Festo and the Bionic Learning Network

June 6, 2014

Festo is a worldwide leader in automation and a world market leader in technical training and development. One source for new knowledge and future technologies is bionics. It provides astonishing impetus for automation technology and leads to new approaches to solutions for industrial practice. That is why  in 2006 Festo brought to life a research association with reputable universities and institutes, development companies and private inventors: the Bionic Learning Network. Since then over 40 bionic projects have been completed within the association.

Purpose of the Biomechatronic Footprint

Besides media (brochures, films, animations, websites) about the individual projects, Metaio developer madness has developed the concept for the Augmented Reality Biomechatronic Footprint folding poster in six languages (German, English, Spanish, French, Russian and Chinese). The DIN A1 poster shows a selection of the completed projects and illustrates the line of thinking from natural models to basic technical principles and bionic adaptation right through to industrial applications. The Biomechatronic Footprint is suitable as a door-opener to explain why Festo is involved with bionics and what advantage is gained from this method of procedure that is unique among its competitors.


Function of the Augmented Reality Biomechatronic Footprint poster

The front face shows a decorative poster motif with a striking character, which explains individual evolutionary curves and depicts the highlights from 2006 to the present day. On the reverse side, there is detailed information about the Bionic Learning Network as well as brief descriptions of the selected projects. In order for onlookers to get all the information, even if the poster is hanging on the wall, an Augmented Reality experience has been added to the front.

After scanning the image with the Junaio application nine of the objects depicted are highlighted at a virtual level and can be selected separately. Besides the brief written description, the onlooker can call up a film and brochure about the project. On the bottom edge of the screen is a menu with nine more sections – for example about the manufacturing process, the technologies used and the fields where the bionic objects could potentially be used. Festo 004

If the user accesses a section, all the objects about the relevant topic are networked, thus highlighting what connects the different projects. Another click calls up a brief description about the respective subject.

For those interested who do not have a mobile device, the additional virtual information is also available in the form of an interactive graphic on Festo’s classic website.

Update: Audi eKurzinfo now availabe for Q3, RSQ3 and A3 g-tron

April 10, 2014

Audi lovers, get your mobile devices ready!


The latest update for the Audi eKurzinfo application is now available for the Audi Q3, RSQ3 und A3 g-tron and in even more languages such as Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French.

The new app can recognize over 300 individual elements of the Audi A3 – from the insignia on the windshield wipers and entertainment system to actual engine components under the hood – in order to return relevant how-to information or even virtual overlays of maintenance instructions, animated in real-time and in 3-D. Metaio’s Cloud-based architecture pushes digital information directly to the device.

The design of the Audi eKurzinfo app brings the most intuitive user experience with it: using Metaio’s latest 2-D and 3-D Augmented Reality tracking technology, the user positions the camera of the mobile device directly over the individual vehicle elements, instantly detecting and returning information on the desired subject. For example, after scanning the engine compartment, the app will return information and an animated overlay showing how to locate the engine coolant and refill it to the appropriate level.

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.


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.


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.


August & Everything After Weekest Links

August 26, 2013

Round here we augment very very very very late. 

Metaio | Junaio Recap

  • Vote for us at South by Southwest 2014! [vote!]
  • Audi’s eKurzinfo app uses augmented reality to sidestep A3 owner’s manual [engadget]
  • IKEA app projects virtual furniture into your living room [The Verge]

There are things that are happening

  • Seriously, vote for Metaio at SXSW 2014!! [please please vote!]
  • Your Children Will Learn And Play In This Sandbox Of The Future [BuzzFeed]
  • Google Glass update hints at what final product will be like [Fast Company]
  • Leap Motion and their million downloads [Wired: Beyond the Beyond]
  • A look into the mind-bending Google Glass of 2029 [CNET]


  • I will find you. I will find you and ask you why haven’t voted in SXSW 2014. And it will be weird. [vote?]
  • Epson dangles $1,000 bounty to attract augmented reality apps [we were there!] [engadget]
  • Brand new InsideAR 2013 Website- check out all the new content, and don’t forget to register for the most exciting augmented reality event out there! [Oct 10-11, Munich]

Pick of the Week Time I’ve Been On Vacation: XKCD Takes on Google Glass

Courtesy of xkcd.com & Randall Munroe

Courtesy of xkcd.com & Randall Munroe

Check out the full site for more webcomics “of romance, sarcasm, math, and language”.

