InsideAR Beijing – A Quick Preview

September 4, 2014

InsideAR Beijing present

As with many industries, the Chinese market for AR has been rapidly growing – both in terms of industrial interest and consumer adoption. Looking at Junaio use alone, we have noticed huge surge in usage since it was localized to the Chinese version known as Moyan (or, “Magic Window” in English). It certainly appears that Augmented Reality is gaining traction in the world’s most populace nation. With the newest edition of InsideAR beginning tomorrow, we decided to put together a quick preview of the event:

Expo Floor

The Marriot Beijing City Wall features a large conference hall for our keynote speakers and presentations. With the Expo Hall a quick walk away, you can be sure that you won’t miss any of the action. Demos include Metaio 3D tracking on a automobile, next-gen AR furniture apps, Metaio face tracking and much more.Check out the full demo list and expo floor here.insideAR Beijing expo floor

Speakers

Metaio's Nicoleta Notova will be leading the morning charge.

Metaio’s Nicoleta Notova will be leading the morning charge.

InsideAR Beijing features 21 speakers who will cover a vast range of topics surrounding the Augmented Reality industry. Partners and friends from the likes of ARM, VW Shanghai, and Chengdu Economic Daily, will join us and speak about various aspects of Augmented Reality. Key topics include Augmented Reality Hardware, Industrial Augmented Reality, Augmented Reality in Print,and  Augmented Reality in Marketing. In addition to our full speaker roster, there are a series of workshops for both AR newbies and seasoned technical folk. Check out the full list of speakers here.

Program

With 10 hours of planned programs, keynotes, demos, and seminars, you can expect InsideAR Beijing to be packed from beginning to end. Check out the full day program here.

That’s it! InsideAR Beijing begins tomorrow and we can’t wait to show everyone all the cool things that we’ve prepared. Hopefully we’ll see you there!


Join our next webinar: “Engine Creative and Tesco Discover – AR Publishing for Brands”

September 3, 2014

Using Augmented Reality for printing products is nothing new. However, many brands have recently begun to recognize that AR technology can indeed bring additional value to catalogues, brochures and product packaging. Experimenting over the last several years, they have realized that the technology is now stable, fast and affordable -even for companies with smaller marketing budgets. With augmented catalogues and well thought-out AR applications, the technology can cover a wide range of possibilities: from delivering additional product information to costumers, to directly integrated online stores. Moreover, brands could easily turn their print material into an interactive showroom.

Engine Creative, a UK based company, created a very great example for Tesco, a multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer. The Tesco Discover App enhances several Tesco printing products via Augmented Reality and brings them to life. Engine Creative’s Chris Dun and Matt Key will join our next webinar this Thursday and will discuss the Tesco Discover platform in relation to their continued development with Metaio’s workflow and features. They will be approaching from both a technical and creative viewpoint; looking at the use and development of AR for brands. As examples, we will cover four AR campaigns from 2014 that have been developed to drive in-store shopper engagement, on packaging and across Tesco Publications.

Join us for the webinar this Thursday, September 4, 8am PDT/ 5pm CET and register here: Metaio Developer Portal.


AR Weekly – Beginning of September

September 2, 2014

ARen’t you glad I didn’t say it’s Monday?

Courtesy of YouTube and IKEA

Courtesy of YouTube and IKEA

Metaio | Junaio Recap

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Ronald Azuma [Augmented Blog]

Introducing Metaio Advanced Partner: 3D Studio Blomberg [Augmented Blog]

Don’t have 3D models? Try 2.5D! [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality News

What Nikola Tesla and augmented reality have in common [Technical.ly]

App tap into students’ aptitude for learning [The Age]

Gen-Next Skully-AR-1 helmet arrives with augmented reality display, rear view camera and more [Daily Bhaskar]

Star Walk 2 App Review [PASTE Magazine]

Augmented reality mobile application [Manila Standard Today]

Augmented Reality Technology Becomes More Immersive [Mobile Commerce Press]

ORA-1 Glasses to Put Android On Your Face [Tom's Guide]

Disney’s ‘Mayhem at the Mansion’ Augmented Reality Game Now Available for Download [Stitch Kingdom]

Augmented Reality Helps in Troubleshooting [PCB Design 007]

Leap Motion’s next sensor is designed specifically for virtual reality [Mashable]

Marketing a product that doesn’t exist yet [BizCommunity.com]

Epson Welcomes JBKnowledge to Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses Developer Program [Herald Online]

Furniture Shopping with Augmented Reality [MIT Technology Review]

