Augmenting Augmented Reality: Metaio Reveals 3D Depth Sensor Support for SDK 6

October 23, 2014

metaio depth sensing capabilities

Yesterday turned out to be a very big day for the world of Augmented Reality. Why? Because Metaio unveiled a few new details about the Metaio SDK 6 – support for 3D depth-sensing camera systems.

project tango and metaioFor those of you who didn’t hear the latest news about depth-sensing cameras and the enormous improvement they pose for AR technology, we’ll kindly nudge you in the direction of our previous blog post. With that refresher you’ll see why yesterday’s news is an important stepping-stone for the future of Augmented Reality.

According to Metaio CTO and co-founder, Peter Meier, “Smartphones and tablets have historically made use of single, ‘2D’ cameras primarily intended for image capture, but as smart devices have become more powerful, we are demanding more and more from the optics of these devices.With the ability to understand depth information, mobile devices will become significantly more powerful when it comes to Augmented Reality and computer vision tasks.”

With giants like Google and Intel announcing new generations of high-tech devices that are able to “see” the world in 3D via RGB-D (Red, Green, Blue, Depth) sensors, it seems natural for Metaio to support this technology on the Metaio SDK.

The video below illustrates how added 3D sensors in both a Windows tablet and an iPad make Augmented Reality much more powerful by virtually eliminating the need for markers in many use cases, and even more importantly,, solving the occlusion problem – where virtual data is incorrectly rendered into the environment.

occiptial and ipadOccipital’s Structure Sensor is one of the first devices to be supported in the Metaio SDK. According to Occipital CEO and co-founder, Jeff Powers, “We share a common goal with Metaio of allowing developers to create powerful and convincing 3D and AR experiences. It’s why we created the Structure Sensor. Metaio’s support of the Structure Sensor and SDK will bring added realism to AR experiences with real world scale and occlusion.”

This brings new possibilities in Augmented Reality gaming by enabling digital objects to react and interact with physical environments. Indoor navigation that does not require a GPS signal will be possible and precise, and scanners that can extract 3D models from the environment will no longer be a vision of the future.

Metaio’s flagship SDK will be updated to version 6.0 during InsideAR Munich, and will support depth sensor input from devices including Occipital Structure sensor and others to come in early 2015.

“Knowing that the likes of Google and Intel are heavily investing in depth-sensing camera devices, we made sure our SDK is prepared for the next big surge of of innovation that this hardware provides developers,” says Peter Meier. With development options for iOS, Android, and Windows PC, and the most advanced tracking technology available, the Metaio SDK is the most powerful Augmented Reality developer tool on the market.

There will be a  live demonstration highlighting the important benefits of RGB-D devices  during InsideAR Munich on October 29th and 30th. Just one of the many reasons to attend this year’s most exciting Augmented Reality conference. But hurry, there are only a few days left for you to secure your ticket. Don’t miss out and join us now!

Learn more at:

Phun&Dunn – Agencies Get To Work

October 22, 2014

We’ve always enjoyed working with companies to produce some amazing Augmented Reality projects. Last year, San Francisco-based agency Phun&Dunn released an app in association with Chouffe USA called “Summon the Chouffe.” You can read about it here.

Recently, we got to chat with Phun&Dunn’s team – Trevor Oldershaw (Creative Director), Tommy Giovagnoli (Creative Director), Pamela Gonzalez (Designer), and Leslie Edelman (Production) – about the Summon the Chouffe app. They were happy to share some details.



What was the overall goal of the project?

chouffe family backgroundIn the world of import craft beers, it’s about connecting more deeply with a very small group of enthusiasts, rather than making a play for broad awareness. After all, a beer like Chouffe will only be distributing in relatively small quantities to a particular set of bars and restaurants that focus on better beers. So the primary goal here was to excite the brand’s entire ecosystem of distributors, accounts, and customers – enthusiasts, one and all, by giving them a very special view into the magical and legendary world of the Chouffe gnomes.

Why did you decide to use Augmented Reality?

Seeing things that aren’t really there? Somehow, AR just seems like a natural choice in context of strong Belgian beer brewed by community of 6,000 year-old forest gnomes.

StickersHow long has the project been online?

We dipped our toes into the AR water back in 2012, and then took a huge leap forward with new artwork and new technical capabilities thanks to Metaio. 

How long did development take?

The app took nearly four months to create, but that was driven as much by the creation of the original artwork and animations as the pure dev involved. Creating the app itself, including versions for iOS and Android, took roughly three months.

What resources were already available? What resources need to be created?

This was a real storytelling effort, and a real team adventure. Phun&Dunn designed all the campaign elements – copy, art, animations and fundamental app planning and design. This history and legend of Chouffe beer was a story there to be told, but it required all-new illustrations, and required us to create whole new chapters. 

