Vote for Metaio in the 2014 AWE Auggies

May 12, 2014

Auggie-GoldWith the Augmented World Expo (AWE) just around the corner, we’re excited to remind everyone about the annual Auggie Awards. These awards celebrate the best augmented reality interactions submitted to the AWE panel across various genres. You can read more about the Auggie Awards here.

This year there are five categories: best tools, best software, best hardware, best enterprise solution, and best film. Metaio has entries in the three below. There are two ways to vote: directly through the AWE website or on Facebook (both presented below).

Best Tools for Developers – The Metaio SDK

The Metaio SDK has been used professionally for over a decade by companies like IKEA, Audi, LEGO, Mitsubishi Electric and more to bring content to life and value to customers and works. It’s the only SDK that offers industrial precision for tracking and has more versatility than any other platform. Vote here on the AWE website or here on Facebook!

Best Software – The 2014 IKEA Catalog app

The 2014 IKEA Catalog app lets users actually load over 300 unique 3-D models of IKEA furniture directly from the 2014 Catalog and place them in their homes using next-generation AR. The users can then take photos, share their experiences on social media or continue trying out different pieces of furniture. The App has been downloaded millions of times, and more than 600,000 3-D models had already been placed into people’s homes within a few months of its release. Vote here on the AWE website or here on Facebook!

Best Tool – Augmented Reality Car Manual on Google Glass

Metaio was able to run edge-based tracking algorithms to deliver ste-by-step car engine maintenance for the average consumer. In this experience, the user need only open the hood of her car, recognize the engine using visual search and watch as the software isolates components and overlays relevant information on top of it, such as how to refill coolant or where to check the oil.

Far more convenient than checking a manual, this app streamlines the information flow and ensures that the user acesses the exact information she needs to solve the problem. Vote here on the AWE website or here on Facebook!

Best Enterprise Solution – Hands-Free meViewAR

Metaio partnered with Epson America and Mitsubishi Electric to develop an application that would allow service technicians to access maintenance information quickly and conveniently and overlay it step-by-step onto the actual product. The Epson Moverio BT-200 allows hands-free, full-field view to make sure that information gets overlaid directly in the mechanic’s line of sight, rather than a monocular view or through a tablet device. Vote here on the AWE website or here on Facebook!

Thanks and we’ll see you at AWE!


Land Rover – Augmented Cars in a New Way

April 9, 2014

If you haven’t heard already, Land Rover is working on an augmented reality car hood concept that makes your hood transparent. The concept is simple: when begins tipping up (on a rising hill for instance) the hood or “bonnet” becomes transparent allowing the driver to see the space normally obscured by the hood at such an angle. If you’ve ever driven in San Francisco  (or any place where you seem to drive uphill more often than not) this is pretty big news. Applied to vehicles going off-road it can help you can avoid hidden trenches; applied to vehicles in an urban environment it can help you can avoid dangerous accidents.

 

Concept Video

Courtesy of Land Rover UK

Thinking outside of the proposed concept, imagine having similar augmented reality tech on your car’s blind spots or installed on slow-moving trucks. There’s a vast amount of potential this augmented reality concept could bring to the automotive industry, but its implementation may be difficult considering the rugged nature of Land Rovers and the camera’s location. Hopefully the concept turns into a reality, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Check out Land Rover’s concept video below:


Weekest Links – Mid March

March 17, 2014

Let’s find four-leaf AR clover

Gearing up to present at the AEC Hackathon. So many cool projects!

Metaio | Junaio Recap

An SAP Warehouse Concept for Error Detection in Warehouse Picking Processes [Augmented Blog]

SunHub – Explore the Sun’s Trajectory [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality Software Developer Takes B2B Sales Globally [Internet Retailer]

Augmented Reality Across the World

[AR]e We There Yet? [Storyboard]

Winnipeg Game Developers Creating a New Reality [CBC News]

Skully AR Helmets Win the Wearable Tech Award at SXSW 2014 [Augmented Reality Trends]

Augmented Reality is Blurring the Line Between Mobile Gaming and Reading [Mobile Commerce Press]

Make Friends with a Brazilian, Via Coke’s World Cup Mini-Bottles [Creativity Online]

Epson Showcases Its Augmented Reality Smart Glasses [MCAD Café]

This Is the Future of Retail: Robotic Fitting Rooms and Magic Augmented Reality Mirrors [TheNextWeb]

Measuring Human Motion with a Soft, Wearable Sensors Kit [Digital Journal]

Upcoming Events

Metaio at Laval Virtual [Laval Virtual]

InsideAR Tokyo, Register Today! [InsideAR]

Webinar- Junaio 5.3: The Basics [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

Coca-cola has all sorts of ways to make people smile. In preparation for this year’s World Cup, Coca-cola Brazil has released an app to help you make friends in Brazil using their Coke Minibottles. Create your own personal augmented reality avatar and share with the world. For more information check out the video below.


