealSense. Intel’s proclamation in Las Vegas to integrate our 3-D tracking technology into the RealSense platform was a huge step for us.  We’ve noticed an tremendous growth in usage, development and interest in Augmented Reality and two major topics around AR dominated 2013: Enterprise and Wearble Computing. The purpose of all these technologies is after all to make our life easier and more natural. But it still takes more money and brains to come closer to this vision.

Oculus Rift at 2013 InsideAR

Oculus Rift at 2013 InsideAR

This week  two announcements rocked the market: HTC bringing out the new HTC One (M8) with a depth-of-field sensor and great possibilities to AR makers. And the huge giant Facebook  who surprised with the announcement two days ago that they will buy Oculus VR, the company developing the Oculus Rift HMD. 

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, says: “By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, virtual and augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.” For sure!

We’ve asked Peter Meier, CTO and founder of Metaio and a visionary by heart, to talk in an interview about the latest news and to consider them in the context for Augmented Reality:


Movin’ Klee: A Paul Klee ARt Installation

March 26, 2014

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A group of students from the University of Applied Sciences in Augsburg are using Augmented Reality to expand a series of secret paintings created by Paul Klee while he served as the treasurer’s typist at the Royal Bavarian Flying School in the early- to mid- 1900s.

The students created their own application as part of the Master’s course “Interactive Media” in cooperation with the Paul Klee exhibition “Mythos Fliegen” (“The myth of flying”). They choose eleven different pieces of art from the Klee exhibition to enhance with color and animation, with the goal being that visitors should experience something entirely new while visiting the exhibition and still being able to appreciate the original artwork.

Image Courtesy: Movin'Lab

Image Courtesy: Movin’Lab

The Movin’ Klee application was developed for iOS and Android devices and related animated content is overlaid over images from the real paintings. Due to safety reasons in the exhibition, the AR installation could not be directly integrated into the museum walk through, but is rather set up just outside of the main gallery. The application was well publicized to visitors, and they could even  use the museum’s internet connection to download and install the application on site.

IMG_0484

Movin’ Klee consists of a native application as well as a Junaio plugin that interface with augmented reality forms. The native apps are written in the corresponding programming languages for Android and iOS. The augmented reality part, which is the located on the Junaio-server channels, is developed in the programming languages ​​PHP, HTML, AREL and jQuery. This channel represents a type of browser where the augmented reality objects (animations) are loaded and played.  Britta Diehm, Xiaomeng Jiang, Yue Ma and Kerstin Vierthaler developed the native application as part the project group Movin’Lab.

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Kerstin Vierthaler, one of the developers, wrote her master’s thesis on the integration of Augmented Reality into museums and came to an interesting conclusion:

“The study of the animated Movin’ Klee application shows that customers remembered the Augmented Reality related paintings better than non-animated pictures, since animations raise the viewers’ attention and perception. Besides the better memorization of paintings, the rather unknown technology itself was very interesting for the visitors. [...] Furthermore, the intuitive usability makes the application accessible for visitors who are not experienced with applications. [...] The evaluation reveals that it is important to inform the visitor about digital offerings within the exhibition. In addition to the technical challenge the museum’s internal integration and communication plays an important role.”

For more information about Movin’ Klee, please visit their website.

 


Weekest Links, End of March

March 24, 2014

Welcome to the winning March Madness Bracket. Occupation: not us. 

 

Trak visits  Seebright at GDC.

Metaio | Junaio recap

The Case for Wearable Computing [Augmented Blog]

Metaio releases newest version of Junaio AR Browser with new design, real-time POI visualization and browser interoperability [Augmented Blog]

Metaio releases newest version of the Junaio AR Browser [CIOL]

Metaio at hy! Summit (See Episode 2, Minute 18) [hy! Summit]

Junaio Augmented Reality Browser Revealed [Ubergizmo]

Augmented Reality World News

Pugwash: Augmented reality can be both useful and dangerous [The Tartan]

Augmented Reality and Cloud Gaming [Cloud Tweaks]

“UK’s first” augmented reality property app raises $500,00 [Startups.co.uk]