Chouffe USA, experts themselves in the production of beer collateral, handled the printing of all the collateral with triggers: posters, coasters, table tents and stickers.

Technically, we based the structure from an earlier version, but rebuilt everything from the ground up with our developer-partners, Apptitude Digital. They were able to include not only the AR component that made our stories spring to life from the various triggers, but also a fun and engaging “Gnome Thyself” module that allowed users to put their own faces into the illustrated world of Chouffe. 

Master illustrator Michael Dziekan rendered the world for us, giving more detail and backstory than before. coaster part 1

What tools did you use?

Other than native platform SDK’s and standard backend management, we used Metaio’s SDK to create fast and awesome AR experience.

What were some difficulties in development? How were they handled?

Our biggest single hurdle was handling the video performance across legacy device issues in the Android ecosystem. iOS was really no problem, but Android did create some challenges as we set about supporting a number or prior releases and less robust processors on early smart phones.

choufee app uiHow was the app received?

Again, this was not a game of going viral for us. It was more about exciting and energizing a rabid core. So while a number like 1,600 downloads might not seem like a major victory, the impact felt throughout the sales channel and on premise with key accounts can’t be underestimated. The app became a true “wow” moment for everyone involved. And those who engaged did stay within the app for nearly five minutes as they enjoyed many tiny revelations while watching our small tall tales.

Was this released in conjunction with other campaigns?

Yes, this release was actually a key brand-building component for the launch of our “Summon the Chouffe” campaign. The tag line was a three-fold meaning: Summon the light-hearted spirit of the Chouffe beer within yourself; Summon a delicious Chouffe by signaling the bartender right now; and, of course, bring the gnomes of Chouffe to life before your eyes by summoning them with our AR app on your smart phone. 

Did you notice any trends?

Chouffe is still a brand that markets based on events and promotions. The brew itself is revered, and the model is to build word-of-mouth excitement. So, rest assured, usage and additional downloads spike with each new event or promotion.

cheers to chouffe


Thanks Phun&Dunn! We can’t wait to see what you guys develop in the future!

For any of you SF locals out there, Chouffe Fest is just around the corner. Check it out!



AR Weekly – Late October

October 20, 2014

Excited for InsideAR? We certainly are!

Image Courtesy of Augmented Marketing and YouTube.

Image Courtesy of Augmented Marketing and YouTube.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research [Augmented Blog]

Niantic’s Fascinating New (Tr)Endgame [Augmented Blog]

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Martin Vesper of digitalSTROM [Augmented Blog]

Here are the winners of the ‘AR Toys Competition':  Once upon an AR time. . . [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality News

SAP applications support Vuzix’ M100 smart glasses [Financial News]

Augmented reality may triumph virtual reality for work and play [San Jose Mercury News]

Silicon Valley’s next disruption: Reality! [Computerworld]

Using virtual reality to desensitize troops [Yahoo! News]

SAP Teams With Vuzix on New Apps for Video Eyewear [eWeek]

The Intel Experience Opens Exclusively in 50 Best Buy Stores [Financial]

Augmented reality frees games from TV [TribLive]

castAR bets big on its augmented reality hardware with move to Silicon Valley [Engadget]

Research and Markets: The Office of the Future – Augmented Reality, Internet of Things, and Wearable Devices [Business Wire]

All shades up: Honeywell’s new Google Glass app allows hands-free control on business jets [Phoenix Business Journal]

The Intel Experience Opens Exclusively in 50 Best Buy Stores [Business Wire]

Startup Builds Business Software for Google Glass, Smartwatches [CIO Journal]

Augmented Reality World Created Once Again Through Google Mobile Game [Mobile Commerce Press]

Heads-Up Displays: Technologies and Global Markets [PR Newswire]

Can It Be Real? Augmented Reality Melds Work, Play [ABC News]

Do We Want An Augmented Reality Or A Transformed Reality? [Science 2.0]

‘The Walking Dead’ Campaign take Vienna with augmented reality-digital signage campaign [Digital Signage Today]

Upcoming Events

InsideAR Munich, October 29th, 30th [Register Here - There's still time!]

Pick of the Week

While we’re excited to see Technical Illusions come to Silicon Valley, this week’s Pick of the Week goes to the Walking Dead campaign that occurred in Vienna not too long ago. It’s very reminiscent of the Pepsi MAX campaign and brings a little more excitement to an otherwise dead part of town. With Halloween just around the corner, maybe we’ll get some more Augmented Reality scares.

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: John Puterbaugh, Ph.D., of Nellymoser

October 3, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014

Welcome to our eighth edition of our InsideAR Speaker Spotlight series!

For our eighth edition of the InsideAR Speaker Spotlight, we are happy to introduce John Puterbaugh EVP, Chief Digital Officer, and Co-Founder of Nellymoser. An entrepreneur and technologist, John co-founded Nellymoser in March of 2000, where he and they company provide strategy, planning, development, and management of cross-media mobile and digital solutions.