Technical Insight into Junaio’s Redesign – An Interview with Anton Fedosov

February 27, 2014

An interview done by Anett Gläsel-Maslov 

With the introduction of a new Junaio interface, we decided to take a moment and sit down with Anton Fedosov, Senior User Experience Designer, and see if we could get any information about the redesign.

What is Junaio for you?

Anton-Fedosov-2

Anton Fedosov: For me, Junaio is an Augmented Reality Laboratory, in a sense that is a window-to-the-world with the latest technology developed by our company. It has the top-notch detection and tracking technologies, advanced sensors and localization services in the consumer space. it is an important platform to test our ideas with our users ad to verify our concepts.

I believe one of the strongest advantages of Junaio is that you are able to identify any object in front of you and the app gives you, instantaneously, information about it. For searching visually is very helpful.

What problems did you face with the old design of Junaio?

AF: We tried to bring a new look to the location-based channels. Through our statics we see that our customers use Junaio as a tool to recognize different objects and to scan something. At the same time, every modern phone or tablet has embedded sensors like GPS, gyroscope and compass, whose use was lagging a bit behind.  We wanted to bring location-based experiences closer to users and this was the idea behind redesigning Junaio.

First of all, we tried to define problems in the former version. For instance, it was hard to read the points of interest (POIs) that were really far away. They were occluded and cluttered and in the majority of cases there was an information overload. It was also hard to interact with the POIs which were not in the first line. Human factors should be explored more in Augmented Reality scenarios. When you look through wearables like Google Glass it is almost impossible to read. With the redesign, we are trying to treat our data equally and improve the discoverability of POIs.

What are the advantages of the new design?

AF: The idea was to update the Junaio interface to make it flatter, lighter and easier for the users to understand possible interactions. The first important part was to change the hand posture, which was often a very unnatrual experience while holding a tablet or smartphone in mid-air. We improved on usability goals, making the Junaio interface easier to learn and more efficient to use. Now you see the annotated information about POI on the bottom of the screen  and the board acts as a signifier to discover interactions with POIs. For tablets this means that the thumbs remain the main trigger in the lower corners and for smartphones the experience is now even more natural.

AR browsers often suffer from a lack of focus and our brains are overloaded with information. With the redesign of Junaio we now only show up to five POIs at once. We have integrated a seamless discover mechanism for POIs. While moving the tablet or smartphone to the left or to the right, the POIs change. From now on we differentiate between the POIs that are focused or unfocused by the user. We tried different color variations and decided on a light color scheme for focused POIs and dark, translucent for unfocused ones. Also the pin itself takes the color of the icon associated with the given POI. E.g. we use color to define different categories. We also use the database of Foursquare to visualize venues where you can check in.

junaio2

The new Junaio is also optimized for wearables. At InsideAR we presented the first AR browser called “Junaio Mirage” which seamlessly integrates the new POI visualization (“Natural POI”). Depth-perception, the visual ability to perceive a world in three dimensions, is often used by artists and makes it possible to identify relative distance to an object. The POIs now have different sizes: the bigger the POI, the closer the object. We also use monocular cues such as lighting and shading and emphasize occlusion to provide depth information. We try to align the POIs to the shape of the earth and simulate the horizon. Parallax effect is also very important to mention: POIs rotate slightly based on your view angle and the models motion changes depending on the viewport. This makes the experience much more natural.

How does the redesign of Juanio affect developers?

AF: The redesign will affect location-based channels and therefore we prepared guidelines to make sure to accommodate the new POI representation scheme. These guidelines are now available in our developer portal and provide all the necessary information.

There you have it folks. For more information about the redesign head over to the Junaio Blog and to see the guidelines check out the developer portal. Junaio is free to download from Google Play and the iTunes store.


Leviathan – A Whale of a Tale

February 25, 2014

LEVIATHAN was originally inspired by the steampunk universe of the Scott Westerfeld novel of the same name- an alternate universe where the British empire genetically engineers wondrous whale-like beasts that soar amid hot-air-balloon jellyfish. Though fantastical and as far as one can get from consumer electronics, this was the back drop for what transpired at the 2014 CES Intel booth.

The Cinematic Art World Building Media Lab of the University of Southern California (USC) worked closely with Intel Labs, the innovation arm of the giant chipset company, to bring the world of Leviathan to Las Vegas in a narrative-driven experience that no visitor would forget.

CES attendees and visitors to the Intel Booth were treated to daily shows were they could watch a digital story unfold before them. Starting on the main screen, the giant Leviathan “whale” would swim through the sky, only to turn and head directly for the foreground of the video screen. Visitors were instructed to hold up the Intel Ultrabooks that had been passed out to them and watch as the creature emerged from the video screen and proceeded to drift slowly over the entire audience.

leviathan1

Unlike any other augmented reality experience, every single visitor with an Ultrabook was viewing the same exact content but from their own relative position. It was as if a portal had opened into a different universe, accessible only through the wonder of the participants and the mysterious magic of emerging technology.

