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


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!


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!


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

March 24, 2014

It’s a release, yeah! 

Last week we released the long expected, newest version of Junaio for Android and iOS devices with an updated user interface that features an all-new visualization of nearby points-of-interest (POIs). With Junaio it is now possible to access GPS and location-based information from almost anywhere in the world.

“The more natural we make AR, the more mobile users will see value and return to the experience,” CTO Metaio, Peter Meier said. “It’s clear that the next step for mobile AR is location-based information in devices like Google Glass, and we’re looking to the near future in our R&D.”

Junaio has been optimized and available for wearable devices like Glass since Metaio’s InsideAR conference in October of 2013, but as of today it’s equipped with an even friendlier interface and a more contemporary style familiar to today’s app users. The brand new visualization scheme ensures that the user sees only the most relevant information to his or her surroundings, like geo-tagged Instagram photos or tweets; the best places to catch a Taxi; the nearest entertainment locations like movie theatres or concerts; or even the real-time positioning of public buses and trains.

IMG-junaio_around

Junaio combines GPS, image recognition, visual search and a robust cloud-based architecture to recognize and attach digital information to nearly any object or environment in real-time. Now even non-developers can create their own Augmented Reality “channels” and even applications with the latest Metaio Creator tool, a drag-and-drop and easy-to-use content management system for AR.

IMG-junaio_channel

For developers who want to create mobile AR experiences utilizing location data, Junaio is now compatible with other browsers like Layar and Wikitude. Now over 20,000 Junaio developers will have access to the entire mobile AR audience and will be able to push their content directly to other applications.

Download Junaio today at http://junaio.com/download

Learn more about the Metaio Creator at http://creator.metaio.com

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Technical Insight into Junaio’s Redesign – An Interview with Anton Fedosov

February 27, 2014

An interview done by Anett Gläsel-Maslov 

With the introduction of a new Junaio interface, we decided to take a moment and sit down with Anton Fedosov, Senior User Experience Designer, and see if we could get any information about the redesign.

What is Junaio for you?

Anton-Fedosov-2

Anton Fedosov: For me, Junaio is an Augmented Reality Laboratory, in a sense that is a window-to-the-world with the latest technology developed by our company. It has the top-notch detection and tracking technologies, advanced sensors and localization services in the consumer space. it is an important platform to test our ideas with our users ad to verify our concepts.

I believe one of the strongest advantages of Junaio is that you are able to identify any object in front of you and the app gives you, instantaneously, information about it. For searching visually is very helpful.

What problems did you face with the old design of Junaio?

AF: We tried to bring a new look to the location-based channels. Through our statics we see that our customers use Junaio as a tool to recognize different objects and to scan something. At the same time, every modern phone or tablet has embedded sensors like GPS, gyroscope and compass, whose use was lagging a bit behind.  We wanted to bring location-based experiences closer to users and this was the idea behind redesigning Junaio.

First of all, we tried to define problems in the former version. For instance, it was hard to read the points of interest (POIs) that were really far away. They were occluded and cluttered and in the majority of cases there was an information overload. It was also hard to interact with the POIs which were not in the first line. Human factors should be explored more in Augmented Reality scenarios. When you look through wearables like Google Glass it is almost impossible to read. With the redesign, we are trying to treat our data equally and improve the discoverability of POIs.

What are the advantages of the new design?

AF: The idea was to update the Junaio interface to make it flatter, lighter and easier for the users to understand possible interactions. The first important part was to change the hand posture, which was often a very unnatrual experience while holding a tablet or smartphone in mid-air. We improved on usability goals, making the Junaio interface easier to learn and more efficient to use. Now you see the annotated information about POI on the bottom of the screen  and the board acts as a signifier to discover interactions with POIs. For tablets this means that the thumbs remain the main trigger in the lower corners and for smartphones the experience is now even more natural.

AR browsers often suffer from a lack of focus and our brains are overloaded with information. With the redesign of Junaio we now only show up to five POIs at once. We have integrated a seamless discover mechanism for POIs. While moving the tablet or smartphone to the left or to the right, the POIs change. From now on we differentiate between the POIs that are focused or unfocused by the user. We tried different color variations and decided on a light color scheme for focused POIs and dark, translucent for unfocused ones. Also the pin itself takes the color of the icon associated with the given POI. E.g. we use color to define different categories. We also use the database of Foursquare to visualize venues where you can check in.

junaio2

The new Junaio is also optimized for wearables. At InsideAR we presented the first AR browser called “Junaio Mirage” which seamlessly integrates the new POI visualization (“Natural POI”). Depth-perception, the visual ability to perceive a world in three dimensions, is often used by artists and makes it possible to identify relative distance to an object. The POIs now have different sizes: the bigger the POI, the closer the object. We also use monocular cues such as lighting and shading and emphasize occlusion to provide depth information. We try to align the POIs to the shape of the earth and simulate the horizon. Parallax effect is also very important to mention: POIs rotate slightly based on your view angle and the models motion changes depending on the viewport. This makes the experience much more natural.

