The World’s First Reverse Vending Machine

June 30, 2011

Last week, Mayors from around the United States gathered for the 79th United States Mayor Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Unlike the last 78 USCM’s, the mayors this year got to experience a device that is the first of its kind: Recyclable Planet‘s Augmented Reality Reverse Vending Machine, powered by metaio’s Unifeye Platform and with the help of German vending firm trautwein sb technik.

Reverse vending machine? Yes! It rewards you for using it, and most importantly, for doing your part to help the environment. The concept is simple, much like redemption machines that already exist around the US where you can redeem recyclables for a small bonus, usually around 0.05 per item, depending on state regulations. This new “Green Machine” is universal- users can be rewarded with prizes and discounts at local retailers, just for recycling. Even better, these impressive devices come equipped with interactive augmented reality. Check out the video below to see how it works:

This is a major step for urban connectivity, commerce, and especially the environment. I’ve traveled through over 85% of the United States, and I can’t tell you how many places I came across where recycling was a foreign concept. I even stopped at cafeteria-style restaurants that sold bottled and canned beverages, only to be met with blank stares when I asked for the nearest recycling bin at the end of my meal. These machines could be a large move to educating people on the value of recycling through reward-based incentives and progressive-minded, interactive technology.

Attention Mayors of major US cities: Recycling just got gamified- let’s play “Save the Planet”.

Augmented Expression: ARtists Making ARt

June 11, 2011

Augmented Reality as a technology is often seen through utilitarian eyes. AR has many appropriate industry uses, such as improving mechanical safety inspections, interactive training procedures, mobile instruction manuals, and assembly-line safety. But over the past few months, we’ve seen developers use our technology more and more for personal, emotional, most importantly artistic expression.

XYZ Site Gallery AR experience

It’s difficult to try to comprehend the almost limitless design possibilities when you have the potential to take any digitally-designed or rendered object and place, overlay, or otherwise anchor it to the physical world.  Imagine: a vast museum of virtual artifacts and objects occupying the same space as the Louvre- accessible only through your mobile device! The term “mixed media” is barely sufficient anymore- we’re beginning to see a real blending of the virtual and the physical, with a substantial emphasis on using metaio’s software, like junaio, to curate and design galleries, exhibits, art and space augmentations, and even use “basic” functionalities of junaio to guide and navigate around them.

Chris Hodson and Sarah Staton recently designed an experience for the Sheffield, UK Site Gallery in which they designed and implemented sculptures that were part virtual and part material, including marble, concrete, metal, wood, glass, wool and cork. The experience was triggered by a series of markers placed around and inside the museum- such a simple installation process for something so complex! Hodson and Staton even worked with physicist Dominic Hosler to design a “cuboid game of life and death”, in which “infinitely accumulating and dissipating cubes” loop themselves into eternity.

Anyone living or vacationing in Italy this year should already be familiar with the 54th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition. This year, we’re pleased to announce there will be a junaio channel running the duration of the event until 27 November 2011. The channel, “Venice Augmented”, was developed by San Francisco-based Certified Developer Vitamin AR under the direction of artist Amir Baradaran, and places examples of Baradaran’s work in POI’s around Venice and the Biennale, as part of his “FutARism” campaign:

I am interested in how small acts of resistance, particularly within so-called virtual domains, can create pockets of transformation. Seeking to generate much more than novel surprise, my art explores new ways of being.

These are just two ways in which artists are using junaio to design wonderfully interactive experiences. Below is a list of links to recent examples of junaio augmenting the art world. What kind of projects could you envision, knowing that what you design is not bound by the laws of nature? A Borgesian map, perhaps?




Scope, Cabinet Exhibition, Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth, UK; Vladimir Geroimenko and Roberto Fraquelli

-          “Scope” junaio channel that adds enhanced dimensionality to a specific exhibit

Mao Dollar Channel, part of the Manifest.AR art festival

Gallery Kessler-Battaglia AR experience, developed by our partner eDiam Sistemas

Museum Night in Belgrade with our own TV appearance!

The Future of Augmented Reality – Right Now

September 29, 2010

We held a conference, called “insideAR”, with focus on current practical applications in marketing and industry as well as on the future of this exciting field, which is being identified by many analysts as one of the most disruptive technologies of the years to come. 250 attendees from many countries and industries were able to follow insightful presentations by Intel, Nokia, Siemens and others about their company`s contributions and plans regarding AR. As the many money-earning practical applications on display during the conference demonstrated, Augmented Reality is definitely here to stay and has found its place in everyday life. metaio, as conference host, took opportunity to present its view of market opportunities, its vision of a seamless interconnection between the real and the digital world, and the kind of advanced technologies available already or being developed at the metaio labs at this point in time.

The full press release can be found: here.

All the keynotes can be found: here.

Developer Contest on junaio

March 30, 2010

Attention, although you are enthusiastic about AR, here´s a perfect combination: living at the cutting edge of technology and earning money there. Doesn´t that sound fantastic? Well, let me quote the related metaio newsletter article here: “With junaio’s open API, developers can create state of the art augmented reality applications. You don’t need any experience in programming for embedded systems. Challenge your imagination and contribute to junaio’s exciting world with AR Mashups, multiplayer games and scavenger hunts, interactive, indoor and outdoor exhibitions, tours with animated 3D characters or location independent gaming. All you need to do as a developer is to register for an API key and start challenging your creativity.” In addition to money, fame, a visit at the Oktoberfest (create an app for that event!) and a new longterm business model for developers, of course the best ideas will also be featured here. I am looking forward to seeing what you are believing in. Below you will find some inspiration…

junaio developer brief

March 18, 2010

Out now and nothing to add. Er, I mean, isn´t the indoor navigation part brilliant? Or… OK, stop it. Here´s Peter:

One more thing, definetely worth to add: Music by

Where Mobile Augmented Reality is Headed: Real 3D*

January 21, 2010

Here´s a really nice read with the above title from the “Mobile Innovation Exchange”. The author David Pringle* interviewed me some days ago and assuming from his questions I thought, this could lead to a quite interesting article. Obviously he did more research in this field, than watching the latest youtube video… A quote: “Metaio’s ultimate goal is for junaio to provide “augmented vision”, enabling users to view 3D images very precisely registered at a specific location in the real-world, so you could, for example, walk right round a dinosaur and view it from every angle.” In order to reach this goal, an integrated augmented reality software platform where development in all the possible areas – industrial, design, web, mobile, research, … – is prolific for every field to which AR is implemented, helps a lot!

Augmented Kingdom

August 14, 2009

Once upon a time, there was this information kingdom, ruled by hype cycles and catchy videos. Speed was the currency, quantity was the drug and image was everything. It was the time of virtual birds, twittering the news and rumours in a 15 seconds of fame (and attention) pulse through the venes of the newswires. Some even called it a war when it came to a certain point where the world as it has been known was on it´s way to change. I mean, the way this world was seen. In these times even the most deliberate knights, the warhorses of this visual battle were forced to use the ultimate measure: a demo video !  (drum roll, rolling thunder, pathetic music). And this is the story I want to tell you today…


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