It’s clear from Intel’s press release that this is exactly the kind of effect they want to bring consumers in the near future: LEVIATHAN is a new storyworld, powered by Intel technology and USC imagination. We, along with other explorers in the entertainment industry, are building these world and beginning to deliver them to audiences. In five years, will your living room become a portal to these new storyworlds? Will you be able to step inside these worlds like Alice stepping through the looking glass, and explore new kinds of stories. We think so.

Tawny Schlieski of Intel Labs, one of the researchers responsible for launching the experience, said “Intel is exploring this new narrative platform with tools that enable artists and technologists to collaborate, integrate, and create immersively from the earliest inception of story, while giving fans the ability to move and play naturally built virtual worlds.”

Metaio utilized cutting-edge sensor fusion and the latest tracking technology in order to bring this world to reality. In order for each Ultrabook to sync with the augmented content, Metaio developed indoor-position protocols that would enable a virtually seamless user experience.

leviathan3

According to Intel and USC, this is the first of “many storyworlds” the two organizations plan to build and install. Metaio looks forward to working with them again, and hopes to be part of something as unique and immersive as the LEVIATHAN experience in the near future.

For more information on upcoming projects, check out http://digitalrim.org.


Weekest Links, Early February

February 3, 2014

Roses are red, violets are blue, AR is sweet, all thanks to you.

We don’t just change art, we augment it.

Metaio | Junaio recap

Digital Surrogates: Tele-travel & the Future of Long Distance Relationships (LDRs) [Dirrogate]

Metaio at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona: Win your free ticket now! [Augmented Blog]

Metaio to lead AR become the user interface tech of the future [webrazzi]

DLD Conference and Metaio present interactive Museum Tour [Metaio]

Metaio Augmented Reality Solutions Now Available with Education Discounts at Studica.com [abc27]

Interesting Stuff Happening

Insurance companies could be the driver Google Glass needs [Live Insurance News]

Augmented reality launched on buses in Scotland [Mobile Commerce Press]

How Augmented Reality is Augmented Its Own Future [TheNextWeb]

Prototype lets users read the web in augmented reality [BBC News]

Augmented Reality Samsung Wearables are on their way [QR Code Press]

10 ways  how augmented reality can help retailers [Mobile Marketer]

End of the mechanic? BMW smart glasses make it possible for ANYONE to spot and fix a car engine fault just by looking at it. [Daily Mail]

Upcoming Events

Webinar: How Will Augmented Reality Change Business in 2014? with Trak Lord [Metaio Developer Portal]

Mobile World Congress – We’re going, and you’re coming with us! [Facebook]

Pick of the Week: Augmented Reality TV System

This would have came in handy during the Super Bowl. We’d love to interact with the web without changing a channel. Here’s a Mashable article and their Kickstarter page.


Weekest Links, 2014 Consumer Electronics Show Edition

January 15, 2014

CES and desist. 

Kobayashi-san of Epson

Kobayashi-san of Epson repairs the Mitsubishi Electric unit with augmented reality, and honor. 

We just came back from a riveting and harrowing 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). For those of you who have never attended, CES is a never-ending journey consisting of smoke-filled casinos, endless lines, iPhone cases, and strange and confusing conference food. But the chance to see many of the gadgets and technology that will be released later this year along with 150,000 other attendees keeps us going back year after year. And, in addition to a strong showing by augmented reality and wearable technology, CES was full of innovations like smart home tech, drones, robots, 3-D printing and more.

CES 2014 Wrap-Up:

  • 10 Innovations from CES you should know about [Business Insider]
  • 2014 CES: Hardware Startups are big at Consumer Electronics Show [LA Times]
  • Android dominates Apple at CES 2014 [Business Insider]
  • 5 trends we noticed at CES [Digital Trends]
  • CES 2014: Auto Tech Developers Getting Into the Fast Lane [Time Warner NY1]
  • CES 2014 proves that wearables are still a work in progress [TechCrunch]
  • The story of CES as told by Tweeted cries for help [Digiday]

Augmented Reality @ CES:

  • CES: Wearables break out all over the body [USA Today]
  • CES 2014: Best in Show [ZDNet]
  • Epson introduces new Moverio glasses with head-motion tracking and camera [engadget]
  • Metaio leads next-generation augmented reality on wearables at CES 2014 [blog]
  • Augmented Reality smart-glasses impress at CES 2014 [Mobile Marketing Watch]
  • Wearables with augmented reality are mind-blowing – and an ethical nightmare [CNET]
  • Metaio integrates 3-D augmented reality into Intel RealSense SDK [blog]

Upcoming Events

  • Back to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2014! Metaio will be in the App Planet once again- stay tuned for more!
  • South By Southwest Interactive 2014, Metaio’s Trak Lord will speak on a panel entitled “DIY Everything with In-Car Augmented Reality” [panel info]

Pick of CES: The AirDroid Pocket Drone

Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. There’s still time to fund these guys on their Kickstarter page, but check out this video from the CES Expo floor.


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