Meet John Puterbaugh of Nellymoser!

Meet John Puterbaugh of Nellymoser!

What are you going to present at InsideAR 2014?

John Puterbaugh: The focus will be on mobile activated media and publishing. I will briefly review the history of mobile activated print in the U.S. and then focus on how AR is being used by print advertisers, publishes and at events. Examples, from U.S. consumer magazines such as esquire,  Marie Claire, The New Yorker, Seventeen will be shown.

Have you ever attended InsideAR before and what was the most exciting part for you at previous events?

JP: No, this is my first time. I’m looking forward to the event and being in Munich.

What is the next challenge in AR that you would like to see overcome?

JP: We are interested in tackling workflow and scale issues. Our parent company is a printer that works with thousands of retailers and publishers. We want all the pirnt media to be activated so as to be both shareable (social) and shoppable.

What is your personal vision of the future of AR? What Application do you wish you had today?

JP: We are quite interested in self-describable media and what we call actant networks and brand activation networks.

John’s talk, “Full Issue Activation of Magazines using Augmented Reality,” will cover how Augmented Reality and mobile activated print have grown in terms of scaling and monetization across a variety of print mediums. If you’re a publisher or interested in how augmented print media as changed, this is a talk you’ll not want to miss!

That’s it from us for this week – be sure to visit our previous spotlight and if you’d like to watch some of the presentations from last year’s InsideAR event, check out our InsideAR YouTube playlist.


 InsideAR Munich takes place on October 29th and 30th, 2014 at the Kleine Olympiahalle in Munich. Learn more at

Need a ticket? Register here:

 Interested in becoming a speaker? Get in touch with our team via:

Want to join us as a journalist or become a media partner? Send us an email:

As Easy as Coloring by Numbers – Metaio AR Creator InDesign Plugin

October 2, 2014

Guest post by Vanessa Oswald

indesignAttention, Creative Cats!

Metaio has been striving to make Augmented Reality (AR) more accessible to more content creating communities – designers, programmers, artists, publishers, etc. As a part of that mission, Metaio has created the perfect solution for all you creative geniuses out there: the Metaio AR Creator Plugin for Adobe’s InDesign. By bringing AR authoring tools to familiar software, Metaio opens up the AR community to those who might not have previously known about the tools to make AR. As SVP of Metaio’s Product Development team, Michael Kuhn, said, “By providing easy-to-learn AR functionality right inside Adobe InDesign, we are giving millions of creative professionals the ability to create original Augmented Reality experiences.”

The plugin rundown is fairly simple: it allows you to insert 2-D augmented content into your very own professional work with just a few clicks. All you have to do is open your project, analyze if your project is suitable for being properly tracked by smart devices, and create an additional AR-layer to add the content you want to be augmented. If you’ve used the Metaio Creator you’ll notice a familiar ranking system that will indicate how well your pages will track, allowing you to apply small changes on the spot.The plugin then allows you to export your project into the Creator, where you can make additional changes and position the content exactly the way you want it to appear. The options are virtually endless: Include videos, photos, graphics or a simple hyperlink and enhance your new and old projects with augmented, multidimensional craziness.

Watch the video below for a quick demonstration of the InDesign plugin.

It’s easy, it’s fast and it definitely looks cool, what more is there to say? Well actually. . . did I mention it’s free!  Yes, I’m not kidding. You can download the plugin in the Adobe Exchange Store, as well as in the Metaio Store.

You can count on Metaio not to stop here! As these new open community-accessible tools become stronger and more common, expect to see AR become more and more common among creative types everywhere!

We’ll give live demonstrations of the plugin next week at Adobe Max – the largest Adobe conference of the year, held in Los Angeles October 4th through 8th.

And of course, don’t forget to visit us at InsideAR on October 29th & 30th in Munich.

Enjoy the plugin! We are looking forward to seeing your augmented pieces of art!

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Annette Zimmermann of Gartner Research

September 25, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014

Welcome to our sixth edition of our InsideAR Speaker Spotlight series!

For our sixth edition of the InsideAR Speaker Spotlight, we are happy to introduce Annette Zimmermann, Research Director at Gartner Research. Annette works as part of the Consumer Markets and Technology team that is based in Munich. She is responsible for the Consumer Devices Agenda and is part of the global mobile devices forecast team. She has been working in the IT industry for nearly 10 years with a focus on consumer devices, wearables and location technology.

Annette Zimmerman

Meet Annette Zimmerman!

What are you going to present at InsideAR 2014?

Annette Zimmermann: I will provide an outlook on where we see the wearables market going and I will discuss how these new devices open new business opportunities.

Have you ever attended InsideAR before and what was the most exciting part for you at previous events?

