Here are the winners of the ‘AR Toys Competition’: Once upon an AR time…

October 14, 2014

Today’s the day!! After long discussions and considerations amongst the chosen jury, the two winners of our AR Toys Competition – initiated by Toywheel and Metaio - were finally picked. The competition consisted of two different challenges, with two different rewards.

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AR Toymaker Award

The AR Toymaker Award asked for the best ideas and concepts for an Augmented Reality Toy, based on today´s already existing technology. The prizes for this category – a commercial license of a Metaio SDK or a Metaio Cloud subscription and free consulting considering game design and implementation – will enable the winner to implement the idea together with Toywheel and Metaio, bringing the concept to life. All submissions were assessed by their excitement value, the uniqueness of concept, user friendliness and their technical feasibility, setting the bar quite high for every participant.

CaptureFront and center in this category took Maria Neureither, a game design student, with her ‘myARtale’ concept; an augmented reality app for iOS and Android which enables kids aged six to twelve years to create their own storybook with AR fairytale objects. The scene can be arranged with up to five AR objects and can be captured via camera afterwards. You can unite the pictures to a storybook and add text blocks to tell your very own fairytale.

Her concept shows three different types of AR objects to create your very own storybook: characters, items and scenery sets. All 3D Models are generated via image-based tracking. The printable AR cards are to be offered online for free.

“The game encourages to be creative and artistic. Inventing a new fairytale and setting the stage can be a short or a time-consuming experience depending on the child’s interest and motivation.” says Maria.  

The camera of your mobile device captures the AR cards, which will be translated to 3D models appearing live on the screen. Two cards laid on top of each other, enable characters to hold items or appear in different settings. They will also be able to change their facial appearance and posture to make the game experience even more creative and versatile. Children will also be able to choose different-sized and shaped text boxes to describe what happens in the scene with a few sentences.

Involving the existing environment to the game as background and scenery motivates to reinvent the setting by adding toys as further characters. An endless number of stories can be told using Maria’s ‘myARtale’, giving you and your child the possibility to rewrite common fairytales however you’d like to.

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What a fascinating idea, huh?! The little characters are as cute as it gets and we are absolutely thrilled to announce Maria as the winner of the AR Toymaker Award. Her idea convinced us in every aspect of the chosen criteria.  So naturally, congratulations are in order!

We are very much looking forward to help you develop your idea further in the scope of the promised consulting days with Metaio and Toywheel.  Great job!

AR Junior Award

The AR Junior Award was targeting ‘ideas by kids for kids’. Respectively, this category asked for submissions from children and youths and  questioned how kids want to play in the future (using AR). As such it was not necessary that the idea was fully realizable from a technical standpoint. Fantasy and creativity  were keywords! Once again, the most important criteria for assessment were the uniqueness of the idea and the excitement guarantee.

MillieWe are so very glad to announce young Millie Powell as the winner of our AR Junior Award! Among all the other fantastic submissions, her exceptional concept and idea of miniature characters, accompanying you in your everyday life thrilled the jury the most. Of course, these little figures can only be seen with the help of a little bit augmented magic.

Millie’s idea is as simple as it is genius: Create your very own imaginary friend with the help of modern day technology, namely AR. By being able to customize the miniature sized creature inside the tablet or smartphone at your heart’s desire, the child would already set the basis of a long-lasting, close relationship between it and themselves.

“While the character would have an element of freewill, the user would still be able to control it and interact with it. By tapping the screen, the character would move, for example climbing stairs or running along a bookshelf.”

By capturing the surrounding area with your device’s camera, your little friend could practically do anything. Sit on your nightstand to tell you good night, for example.

Millie also suggested to introduce additional markers for the character, enabling you to extend its animations and features. Such markers could be used in many ways. They could be printable or in the form of physical toys that can be purchased and lets your character interact with them on your smart device. You could add furniture, cars, pets or even houses!

By caring for and playing with your little companion, you would be able to collect experience points (XP), which would allow your friend to level up and unlock rewards or new interactions. The possibilities are vast and extensive. Special mini games could be implemented, other players could combine their little friends on screen and the characters could even function as some kind of tutors for the child, introducing them to educational topics and tasks. One thing’s for sure – with a little creature like that in your living room, you won’t be bored anytime soon!

Thank you, Millie, for sharing this wonderful idea! Enjoy your well-earned iPad mini and commercial Metaio Creator license. And who knows – with the license, perhaps we will be able to show your finished AR-app here in the near future.

