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:


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.


An SAP Warehouse Concept for Error Detection in Warehouse Picking Processes

March 13, 2014

By Anett Gläsel-Maslov

Screen shot 2013-09-30 at 10.25.37 AM

The order picking process in a warehouse is the central function for online commerce and has significant influence on a satisfying distribution, customer satisfaction and ultimately on reduction of expenses. A recent study on the prevention of errors in order picking underlines the drastic costs associated with mistakes in the order picking process, something that could potentially be avoided with a digital support system.

Depending on the industry sector, logistics costs amount to 5%-8% of revenue. Moreover, 50% of the total costs come from order picking – including errors. SAP is looking for a solution that reduces errors and at the same time makes it possible for the employees responsible to operate hands-free. This would significantly reduce costs by delivering a far more secure and faster picking process.

The most frequently adopted method is managing the picking process manually. Let’s look at the manual picking process step-by-step. First, the employee (the “picker”) receives a paper list with the orders for the products or goods (although mobile devices are gradually replacing paper, even in small companies). Then comes the order inflow, which usually contains all relevant information about the physical location of the good in the warehouse and amount needed. The employee then travels to the area and selects the according goods, while the company relies solely on his or her organizational skills, memory and cognitive ability without any technological support.

Screen shot 2013-09-30 at 10.31.49 AM

Order requests change, however, sometimes even dramatically in the same day. And people make mistakes. Companies can’t “update” a piece of paper, so in order to compensate they assign more pickers to the same task. The result is poor picking performance, especially when compared to automated picking solutions. And mistakes can run from slight, to costly, to dangerous, especially when factoring in wholesale pharmaceuticals and other bio-chemical enterprises.

Wearable augmented reality is a fantastic solution for picking process issues.

The human error rate in conventional picking is on average 0.26% due to a mispick (wrong item), incorrect quantity (too little or too much of a given item), an omission error (missing item) or a condition error (broken item, mislabeled item etc). These mistakes are the result of human error or an inefficient system, and lead to more time expenditure, higher costs in commissioning, less customer satisfaction or, in the worst case, a loss of significant buyers.

Wearable augmented reality is a fantastic solution for picking process issues. The superimposition of virtual data onto a real warehouse environment via heads-up displays worn by the employees will reduce time and costs for the company. Metaio has collaborated with SAP and Vuzix to explore the development of augmented reality for warehousing, combining visual search, Metaio tracking technology, data superimposition, and a powerful cloud backend that can support this process progressively.

Metaio and partners from different fields have been doing research in the field of Pick-by-Vision, an augmented reality based system which provides the user with all relevant information for the picking through data glasses. All of these systems claim that human flexibility can be combined with an efficient and accurate picking. Whereas the user of a virtual reality system is totally immersed in a completely synthetic world, in AR systems, a superposition of the real environment supplies virtual information to its user. This extension of reality enables the system to provide the user of the device with additional context related information.

Screen shot 2013-09-30 at 10.26.14 AM

Pick-by-Vision systems are mainly head-mounted displays (smart glasses) that deliver information related to the picking process directly into the field of view of the user. The interaction takes place via adjustment button or by voice. The selection of the tracking system depends on the application, but typical tracking systems are infrared tracking or marker-based tracking. The process of carrying and checking the order list constantly is no longer relevant because the information is shown clearly and the picker can trust the instructions of the HMD application. For the correct perspective representation of information, the user must continuously be monitored by a tracking system so that the position and orientation of the user’s head are known to the system at all times.

Nevertheless, HMDs are not necessarily error-free. An ideal approach would be the development of a system for the prevention of errors which can operate independently from a tracking system since the use of a tracking system is not always possible or economically viable. A different approach is the use of the radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. Currently, various concepts for the function to avoid picking errors are being elaborated and preliminary tests with different technologies are being performed. SAP is working with smart eyewear company Vuzix to unleash the power of augmented reality, powered by the Metaio AR platform. They offer businesses solutions byenabling real-time access to data for factory workers.

___

This article is based on a research study by IGF No.16398 N/1 of the federal association Logistik e.V.–BVL: ACTIVE PREVENTION OF PICKING ERRORS BY EMPLOYING PICK-BY-VISION (Dipl.-Ing. Tobias Rammelmeier, Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Ing. Stefan Galka, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Willibald A. Günthner)


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.