10 Forthcoming Augmented Reality & Smart Glasses You Can Buy [Hongkiat.com]

Augmented Reality Is About to Turn Football Into a Real-Life Videogame [Wired]

Seebright Reveals Industry’s First Smartphone Integrated AR/VR Head-Mounted Display Platform With Wireless Controller [PR Newswire]

Headset combines virtual and augmented reality with holodeck-like results [Engadget]

Winnipeg company goes for gold with video game [CBC News]

Google reveals Android Wear, an operating system for smartwatches [The Verge]

Upcoming Events

Metaio at Augmented World Expo: NY [AWE-NY]

Webinar this week – Metaio Trivia: Technical Edition [Register]

Pick of the Week

Pepsi delivers its own augmented reality experience, only it’s at a bus stop in London. The AR bus shelter uses some clever camera work to surprise people and they get some fun results. Enjoy!


The Case for Wearable Computing

March 20, 2014

When Metaio began offering productive augmented reality solutions to the automotive industry, there was already interest in wearable devices. In fact, one could trace general interest in wearable devices back to the science fiction pop culture of up to 50 years ago. From campy space odysseys like the original Star Trek to futuristic CGI-fueled endeavors of today like Minority Report, it seems as though humanity has always had the understanding that the use of vision in user interfaces was not a dream or a fiction but rather an inevitability. That one day we would peruse the digital world through cameras, unfettered by anything other than line of sight; that the technology would be as ubiquitous as the medium.

Wearable Computing

Smartphones, to some degree, put that dream on hold. Lulled into a blissful dependency on shiny devices that promised the world (just look at the original home screen of the iPhone), we settled for leaving the digital in our pockets. To be immersed in mobile is to avoid eye contact on the subway; to navigate the streets of a city, head down and feet marching toward an invisible red beacon; it’s attending a concert, only to see the rise of 10,000 smartphones when the lights go down and the band takes the stage.

This last example proves to me that wearable computing is more feasible than we realize. People already experience the most culturally significant events through their smartphones – concerts, political upheavals, sport events – why not make the next step to accessing and documenting information through the eyes? Photo and video capture are however only small aspects of a wearable ecosystem- it’s augmented reality that brings it all together.

We’re not the only ones who believe this- according to a recent Forrester Research report by Sarah Rotman Epps, 21.6 million US consumers are willing to wear augmented reality eyeglasses from a trusted brand. In 5 years, potentially 1 billion people could be experiencing the digital through a wearable device.

Metaio has always seen value of smart glasses for augmented reality, and our R&D department has worked with multiple head-mounted display devices and prototypes. But until recently, the form factors, limited usability and cost have prevented massive adoption by industry or consumers. Most wearable devices were tethered or otherwise anchored to a PC in order to run the software, restricting the possible movement of the user – solutions to the problem of mobility ran the spectrum from creative to wildly infeasible, including back-mounted personal computers complete with antennas, GPS satellites and inclinometers.

Many of the devices we used were originally designed as video display glasses, only to be retrofitted and “hacked” to allow for real-time rendering and tracking. While this was perfectly productive and useful for industrial applications, it was far from ubiquitous.  Today, Metaio has an ever-increasing supply of new and upcoming wearable devices, but challenges remain.

Epson Moverio BT-100

Epson originally released the Moverio BT-100 line as video display headwear, it didn’t take long for someone to strap a camera to the top and hack it. Now Epson is actively involved in encouraging developers to create apps and experiences for wearable devices. Metaio recently sponsored a hackathon at Epson’s Long Beach, CA, where developers competed for cash prizes and Metaio software licenses. Some notable creations included: an app that could recognize and label anything in the real world; a hands-free cooking assistant; and a fitness app that projected running avatars just a few paces ahead of the user.

CNET described the BT-100s as “wearable window into a whole other world of entertainment.” For good reason- one of the most outstanding features of the Moverio line is the full-field semi-transparent view, and companies like APX Labs and ScopeAR are utilizing the wider frame for next-generation augmented reality, targeting enterprise, defense and industry for commercial applications. Keep an eye out for future iterations such as the  BT-200, to be released in  early April, which Metaio has already developed a maintenance app in conjunction with Mitsubishi Electric.