At this point, we’d like to thank everybody who participated and shared their magnificent concepts with us. We’ve seen so many extraordinary visions and ideas in the last couple of months, from AR generated Bubbles to an augmented history tour through Turkey. Unfortunately though, there can only be one winner in each category. Nevertheless, great job, everybody!

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Join us for the most exciting AR conference!

Since both of our winners receive free tickets to InsideAR Munich – the world’s most exciting Augmented Reality Conference, we hope to see you there as well! Join us October 29th/30th at the Kleine Olympiahalle Munich! Get your tickets here: www.insideAR2014.com.

Here’s a little sneak peak of what you can expect:


IKEA Catalog App 2015: Where the evARryday begins

October 10, 2014

catalog2015_cvr_enAn IKEA Home Story by Vanessa Oswald

It is 2014 and I am looking at the brand-new 2015 IKEA catalogue right in front of me. I finally get to experience the AR-features of this printed treasure chest myself. I never understood what all the fuss was about – up until now.

Two years ago, the IKEA Catalog App 2013 turned out to be the overall most downloaded app of 2012, creating a never before seen awareness of augmented reality among the population.

So naturally,  IKEA once more collaborated with Metaio to bring life to many pages of their famous catalogue, enabling me and you to get a whole new understanding of the term ‘augmented reality’.

There is more to see! Scan this page with the Ikea Catalog app and reveal more interactive content

There is more to see! Scan this page with the Ikea Catalog app and reveal more interactive content

The much talked-about bookbookTM lies neatly in front of me. My tablet rests in my lap and I am about to start the free IKEA Catalogue App 2015, which will empower me to unlock the concealed wonders between the sheets of paper. Just by skimming through the pages, I already see many orange little plus signs – the markers. These will be my guide to all the pages that unveil content, once I slide my tablet over them.

The App starts and my fingers tickle in anticipation. I tap the scan&discover button.

Chosing a cosy chair for our lounge in the Metaio offices in Munich

Chosing a cosy chair for our lounge in the Metaio offices in Munich

Oh, and scan and discover I will! I unlock videos, additional pictures, and I’m even able to see a 360° view of various bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms, which recognizes my movements and adapts to the correct angle of view, creating an illusion of being inside the room. Another feature offers up to seven different decorating styles – for all those, who need a visual incentive to turn their apartment into a cozy sanctuary.

Beer shelf next to the kicker?

Beer shelf next to the kicker?

And then, there are the 3-D models. Yes, 3-D life-sized furniture pieces, which can be easily placed in my own room. A plush little chair, for example. All I have to do now is place the catalogue where I want the chair to appear, and …voilà.  I can walk around the image, taking in every angle – it’s absolutely fascinating.

This year’s IKEA Catalog app even enables me to look at the 3-D models without placing the catalogue in the room first or having to scan the pages at all. I tap on the 3-D symbol, select ‘I don’t have a catalogue’ and the chair still appears in my living room. Moreover, I can adjust the model’s size by simply using the pinch-to-zoom motion.. I’ve been sitting in my living room for a solid 2 hours now, browsing the catalogue, and I’m not even close to being bored.

So, there you have it. Try it and enjoy all the features of the bookbookTM! I’ll be here, trying to figure out where exactly this cute little lamp would look best in my room. On a quick side note, though: you won’t be able to stop browsing for quite some time. Don’t say, I didn’t warn you.

It’s absolutely fascinating.


The IKEA Catalog Application is also presented at InsideAR Munich on October 29th/30th in the Kleine Olympiahalle.  For more information about the most exciting Augmented Reality conference visit our website: www.insideAR2014.com.

InsideAR Munich 2014

Maria Ekberg Brännström took the challenge three and a half years ago to become Global Catalogue Manager for the IKEA catalogue. Previously she was leading various positions within IKEA in Sweden and Spain as Sales and Commercial Manager. She loves the challenge of finding new ways of developing the IKEA catalogue to be even better and more relevant to consumers. She’s daring and demanding, and completely convinced that most things remain to be done.