Metaio featured in BBC Click and ARTE Futuremag!

February 12, 2014

It was a very fantastic end to last year and a very cool start to 2014: German-French TV station ARTE and the BBC came to visit us to get excited about Augmented Reality applications from Metaio. Both shooting teams traveled to Munich and were interested in the hottest topics in the tech business: valuable Augmented Reality applications with actual use cases for wearables like Google Glass – we showed them everything!

BBC_12 Foto_1

See the results in both videos below:

BBC Click programme

With BBC journalists Dan Simmons and Nick Kwek, we enjoyed two exciting shooting days preparing a feature for the popular BBC Click programme showing a proof of concept for a Car Manual on Google Glass (featuring the Metaio SDK 5.0), which we presented at the InsideAR Conference in Munich, the Audi eKurzinfo application as well as the Window to the World, an innovative visualization concept with real-time interaction developed by Metaio and ART, which combines the physical and the virtual world to evaluate results immediately.

Take a look into the BBC movie yourself – the Metaio part starts from minute 9:19. It’s quite entertaining!

ARTE Futuremag programme

ARTE wanted to prepare a feature about new technological innovations and asked us to show valuable Augmented Reality use cases for different devices and in particular for Google Glass. The result is a very informative Futuremag feature with a deep look into the possibilities of our future. All Metaio related footage starts from minute 7:20. Enjoy!


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.


Augmented Reality for Exhibitions: The Reifenhäuser app combines markerless tracking and 3D-printed models

December 16, 2013

At this year’s K2013 fair in Germany, Reifenhäuser presented itself in an amazing new way, using cutting-edge markerless augmented reality technology. Besides many other things, four production lines were reconstructed in 3-D and printed at a scale of 1:18, featuring the finest details. The models varied in size up to almost 3 meters and provided a perfect overview and entry point for visitors.

In addition to these models, iPads installed with a special augmented reality app allowed visitors to closely examine the production lines and their components in depth. Metaio’s 3D-markerless tracking made it possible to augment 3D-content onto and around the models from any angle and without any visual cues – such as ID markers or tracking patterns. The application enabled a seamless exploration of Reifenhäuser‘s product portfolio. Depending on the actual position of the visitor, buttons virtually appeared around the models, linking to the corresponding components with lines. A touch of a finger would open further details on the component, featuring 3D rotating renderings, images and written information.

“With it’s 3-D markerless tracking, the Metaio SDK enabled us to create a magic-like experience by perfectly tying together the physical and the virtual world without disclosing how it is made possible.” says Michael Schmitz, Designer of the AR experience.

DSC02884[1]

The open and inviting appeal of the Reifenhäuser stand and the synergistic combination of fascinating 3-D printed models with the latest augmented reality technology lead to a remarkable experience and communicates the Reifenhäuser Group as a leading manufacturer of innovative technology.

rh_board_1[1]

The app was built by Michael Schmitz (www.interaktivegestaltung.net) and Kersten Broich (www.digitalvalues.de), commissioned by and based on the concept of ART+COM AG for the Reifenhäuser Group.

maschine_foto_1[1]


AR and Automotive Love – A Review from InsideAR 2013

November 12, 2013

You may call me “K.I.T.T.”

Years ago the automotive industry basically gave birth to augmented reality, and ever since the two have gone together like Foxes and Norwegian comedy. At InsideAR 2013 their bond was proven to be as strong as ever as Professor Doctor Werner Schreiber of VW, Markus Hammori of Mercedes Benz, Sebastian Schillinger of Audi, and Sergiu Ardelean of Card-Emotion each gave their insight to the future of AR and the automotive industry.

Professor Doctor Werner Schreiber, Volkswagen Group, presenting MARTA: AR in Vehicle Service – Past, Present and Future

Prof. Dr. Werner Schreiber, born 1957, is head of Research Virtual technologies at Volkswagen Group. He has a background in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Production Engineering and Interchangeability. Moreover, Dr. Schreiber is the leader of AVILUS, the world’s most ambitious Augmented Reality research project. At InsideAR he presented MARTA, a collaboration project between Metaio and Volkswagen and a service maintenance tool for the concept car XL1.