Google Glass

Probably now one of the most famous devices in the world, Google Glass has propelled wearable technology to new heights in media and entertainment. The lightweight and minimalist form factor is very approachable, and it ships with access to one of most successful mobile ecosystems. Although the current Explorer version isn’t the best-suited device for AR, Google will undoubtedly continue to improve upon their original design.

metaio-augmented-reality-google-glass-car-manual-designboom03

Recently, ReadWrite contributor and Google Glass Explorer Joshua Merrill wrote of his experience of his first 100 days wearing them, and that it was unfortunate that Google hadn’t unlocked the full potential of the form factor: “Glass needs to be a platform for augmented reality. When I see text in a foreign language, translate it. When I look at a house for sale, tell me the asking price. When I look at a product, scan the barcode and tell me if it’s cheaper online. When I’m standing in a public place, let me travel backwards through time using Street View.”

Glass should be commercially available in the next 1-2 years. Metaio has already had phenomenal results developing for Glass (just check out the video), but we’re looking forward to (much) longer battery life, better cameras and maybe even multicore CPU and GPU.

Vuzix

Founded in 1997 in Rochester, NY, Vuzix is one of the of the longest-running wearable devices company. Vuzix is known for their diverse array of products, from full-immersion VR glasses to their line of AR eyewear. The latter includes the upcoming M-100, a monocular virtual display aimed at the enterprise market. Vuzix and SAP recently collaborated on a concept for wearable devices in a warehouse environment, where the device pushes inventory and shipping request directly to workers. These workers can also receive support help for machinery, real-time maintenance overlays and scan boxes to fulfill “picking” queries- all served to the M-100.

Vuzix has been dedicated to creating usable, productive AR eyewear for quite some time. As CNET reviewer Scott Stein wrote after trying the M-100, “Forget Google’s concept of keeping screen separate from reality — Vuzix wants full augmented overlay.” Metaio has worked very closely with Vuzix for many years, and we’re looking forward to continuing our collaboration.

Foresight

There are still challenges to be overcome — form factor, enabling technologies, and battery life are just the beginning. Metaio anticipated these obstacles however, and has since been working on hardware acceleration for augmented reality experiences. We designed the AREngine hardware IP to be modular in order to fit any semiconductor platform, with more than smartphones in mind: vehicles, smart applications and of course, augmented reality eyewear. Look at nearly every pop-culture representation for AR and you’ll see experiences that could never run on current hardware platforms. Metaio is out to enable the always on, always augmented experiences we were promised. The Augmented City isn’t a dream- it’s a vision. Wearable computing can make that vision a reality.


Weekest Links – Mid March

March 17, 2014

Let’s find four-leaf AR clover

Gearing up to present at the AEC Hackathon. So many cool projects!

Metaio | Junaio Recap

An SAP Warehouse Concept for Error Detection in Warehouse Picking Processes [Augmented Blog]

SunHub – Explore the Sun’s Trajectory [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality Software Developer Takes B2B Sales Globally [Internet Retailer]

Augmented Reality Across the World

[AR]e We There Yet? [Storyboard]

Winnipeg Game Developers Creating a New Reality [CBC News]

Skully AR Helmets Win the Wearable Tech Award at SXSW 2014 [Augmented Reality Trends]

Augmented Reality is Blurring the Line Between Mobile Gaming and Reading [Mobile Commerce Press]

Make Friends with a Brazilian, Via Coke’s World Cup Mini-Bottles [Creativity Online]

Epson Showcases Its Augmented Reality Smart Glasses [MCAD Café]

This Is the Future of Retail: Robotic Fitting Rooms and Magic Augmented Reality Mirrors [TheNextWeb]

Measuring Human Motion with a Soft, Wearable Sensors Kit [Digital Journal]

Upcoming Events

Metaio at Laval Virtual [Laval Virtual]

InsideAR Tokyo, Register Today! [InsideAR]

Webinar- Junaio 5.3: The Basics [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

Coca-cola has all sorts of ways to make people smile. In preparation for this year’s World Cup, Coca-cola Brazil has released an app to help you make friends in Brazil using their Coke Minibottles. Create your own personal augmented reality avatar and share with the world. For more information check out the video below.


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