She spoke at InsideAR Munich 2013 last year. Watch the video to find out more interesting details about the IKEA App:


Feel your next holiday destination with Junaio! – An Example for an Augmented Reality Tourism Catalog

October 8, 2014

A guestpost by Vanessa Oswald

Probstei_2015_Teaser

‘Mein Urlaub 2015′ – Scan all pages and get further information

Have you ever heard of a place called Probstei? No? What a shame! Let me give you a quick impression of one of the most beautiful places in Germany, right at the shore of the Baltic Sea – the real north, as they call it (That’s right, George RR Martin would be jealous, for sure). It has been a sanctuary for German farmers and fellow countrymen for nearly 800 years and is now capturing the attention of countless tourists every year. Still, not many people know about the full potential and possibilities the very north of Germany offers.

Nevertheless, the ide stampe agency certainly found a cool way to attract people’s attention. By using augmented reality and Metaio’s Junaio browser, they introduced the ‘Mein Urlaub 2015′ catalogue (My Holiday 2015) this year, which features a whole set of varied augmented reality applications, taking your mind off the looming winter and back to sunny days at the Baltic Sea. Discover the beautiful coastal landscape, while sitting at home in your comfy pajamas!

How to Leverage AR in Tourism

Almost every single one of the 115 pages has been augmented with useful content to make preparing your trip easier and to give you a better understanding of local culture, countryside and can-do’s. The features are as amazing as they are diverse: You’re interested in surfing? Then take a look at the wind and weather forecast for the following days with a simple tap on the corresponding page.

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Oh, you’re more of a hiking person? No problem! The catalogue offers you different scenic routes to explore, just by scanning the matching page. Which one would you like? Tough choice, huh? No worries, each route has detailed information embedded, to make your selection easier. The range of features doesn’t stop there, of course. You can watch videos, open slideshows, check opening hours of museums or the local event calendar in general… the list goes on and on.

Many of the ads in the catalogue have been augmented, as well. You no longer need to type in a phone number or link to contact a hotel, a theater or even a restaurant. Simply tap the phone button while hovering over the ad and your device will do the trick without any effort on your part, at all.

The options are endless, making augmented reality one of the most innovative, colorful and valuable tools in touristic advertising today. The ‘Mein Urlaub 2015′ catalogue sets a perfect example on how to leverage AR in touristic use cases combined with a maximum of user comfort.

As always, we prepared a little tidbit for you. Simply open Junaio and scan the image below, to see the workings of the ‘Mein Urlaub 2015′ catalogue for yourself. If you are hungry for more, explore the entire magazine. Enjoy – but brace yourself: we still have to withstand the winter, before it’s vacation time once more.

Scan this image with Junaio to experience the AR catalog

Scan this image with Junaio to experience the AR catalog

 


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.


Xenium Digital: Augmented Reality made in India

July 30, 2014

xenium-logoXenium Digital, a Metaio Certified Developer  from India, is constantly researching and developing new ways that Augmented Reality can be used to enhance consumer experience in the Indian Market. Thus, it is not a surprise to see many well-known clients from industries such as medicine, automobile, real estate and entertainment team up with Xenium to create AR on ground activations and mobile apps for their end consumers.

AR Therapy for Cancer Patients

AR_therapy_2The interactive “AR Therapy for Cancer Patients”  app is a perfect solution for medical professionals who are trying to promote their anti-cancer drugs at medical conferences. This dedicated AR app was designed with the Metaio SDK for the iOS platform, and is targeted at highly qualified doctors. The idea was to communicate the story behind the medicine in a better way and to provide the patients with a simpler way of understanding the way these anti-cancer drugs would affect them.

The app augments a mannequin -with an ID marker – into a real patient and uses case studies to illustrate the different diseases. Then, 3D models of the drugs were presented to demonstrate their efficacy at suppressing the disease.

From 3-D oil in action to TIGERTRAC

With regards to Augmented Reality in the automotive industry – an AR app using the Metaio AR platform was developed for Castrol. The app exclusively targets dealers and sales representatives to help them promote Castrol’s recently launched product, the Magnatec Start-Stop Engine Oil.

The AR app features the new 3D oil in action. First, through the help of 3D animation, the app brings the idea behind Castrol’s new label design to life. When the label of the oil bottle is scanned with an Android powered device, the app shows the special molecules that the oil is made of with Augmented Reality. It then follows up with a video of the product’s brand story. The app is designed to work perfectly on high-end devices.

Xenium Digital, along with Lakshya Media, also created a live augmented reality activation for TVS Tyres. Their objective was to promote their latest product, the AGRI RADIAL TYRE – TIGERTRAC, at the REIFEN 2014 fair in an innovative way.