Virtual Reality Could Help Teach Sustainable Habits, Change Long Term Behavior [Huffington Post]

A Headset Meant to Make Augmented Reality Less of a Gimmick [MIT Technology Review]

A Smart Helmet That Gives Riders Eyes in the Back of Their Heads [Entrepreneur]

Augmented Reality Untethers SAP [SAP Events]

Upcoming Events

Webinar – Engine Creative and Tesco Discover – AR Publishing for Brands [Register Here]

SXSW Panel Picker – HoloGramma: How Tech Can ‘Bring Back’ Our Departed [Vote Here]

InsideAR Beijing, September 5th [Info Here]

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

Pick of the Week

As one of the most iconic uses of Augmented Reality, the IKEA Catalog App recently released its third iteration. Check out the video below to see the update in action and be sure to try it out for yourself through Google Play and iTunes.


InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Ronald Azuma

September 1, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014

Welcome to our third edition of our InsideAR Speaker Spotlight series.

Meet Dr. Ronald Azuma!

Meet Dr. Ronald Azuma!

For our third edition of the InsideAR Speaker Spotlight, we are happy to introduce Ronald Azuma of Intel Labs. There he leads a group that designs and prototypes novel experiences that exploit upcoming technologies. Known for defining the term “Augmented Reality,” Ronald has all written a research paper, “A Survey Of Augmented Reality,” that the single most referenced publication in the field of Augmented Reality and is listed as one of the “50 Influential Papers” by MIT Press. You can check out his website, but let’s see what he has to say about Metaio’s InsideAR and Augmented Reality:

What are you going to present at InsideAR 2014?

Ronald Azuma: I will talk about Leviathan, a series of AR demonstrations that Intel showed at CES 2014, with the support of Metaio, to inspire visitors about the potential for AR to enable new forms of storytelling. I will also discuss other strategies to make AR storytelling compelling.

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

RA: I attended InsideAR in 2012. One of the most exciting parts of this event is seeing detailed presentations about commercial usages of AR where the presenters provided details about the benefits and return on investment of using this technology in industrial and professional usages. I have rarely seen this information presented in other venues.

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

RA: Many AR systems know very little about the surrounding real environment. Many know only the relative location of the AR display with respect to a marker or image, enabling augmentations only on or around that marker or image. What is needed is increased sensing, understanding, and incorporation of the surrounding real world, and making use of that information in our AR applications. One example of progress in this is the incorporation of depth sensors into platforms. The Intel RealSense SDK will run on PC’s and tablets that have depth sensors built in, and will incorporate Metaio’s 3D tracking capabilities to enable new types of AR experiences that track and sense complex 3D environments, without having to build models of such environments ahead of time.

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

RA: AR will not achieve its full potential until it becomes the basis of new forms of location-based media, enabling new forms of storytelling and immersive experiences that are different from movies, TV, and video games today. I would love to see new, compelling commercial applications that use AR as a medium for novel types of storytelling experiences. Achieving that will require developing new enabling technologies, new forms of experiences, and new business models.

Catch more of Ronald Azuma’s views on Augmented Reality and storytelling in his presentation “Augmented Reality Storytelling: Leviathan and Beyond” where he will explore Augmented Reality as the future of storytelling and a behind the scenes look into the Leviathan project.

That’s it from us for this week – be sure to visit last week’s 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 http://www.insidear2014.com/

Need a ticket? Register here: http://www.insidear2014.com/register

 Interested in becoming a speaker? Get in touch with our team via: insidear@metaio.com.

You want to join us as a journalist or become a media partner? Send us an email: press [at] metaio [dot] com


Introducing Metaio Advanced Partner: 3D Studio Blomberg

August 28, 2014

Alongside Metaio’s community of over 100,000 developers, Metaio also works with some great partners in our “Advanced Solution Provider” program. These companies come to the world of AR from all sorts of fields, but share the common interest in Augmented Reality, as well as the ability to execute extremely ambitious AR projects that few developers can match. Metaio Advanced Partners receive direct training and support from Metaio, so they are equipped for any AR project out there.

Today we introduce our newest partner, 3D Studio Blomberg (3DS). Hailing from Finland, 3DS has a long history of visual communication through technology and is now applying this experience into AR. CEO and founder, Pontus Blomberg sits down and tells us a little more about the history of 3DS and what’s in store for the future:

3D Studio Blomberg


How was 3DS born and how did the goals and vision evolve?