How does the redesign of Juanio affect developers?

AF: The redesign will affect location-based channels and therefore we prepared guidelines to make sure to accommodate the new POI representation scheme. These guidelines are now available in our developer portal and provide all the necessary information.

There you have it folks. For more information about the redesign head over to the Junaio Blog and to see the guidelines check out the developer portal. Junaio is free to download from Google Play and the iTunes store.


Weekest Links: Mid February

February 18, 2014

Even the Simpsons are getting their AR on. 

Image from Buzzfeed.com

Image from Buzzfeed.com

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Metaio featured in BBC Click and ARTE Futuremag [Augmented Blog]

InsectARium – Beyond a Bug in a Box [Junaio Blog]

OGC, Wikitude, Layar, and Metaio invite Mobile World Congress attendees to AR Interoperability Demo [Wikitude]

Augmented Reality Across the World

Savvy Brands Are Using Apps Instead of Ads to Get Messages Across [Time]

Making Computing More Human with Wearable Tech [Designers of Things]

Beyond Glass: Inside Epson’s Scheme to Make the De-Facto Smart Glasses [SlashGear]

Augmented Reality is a Missed Opportunity for Marketers [The Guardian]

The latest marketing issues blog, brought to you by The Marketing Agencies Association.

Only Genuine Augmented Reality Eyewear App to Deliver Richest Experience for Motorcyclists [Digital Journal]

Augmented Reality Innovators, 6 Companies to Look Out For [Neon Tommy]

castAR rocks the Augmented World [AR Dirt]

Upcoming Events

Mobile World Congress. Come visit us next week in Hall 8.1 booth 8.1G47! [Mobile World Congress]

Webinar –  Continuous Visual Search: A Basic Introduction [Metaio Developer Portal]

Pick of the Week

There isn’t anything as fun as hanging out with the guys from BBC Click. Check out Dan Simmons’s trip to Audi’s research headquarters here and at 14 minutes in the video below.


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.



Using AR with Wearable Tech – From InsideAR 2013

November 6, 2013

Heading for always on, always augmented.

If you checked out last week’s post you saw our review of wearable computing from InsideAR 2013. Now we’ve branched out to AR on wearable tech with talks from SAP’s Nick Brown, SITA’s Kevin O’Sullivan, Vuzix’s Dan C. Cui,  and Metaio’s very own Stefan Misslinger.

Here are their keynotes:

Nick Brown, SAP: Augmented Reality in the Enterprise

Nick Brown is senior vice president of strategy and solution management for SAP‘s mobile applications and mobile platforms. In this global role he is responsible for driving SAP’s mobile platform strategy for MEAP, MCAP, and MDM, and managing the portfolio of mobile B2E & B2C applications across all SAP LoB and Industry focus areas. Nick and his team are responsible for delivery of mobile roadmaps and market requirements for all aspects for SAP Mobile business. In addition he is responsible for strategic market development, mobile strategy and overall business planning. His team supports SAP partners and customers become better-run mobile enterprises. He explores how you can embrace emerging technologies to improve employee productivity, reduce safety incidents, reduce training and on boarding, and improve overall operational efficiency within your warehouse or on your shop floor – regardless of your industry.

Kevin O’Sullivan, SITA Lab: Smart Glasses in Aviation Industry

Kevin O’Sullivan is a Lead Engineer at SITA Lab, the technology research laboratory of SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communication and information technology (IT) solutions. At the SITA Lab, Kevin investigates disruptive technologies that will impact the airline & transport industry in the near and mid-term future. Areas of research include consumer & workforce mobility, wearable computing & augmented reality, big data, NFC, indoor location and context driven systems. Kevin’s previous augmented reality projects include the Copenhagen Airport indoor AR app and the Malaysia Airlines AR booking application. SITA Lab will present the result of a six month research project into the use of smart glasses in an airport environment. The talk includes an assessment of “Smart Glasses” technology on the marketplace, comparisons between the capabilities of this technology, background on the aims & goals, development process and lessons learned.

Dan C. Cui, Vuzix: Serving and Creating a Great Experience for the Consumer

Dan C. Cui’s career as a sales, marketing and business development professional has focused on introducing leading edge technology and products into new markets on a global basis. Dan has held senior positions in consumer electronics, e-commerce, semi-conductor, system, and electronic design automation (EDA) industries. Prior to joining Vuzix, Dan held the position of Sr. Vice President of Sale & Marketing at Myvu (formely MicroOptical) Corporation, one of the early HMD market leaders. He was instrumental in creating brand name recognition and consumer demand for Myvu’s award winning, wearable video displays around the world.

Stefan Misslinger, Metaio: World’s First AR Browser on Google Glass

Stefan Misslinger is one of the lead develoeprs for Metaio and is responsible for the development of the augmented reality browser, Junaio.

We’ll keep you posted for more summaries and presentations from this year’s InsideAR or check them all out on our YouTube page!


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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