3 Reasons to Work for Metaio – Impressions from a “Newbie”

April 8, 2014

A guest post by Andreea Raducan

First you may wonder who Metaio is, even after having browsed through the complex website.  Metaio is a company that has been developing software and hardware to provide Augmented Reality business and non-business solutions for more than 11 years. But what is AR? In simple words: it is a technology displaying digital information on top of real life objects via a device’s camera. This is something I have learned recently, shortly before I joined the company. Now, after having discovered more, I wish to share some insights with you and why I believe you would love working with Metaio.

1st reason: The people

It was 31 days ago – my first day at Metaio. I remember it as a sunny day. Was the sun up on the sky? I can’t really tell. What I can tell for sure is that the sun was definitely up in the Metaio offices. This was the case for each of the 31 days I was there until now. And this is a first important reason why Metaio is a place where you would certainly love to work.

Cooking PictureIndeed, bright smiles will cheerfully welcome you on your first day. People will greet you and come spontaneously to introduce themselves until you’ll wonder if there’s anyone left unknown. You’ll hear the most sublime birthday singing, on three voices, orchestrated by the CEO. What more was there to discover in the weeks to come?

Let’s see… I have learned how the word “Team” can refer to a 100+ group of people and be synonym to “family”, how colleagues may gather to just enjoy a beer after-work in the company lounge, how we are free to come by on the weekends and play board games, how fast we can cook our lunch together, how quickly one should race for the birthday cake, or just how skilled our CEO is in bartending. Now you might wonder… CEO & bartending? How do I know about that already?

Very easy: It was the end of my first week when I attended the “Winter Team event”. One of the bi-seasonal events the company organizes to reunite the team and share achievements and future objectives, all in a convivial environment. In the heart of the Alps, two days of hard work & fun. First comes work, with a day full of exciting presentations and workshops. Then, the fun starts again with Looping Louie, Whirlpool, Werewolves, Music and open bar. Literally open. Meaning that the CEO would just go behind the bar and kindly make sure we all have something to drink. And that’s how I know about his bartending competencies. The second day everyone – more or less – recalls the adventures of the previous day, while exploring the heights of the Alps by skiing or hiking.

2014-03-07 21.26.08-2

Thomas Alt serving Peter Meier at the bar

Most important, however, is what I have seen lies behind all the fun: passion, talent, devotion, solidarity, ethics, kindness and sharing; hard-working people with brilliant minds striving to achieve a common goal: bringing Augmented Reality closer to people in a natural way.

2nd reason – The value the team creates

While some would perceive AR as something gimmicky, the work of Metaio can easily prove it wrong. Before I applied for the job, I did not know much about AR. I knew about Google Glass of course, but always from a user perspective, skeptical about its true usefulness. After more research, I have discovered how widely it is used in advertising and gaming, but its functionality doesn’t stop here: specific applications are also being researched or in use already for medicine (teaching or live surgeries), education (chemistry with interactions of elements from the periodic table), automotive, factory planning and plenty of other fields, meant to improve productivity, learning, or even save lives. AR can even help visually impaired people guide their steps more easily, or help hearing-impaired people interact with the world in a new way. How amazing is that? This technology is making a real difference and Metaio has been driving innovation for 11 years already – imagine being part of that!

2014-03-07 16.40.02

Keep calm and augment reality

3rd reason – The value you can bring

Being part of making the difference applies also on a company level. Another advantage of working at Metaio comes from its start-up atmosphere. Not only do people share enthusiasm and passion for their work, but they are also enjoying a high degree of autonomy, responsibility and challenge, making their contribution feel meaningful. What’s more, every two weeks the “Team” reunites in the lounge, where updates are presented and rounds of applause accompany each of the achievements. This is one way Metaio shows recognition for individual merits, making everyone feel valued.

I personally have experienced an amazing first month. And I can’t believe it has only been one month! It feels longer – not because the time was  passing by too slowly – but because I feel like I have known the people for so long already. Moreover, I feel like I have learned so much in such a short time. I feel like we could make a difference! Imagine feeling all that…

If you want to join the Metaio team, check the Metaio careers page!

team_pic


Weekest Links – Early April

April 7, 2014

April showers bring AR flowers

Courtesy of Google Maps

Only the most adventurous explorers experience augmented reality

Metaio | Junaio Recap

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

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

Microsoft Allegedly Acquiring Augmented Reality IP [Augmented Blog]

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

Augmented Reality News in the World

Augmented Reality will turns us all Superman [GamesBeat]

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

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

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

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

Raytheon Uses Augmented Reality To Speed Missile Design [InformationWeek]

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events

AugmentaMe EDU 2014 [Ciberespiral blog]

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

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

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

Pick of the Week

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

I wanna be..the very best


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

April 7, 2014

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

1-titel

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

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

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

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

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

4


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.


Microsoft Allegedly Acquiring Augmented Reality IP

April 1, 2014

Those Microsoft guys are a bunch of ipsters. Also, this is not a joke. The Germans don’t do that. 

Image from ODG Patent for "Virtual Reality Headset"

Do not adjust your browser- this is not the Oculus Rift.

While everyone and the internet was gushing about the strange and confusing (yet, oddly satisfying) purchase of Oculus by Facebook for around $2 billion, TechCrunch broke a story that Microsoft had quietly purchased a hundred million odd dollars worth of IP from the Osterhout Design Group (ODG).

According to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch, Microsoft walked away from the deal with more than 80 patents in the wearable technology and Augmented Reality space, including the image above (which looks suspiciously like the Oculus).

Since Microsoft has neither denied nor commented on any of this information, speculation abounds at how they might apply this newly-purchased technology, but all roads seem to lead to a Project Morpheus-like gaming system that will interface with Microsoft’s existing and popular IP, their XBox gaming system.

What does this mean?

I was strolling around the 2014 San Francisco Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) the other day and it was a bit of a shock: major companies like Sony showing tethered VR experiences; new form factors like SeeBright debuting; Kickstarter projects like Omni drawing lines; the newest version of the Oculus Rift inaccessible beyond a 2 hour wait. The common denominator was gaming, which seems to be the driving force for these new Virtual Reality devices and experiences. Even if all of this is just a reaction to the early success of the Oculus, a rising tide floats all boats- expect VR to enjoy a prolonged reprieve, and of course immersive and interactive software like augmented reality to keep powering it.

Metaio has a significant amount of research & development already invested into wearable computing and immersive environments. Whether it’s Google Glass, Oculus Rift, or some as-of-yet unreleased or unpublished device, Metaio will be sure to evaluate it for the future of interactive technology.

 

 


Weekest Links: First Week of April

March 31, 2014

We have to March into April first

Peter Meier 2

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

Metaio | Junaio Recap

#MetaioWearsEpson Sweepstakes! [Augmented Blog]

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

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

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

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

Augmented Reality News

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Real is Real Time Marketing [Gartner Blog]

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events

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

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

Pick of the Week

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


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

March 28, 2014

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

Oculus Rift at 2013 InsideAR

Oculus Rift at 2013 InsideAR

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

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

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


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