A Midsummer’s Weekest Links

July 29, 2013

I have had a most rare [augmented reality] vision… 

IKEA launches 2014 Catalog App that places furniture in-home in 3-D

Metaio | Junaio Recap

  • Today’s Most Innovative Company: IKEA Uses Augmented Reality To Show How Furniture Fits In A Room [Fast Company]
  • IKEA’s new augmented reality app lets you preview digital furniture in your physical house [VentureBeat]
  • IKEA entices potential consumers with augmented reality [Mobile Commerce Daily]
  • IKEA Tries Out Augmented Reality With 2014 Print Catalog [FierceMobileRetail]

There are things that are happening

  • Backstory on Google’s Investment in Glass Micro-Display Supplier [AllThingsD]
  • Man or Cyborg: Does Google Glass Mark the End of True Humanity? [Huffington Post]
  • The world’s first Google Glass porn movie [CNET]
  • SIGGRAPH 2013: 3D Printing, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and 4K [Bright Side of News]


  • The first-ever InsideAR Tokyo was bigger than Godzilla [Photo Album]
  • Metaio’s Trak Lord stood and delivered a presentation on AR hardware at SIGGRAPH 2013 [video]
  • Don’t miss Metaio at the 2013 ISMAR conference, Adelaide Australia, Oct 1-4 [event]
  • Nothing could be finer / than to be at InsideAR / In Oktober  [Oct 10-11]

Pick of the Week: IKEA 2014 Catalog

It seems like a shameless plug, but we can’t get over the guy who tries to land a jump on a virtual content. Also, Beardy McHappyFace is a hoot.

In the hotseat: augmented reality user experience designer Q&A

May 10, 2013

Great to see companies like NGRAIN utilizing the Metaio SDK for complex industrial augmented reality experiences. Like Metaio, NGRAIN will be showcasing their projects at this year’s Augmented World Expo. If you plan on attending, use code AWE3META at registration to receive a 200.00 discount courtesy of Metaio.

If you’d like to learn more about industrial augmented reality solutions from Metaio, please visit http://metaio.com/products/engineer

High-precision Augmented Reality: Metaio Engineer Complements FARO Measuring ARM

May 3, 2013

Metaio supports the right to bear arms.

3-D Measurement technology provider, and longtime Metaio partners FARO recently wrote a post on their experiences with Metaio’s vertical solution software for the Industrial sector, the Metaio Engineer. We thought we’d share it with our readers as well, just in case any of you missed it.

In case some of you didn’t know (or forgot), Metaio began as an enterprise to provide industrial solutions to manufacturing and automotive firms, and it’s really only since the dawn of the smartphone that Metaio has seriously pursued marketing and advertising use-cases for AR.

For greater insight on Metaio’s industrial history, you can watch this Industrial AR video playlist, read the Metaio Engineer Whitepaper or scan past blog articles featuring industrial augmented reality. In the meantime, enjoy FARO’s post, and make sure to visit their website for more information on state-of-the-art 3-D precision and measurement technology. And if you want to see FARO first-hand, don’t miss the 2013 InsideAR Conference in Munich, October 10-11.

Thanks again to FARO, and enjoy the post!


Augmented Reality means to enrich and enhance the user’s view of the real world with additional digital information, e.g. a virtual 3D-model that originates from CAD.

This content is made visible on a monitor, a tablet PC, within the user’s field of view using a head-mounted display or projected onto the respective area. Virtual and actual realities merge in the most natural manner that is possible.

metaio Engineer is software that brings Augmented Reality to the industrial field. And it is a perfect complement to an existing measuring arm. The best of both worlds is combined: a quick and direct visualization with the precision of a measuring arm.

With the new release of metaio Engineer 5.0, an interface to support FARO measuring arms is already built-in. All necessary features are integrated by default, from calibration to functions that support your daily tasks.

Previously, in case of quality control every relevant point had to be measured to discover deviations between the CAD model and the related assembly part. metaio Engineer and Augmented Reality accelerate this process by identifying errors and selectively measuring deviations.

These are the basic steps to set up an Augmented Reality system based on the FARO Edge:

  1. Mount an industry camera with available adapters onto the grip of the measuring arm
  2. Calibrate camera and spatial relation between camera and measuring arm
  3. Determine position of the arm in relation to the subject of analysis
  4. Visualize a CAD model onto the existing model, part or product
  5. Compare planned vs. actual state, measurements and more features


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