Pontus Blomberg: I started my own business in 2001 with the goal of employing myself through something that inspires me, visualization. Firstly, it was CAD oriented regarding the documentation of existing products for local SME companies.  Initial developments were made on expanding this aspect of their business. Soon afterwards, a whole new dimension of need was recognized as new customers, notably larger and more established companies, already had their own CAD and mechanic design processes in place.

“I started my own business in 2001 with the goal of employing myself through something that inspires me”

The major challenges with these companies were many: how to explain to the end-users and potential customers their product design process and production; what the product is; how does their product work; how is their product operated; what is the path of development for their product. To address these challenges, I presented the idea of utilizing existing CAD data to create product supporting visualization in digital animation and image format. The resultant materials would then naturally and seamlessly be utilized for marketing & sales of the product as well as for training & maintenance.

In 2006, a client’s CEO asked me two straight-forward questions, “what do you want to do when you grow old, and what plans do you have for your company”. Just a few weeks back, I had initiated the process of restructuring the business to a limited company. Needless to say, these questions were presented in just the right time. The CEO had several good business partners who may consider investing in my business as well as contribute with their extensive global industrial experience. Further discussions concluded in an agreement, followed by the hiring of several employees including myself. This was a big step to take for an entrepreneur such as myself.

Step by step

Enhanced product explanation through 3D visualization (Courtesy: 3D Studio Blomberg)

While continuing to supply animations and photorealistic rendered images to the industry, internal discussions with our customers evolved towards a new mega-trend and paradigm shift in communication, mobile-related work and mobile tools. This was recognized, by all parties privy to our discussions, for increasing efficiency and flexibility of work. Our vision One Global Visual Language addresses this paradigm shift in communications.

 

What is the current vision of the company? What is AR’s role in this vision?

PB: Our vision is referred to as One Global Visual Language.

Today, the communication of long technical, well-explained and intelligible text needs to be published in various languages. Onwards this text requires its reformation and restructuring into something completely new because text will no longer be the leading form of information transmission. Now, information transmission will be achieved via visual and physical elements. Relevant information will be readily available and retrieved only when needed in an easily comprehensible visual format.

“Now, information transmission will be achieved via visual and physical elements”

Augmented Reality, in combination with 3D Studio Blomberg’s existing know-how and Visual Tools & Solutions constantly supplied and developed, is a great platform to start more ambitious developments towards our vision. Looking further ahead, incorporating this platform into existing business infrastructures and the Industrial Internet would evolve into One Global Visual Language.

Is the company specialized on specific industries? What categories of products can you support? Do you have some examples of projects where your solutions were implemented?

PB: Our segment of focus is the heavy machine industry that produce lifecycle products that are constantly developed and require service, internal and external training for sales, installation and operation. Our Visual Tools & Solutions incorporating AR will support all aspects of such product lifecycles. (See here for an example – Ed.)

 

Which particular use cases would benefit most from AR, in your perspective?

PB:  I see that AR allows for information to be on par with other visual and physical elements. This allows for intelligent filtering of data and retrieval of relevant and up-to date information in a visual form where and when needed. In future, the connection and synchronization to large information systems allows for awareness, integration and continues improvement on personal, organizational and corporate levels.

 

What do you like most about using Metaio tools?

PB: Comprehensible tools, quick and easy to get a pilot running and demonstrate the idea and need to the customer. Flexible integration and cross platform capabilities. In the words of 3DS developer, Henrik Hermans, “The Metaio Creator is surprisingly powerful for such an easy-to-use program, and creates lightweight applications that load quickly and run smoothly.”

 

Do you offer support in Finland only, or also abroad? How should those interested get in contact?

PB: We currently operate from Finland with the Nordic region as our business area of focus. We have an ambitious growth plan and AR plays a significant role. With our global experience through our owner structure, we are currently looking at partnerships around the globe to support and enable our strategy.

If you are interested in learning more about 3D Studio Blomberg, you can visit their website: http://www.3dstudio.fi/

You can also get in touch directly via: info@3dstudio.fi


Don’t have 3D models? Try 2.5D!

August 26, 2014

Many of the best AR apps incorporate 3D effects in some way or another. Embedded videos, link and images are cool, but it’s that 3D content that really delights the user visually. Why then, isn’t everyone implementing more 3D content into their apps?

The problem lies in content creation. Even in this high-tech day and age, it is still relatively difficult for the average person to create 3D models. While companies such as Autodesk have made great efforts to bring 3D authoring tools to the masses, there is still a way to go before impressive 3D content can be created quickly and easily by a casual user.