Markus Hammori, Mercedes Benz: Cruising the Augmented City

Having studied computer science at the University of Ulm, Markus joined Daimler in 2004 and worked on process and IT-projects throughout the organization. However times are a-changin’ and these days you get the feeling that cars mainly run on bits and bytes, making computer science an essential part of automotive innovation. At Daimler Group Research and Advanced Engineering Telematics Markus and his team develop new architecture that help making user interface in the car even more intuitive is part of the task and AR does definitely fit this bill. He strongly believes that Augmented Reality can help make the user interface in cars easier to understand and thus safer and more comfortable to use.

Sebastian Schillinger, Audi: Fast, Easy, Intuitive – Audi eKurzinfo Application

Sebastian Schillinger studied Digital Media at the University of Applied Sciences Kaiserslautern. At AUDI AG he works in the owner’s literature department and is responsible for interactive and multimedia-based manuals. In 2010 he drafted the first version of an augmented reality manual called Audi Bordbunch 2.0. Since that time he has become the project manager for the succeeding App Audi eKurzinfo.

Sergiu Ardelean, card-emotion: Volkswagen seeMore Application

After graduating from University of Applied Science of Hagenberg, Media technology and design, Sergiu Ardelean became an important member of card-emotion to help develop the company from the very start. Together with the CEO he developed the company’s products and had a constant drive to find new solutions for interactive marketing. Now he is responsible for the creation department and concepts of each project. Sergiu and his colleague Roman presented the Volkswagen seeMore application at InsideAR 2013, In 2010 the first seeMore application was implemented for Volkswagen Germany. In the last 3 years card-emotion has enhanced the design and developed new features which are now used worldwide. They started off with Germany and now have nearly signed 20 countries.

Makes you wish you had gone to insideAR right? Well there’s always next year! Stay tuned for additional reviews and presentations from insideAR 2013 or watch them all on our Youtube channel.


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!


The future of wearable computing – a keynote wrap up from InsideAR 2013

October 29, 2013

Courtesy of Augmented.Org

In the Welcome Keynote of InsideAR 2013 Metaio Co-founders CEO Dr. Thomas Alt and CTO Peter Meier stressed the importance of enabling “always on, always augmented” experiences while exploring new form factors like wearable computing. And analysts such as R “Ray” Wang of Constellation, Joshua Flood of ABI Research, and futurist & academic Luke Robert Mason as well as Jay Kim of APX Labs gave their own outlooks into the future of digital business and wearable devices.

In case you missed their keynotes, here they are:

Luke Robert Mason, Virtual Futures: “New Narratives for the future of AR”

Luke Robert Mason is a researcher in emerging technology, performance practitioner and journalist based between London and Birmingham. His work is largely focused on the role that media art can fill as a tool for understanding one of the most important intellectual and cultural developments of our times – the technological extension of the human condition. Currently, he is working as the sole-researcher on innovative digital book project.

Jay Kim, APX Labs: The business of smart glass

Jay Kim is the Director of Research & Development at APX Labs, a Virginia-based company focused on the adaption of smart glasses in enterprise and industrial environments. Using Skylight, APX’s enterprise smart glasses platform, Jay leads the large scale implementation of wearable computing and display technology for customers’ worldwide operations. Jay’s APX R&D efforts include the user-centric convergence of wearable devices for consumer and industrial applications, mobile biometric devices, and healthcare applications of smart glasses. As a globally recognized expert on wearable display hardware and device implementation matters, he is frequently consulted by research organizations, systems integrators, and mobile device manufacturers. An electrical and systems engineer with a concentration in mobile and wireless technology.

Joshua Flood, ABI Research: AR will be the magic key for smart glasses

Based in the UK, Josh Flood is a senior analyst for ABI Research‘s mobile devices, applications and content team. Josh focuses on mobile device enabling technologies, functionality, user interfaces, and form factors used in handsets, such as smartphones, enhanced feature phones, and low-cost phones. He also covers mobile software, security, and other services. Josh is an experienced market analyst with strong analytical and relationship-building skills. Prior to joining ABI Research he worked for Harris Interactive as a research account manager for its business, industrial, and consumer sectors on custom research projects. Previous to his work at Harris Interactive, Josh served as a market analyst at IMS Research, producing in-depth reports on the power management and power supply markets.

Stay tuned to our blog, as we’ll be rolling out even more summaries and presentations from this year’s InsideAR, including talks on Enterprise, Aviation, Automotive and more.

Or if you’re the impatient sort, just check them all out at our YouTube page!


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