AZ: Yes, I attended in 2012. I found it very interesting to discuss with large as well as new technology start-ups their view on AR and how AR can find applications in different industries.

What is the next challenge in AR that you would like to see overcome?

AZ: Privacy concerns for both local and visual identification-based augmented reality.

What is your personal vision of the future of AR? What Application do you wish you had today?

AZ: We expect the consumer market to initially develop at a slower pace than the enterprise or vertical markets for augmented reality. Video games, especially those developed for devices designed to deliver deeply immersive experiences, such as the Oculus Rift, have the most obvious short-term driver. Innovations in the game industry are no longer tied exclusively to game consoles.

It’s not the lack of imagination that is holding back more rapid development of consumer-facing augmented reality experiences. Rather, it’s the maturing, yet not-quite mature, nature of the tools and the lack of established usage models that marketers can use to triangulate the course of campaigns or techniques.

gartner_hype cycle

Gartner Hype Cycle 2014

Annette’s talk titled “Wearables Enable New Business Opportunities” will deliver some great insights into the future of wearable technology and Augmented Reality. We’re looking forward to hearing what she has to say and her predictions for an augmented tomorrow!

That’s it from us for this week – be sure to visit our previous spotlight and if you’d like to watch some of the presentations from last year’s InsideAR event, check out our InsideAR YouTube playlist.


 InsideAR Munich takes place on October 29th and 30th, 2014 at the Kleine Olympiahalle in Munich. Learn more at

Need a ticket? Register here:

 Interested in becoming a speaker? Get in touch with our team via:

Want to join us as a journalist or become a media partner? Send us an email:

AR Weekly – Late September

September 23, 2014

What’s a pirate’s favorite technology?

. . . .


Puurrrrty please? Image courtesy of Nokia and YouTube.

Puurrrrty please?
Image courtesy of Nokia and YouTube.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Comcast Eyes Augmented Reality Tech [LightReading]

Timetraveler App Allows You To See The Berlin Wall Story In Augmented Reality [TechCrunch]

Augmented Reality Provides Window into the Past with Berlin Wall Timetraveler App [Augmented Blog]

What to expect at this year’s InsideAR Munich? [Augmented Blog]

Featured Channel: Bologna Bus To Go by Yoomee Technologies [Junaio]

My Augmented Reality [YouTube]

InsideAR Munich 2014 Augmented Reality Conference [Youtube]

Augmented Reality News

Augmented Reality Glasses From Sony To Ship In March 2015 [Mobile Commerce Press]

Can’t afford Google Glass? Here’s Optinvent Ora at $300 [the Indian Express]

Investing in Virtual and Augmented Reality [Tech Investing Daily]

Kickstart This iOS-Powered Virtual Reality Headset [TechnoBuffalo]

Comment: What is the waearables reality [Electronics Weekly]

Do-It-Yourself Google Glass: Here’s Augmented Reality, the Open Source Way [Business 2 Community]

Where Are Virtual And Augmented Reality Going? [VR World]

Architecture Graduate Turns Iconic London Building Into An Augmented Reality Game [Techly]

Sony Unveils Google Glass Alternative; Asks Developers to Make Apps [NDTV Gadgets]

Maryland purses virtual reality technology with new grant money [The Diamondback]

Parliament uses augmented reality technology to bring Westminster Hall to life [Digital By Default]

Augmented Reality Digital Headsets Get Real [Information Week]

Meta 1 Augmented Reality Glasses Are Dragging Us Into A VR Future [TechCrunch]

Researchers Use Oculus Rift and Augmented Reality To Put Facebook On Your Wall [Gizmodo AU]

Discover Global augmented reality and virtual reality market that will be worth $1.06 billion by 2018 [WhaTech]

Preview: Skully AR-1 Augmented Reality Motorcycle Helmet [Me and MyConnie]

Google Glass makes doctors better surgeons, Stanford study shows [VentureBeat ]

Sega Augmented Reality Sandbox: Terramapping [technabob]

Sega’s created the project-mapped kids’ sandbox of the future [Engadget]

Augmented reality glasses unveiled by Sony in prototype form [Mobile Commerce News]

3-D reality hits ‘home’ [Home Accents Today]

Upcoming Events

Mixed and Augmented Reality Reference Model Overview and Use Examples []

Adobe MAX, October 4th – 8th [Information Here]

InsideAR Munich, October 29th – 30th [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

I really wanted to give it to this video (because, well, cats) but Always On, Always Augmented > Always On, Always Connected, just saying. Instead, the Pick of the Week goes to the video below showcasing some incredible SLAM. The maps are dense and do show some great reconstructions. It doesn’t look like the mapping overlay is done live, but the set up does paint the planes fairly well. Hopefully we’ll see some applications in the near future!

Okay, one more: What’s a pirate’s favorite vegetable?

. . . .


I’ll be here all week, folks!


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