That being said, there is a nice alternative that can be used by just about anyone to create a 3D effect without actually having any 3D modelling skills or even owning 3D graphics software. By arranging traditional 2D images in a 3D space, we can achieve pretty neat 3D effects – 2.5D if you will (“faux-D” anyone?…..anyone?). Shown below is a great example of “faux-D” in action:

Metaio Xmas card using 2.5D

Scan with Junaio !

So what does it take to create a 2.5D experience?

It’s actually very simple – with some basic image editing skills and knowledge of Metaio Creator, it is possible to build a 2.5D experience very easily. Here’s a quick guide:

Step 1: Gather your image assets.

Your images are the most important part of the experience. Unlike standard image files, we want them to have a “cardboard cutout” effect. In order to achieve this, a little photo-editing is required. In your favorite editing tool (I like Paint.net – intuitive, powerful, and free!), simply trim around the edges of your illustration or photo and save it as a PNG file with transparent background. This means that when the image file is viewed, all of the “white space” will be completely transparent. If this is already starting to sound scary – don’t fret! There are some great tutorials available online like this one.

Step 2: Arrange your scene.

Using Metaio Creator it is possible to quickly arrange a 3D scene using your images. Firstly, fire up Creator and choose your tracking marker. You can then go ahead and import your images. They will appear to sit flush on the page to begin with.

Images flush to marker

Images flush to marker

From here, make sure you are using the 3D view mode which can be activated in the left corner.

In the 3D view mode, you are presented a 3-dimensional axis that allows you to drag your image in any direction. From here we can begin arranging the content not just upwards and side-to-side, but also back-and-forth. Varying the depth of the images will create our 3D effect. Remember, if you need to rotate the images, you can click on the blue circle to cycle through translation, rotation and scaling functions. Give it a try!

Manipulate with the 3 arrows

Manipulate with the 3 arrows

 

Step 3: Experiment

Try experimenting with different depths and angles of your images for the best 3D effect. If you need some more inspiration, check out this really great work done for Starbucks Japan or check out the video of the AR Children’s book created by Junaio developer Daniel Ortega:

Note: The demo in this post can be accessed via this tracking pattern: 2.5D marker


AR Weekly – Late August

August 25, 2014

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is anothAR one.

I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. (New baby lion cubs, Image courtesy of BBC)

I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. (New white lion cubs, Image courtesy of BBC)

Metaio | Junaio Recap

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Kavin Andi [Augmented Blog]

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Court Westcott [Augmented Blog]

And hey, have you checked out our new website?

Augmented Reality News

Google Glass & Lookalikes Find Niches [EE Times]

Two Ways That Augmented Reality Could Change the Nature of Desk-Less Work [Tech the Future]

Ralph Lauren’s “smart polo shirt” shows the problem with wearable tech [PandoDaily]

Next Galaxy Corps Partners with Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce to Host The Business Innovation and Growth (B.I.G) Summit at the New World Center [CNN Money]

5 Ways Virtual and Augmented Reality Are Changing Medicine [Wall St. Cheat Sheet]

Could virtual reality convert skeptics into environmentalists? [Mother Nature Network]

Google Glass emotion detection makes wearable empath [Slash Gear]

Indoor Rock Wall Incorporates Projected Graphics for Augmented Climbing [PSFK]

Selling houses in the days of ‘virtual reality’ [Silicon Republic]

Google Glass Used To Broadcast A Live Surgery [Mobile Commerce Press]

Can Oculus Rift end virtual reality’s thirty-year struggle? [Expert Reviews]

Mercury Inpress ramps up augmented reality publishing activity [Kidscreen News]

Kerala ‘hacker’ makes $75 Google Glass copy [Emirates 24/7]

Google May Be Working On A Way To Make Google Glass Actually Look Normal [Business Insider AU]

Bosses to provide robots, drones and ‘augmented reality’ believe workers [24dash.com]

Smiles for Desserts: Augmented Reality Makes It Possible [Plaza Dental Group]

Pinlight Displays [Vimeo]

Upcoming Events

InsideAR Beijing – September 5th [Register Here]

InsideAR Munich – October 29, 30 [Register Here]

Webinar – Metaio Trivia: Content Edition [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

Are you guys familiar with David Pogue? He’s essentially one of the Yahoo’s coolests nerds offering the latest reviews and trends in technology. Just last week, he gave a review of one of our favorite devices: the Epson Moverio BT-200. He explores the pros and cons of the glasses and gives an overview of some of the cool applications already available. Check out the full article here and watch the video here.

But hey David, if you’re reading this, don’t forget to add Junaio to the list next time! :)

 


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