The idea was to create an AR activation featuring the Royal Bengal Tiger walking among the tires and audience members. The tigers’ movements around the AGRI RADIAL TYRE were well choreographed so to provide realistic interaction with the visitors. The visitor could also take pictures with the tigers, which were later shared with them. Created with the state of the art Metaio SDK for AR and enhanced with realistic graphics and audio, the activity effectively captivated the audience.

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Lekar Hum Deewana Dil

With the release date of the movie “Lekar Hum Deewana Dil” quickly approaching, Eros International – with the expertise of Xenium Digital – wanted to promote it in the most interactive way possible. Their objective was to create a unique AR engagement platform for the audience to experience special moments with the actors. The end result was an on ground activation – created with the Metaio SDK – called Groove with Armaan and Deeksha. Visitors to Mumbai malls were able to show off their dance skills alongside the movie’s lead actors, Armaan and Deeksha, to the song “Khalifa”.

Watch the video here:


Become a Beta tester for Junaio on Android

July 25, 2014

junaio-on-android-devicesBeginning today anyone can become a Junaio Beta tester – no legal papers necessary – and for free. We publicly publish Junaio Beta releases (for Android) on a regular basis within the beta tester group before the releases are submitted into the Google play store.

How can You Join?

Simply join our Junaio Google+ Group and as soon as you are accepted as member of group you can request access to the beta testing group here. Note: we recommend that the Google + account matches your Google Play account.

Why should every Junaio developer participate?

As a member of our group you get early access to all Junaio Beta releases and learn about new features, improvements and bug fixes in advance.
Use the chance to test your current projects with upcoming releases/features to avoid any surprises with the official release.

Help us improve the stability and robustness of upcoming releases by identifying bugs and errors as early as possible.

We are looking forward to welcoming you as a Beta tester for Junaio!

 

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Vectorform shows visionary sales application for Google Glass

July 24, 2014

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Hardly any technology in recent times has been as controversial to society  as Google Glass. Many have opinions, yet few have actually had the opportunity to experience the device first-hand. When it comes to “true” Augmented Reality, what is Glass really capable of? Vectorform – one of the leading agencies for technology and design  has for some time now been hard at work developing applications for mobile devices such as data glasses.

In association with Mediaplus and Serviceplan, Vectorform has become the first company in Germany to develop an AR vehicle exploration tool. Launching on the BMW i8 hybrid supercar,  the Augmented Reality technology powered by Metaio (SDK) combined with Google Glass allows users a first-hand look at the super-cool BMW i8 like never before:

“While the social acceptance often lags behind in new technologies, companies need to seize the opportunity early in order to remain competitive. The Google Glass technology here makes use of new approaches and perspectives for marketing, service, production and sales, “said Alissia Iljaitsch, Executive Director Vectorform EMEA. “Pioneering new technologies are often the automobile manufacturers. In the sale of modern vehicles, the revolutionary glasses offers exactly to the important framework to highlight specific features into focus and to emphasize the innovation of the vehicles.””

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Identify internal and external values ​​with Google Glass

When promoting a vehicle to new buyers, companies often only have a short window of attention to present new and unique features. As such, innovative communication methods are always valuable. Google Glass combines the actual car exploration experience with the digital world in order to offer prospective buyers a completely new way of seeing the i8.

Here’s the application at a glance: Distributed around the vehicle are various “touch points” where Google Glass recognizes the contours of the car using Metaio 3D tracking technology. The first touch point demonstrates the new laser headlights by projecting virtual light beams right out of the car’s lamps. Subsequent touch points  illuminate the inner workings of the chassis or illustrate drive-train components with an  “X-ray” view. In addition, the aerodynamic shape of the vehicle is demonstrated using a virtual wind current that smoothly curves and swirls around the car’s bodywork. This “augmented reality” experience accompanies the buyer in a special way during the customer journey and delivers an innovative sales tool for an equally innovative vehicle.

Framework thought as an important element

During the development of the Google Glass App, the implementation of an appropriate content management system played an essential role. This allows Vectorform to easily update and support content (such as images, videos and texts) directly by the company itself. This ensures the application brings added value on an ongoing basis, rather than being a one-off demonstration.

We would like to congratulate Vectorform and their partners on this excellent application. We are very proud that our software encourages developers and creative agencies like you to create such great Augmented Reality!

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