Augmented Reality Provides Window into the Past with Berlin Wall Timetraveler App

September 22, 2014

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How do you explain to a child where the Berlin Wall once stood? Or how it felt to live in its shadow? For those who did not live during the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall it is hard to imagine what it must have been like; yet the crowds still gather around the Wall Memorial to this day, and tales of the “death strip” still command the attention of curious visitors.

To commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall, Metaio and Timetraveler Augmented Ltd. are presenting the Timetraveler application. Using cutting-edge Augmented Reality (AR) technology from Metaio, the history of the Berlin Wall can be experienced like never before. Users of the Timetraveler app can witness hidden film footage, reconstructions of long demolished sites, and explanatory tales of the division that the nation of Germany experienced in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. Metaio Certified Developer mCrumbs was also included in the development of the application.

The Timetraveler app turns any smartphone (Android & iOS) into a window to the past, providing a completely new way to dive into the history of Berlin. The app guides the user through a GPS-based tour of eleven major historical sites along the Berlin Wall at the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Street. Once guided to the appropriate locations by GPS, the application switches to optical tracking mode where it recognizes sites and then displays stories of events that happened over five decades ago. Witness firsthand the dramatic escape of Frida Schulze from her apartment window, see the demolition of the Church of Reconciliation, and watch as the border guard Conrad Schuman jumps the barbed wire barrier between East and West Berlin. With smartphone in hand, anyone can now become an eyewitness to historical events right where they took place.

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The Timetraveler App will be presented at InsideAR – the world’s leading Augmented Reality Conference – on October 29th/30th. Join us there, Early Bird tickets are still available.

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Download the free Lite version of the Timetraveler App here and try it on the website: Android or iOS.

Become an eyewitness to history!


Into the Wild: Metaio goes Re:publica

April 14, 2014

Nothing is as it once seemed.

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Another year has passed and it’s finally time for Germany’s biggest social media conference again: Re:publica is taking place from May 6 -8 in Berlin. Last year more than 5.000 attendees discussed, over the course of three days, internet policy, network neutrality and the future of social media campaigns.

Augmented Reality was also a hot topic, as you can read in our review from the 2013 Re:publica. This year we join Re:publica again and even have our own booth in the main hall which all people have to enter before spreading out to the keynote and session halls. On Wednesday, May 7, we will offer a short presentation on stage 3 between 12.30 – 1.30 pm: Anett Gläsel-Maslov, Manager PR & Social Media at Metaio, will present our company and some of our latest projects.

About the motto “Into the wild”:

rp14_banner_300x250_1“Re:publica 2014’s motto INTO THE WILD highlights various points of departure for solutions in the internet of the near future. When algorithms turn us transparent and controllable through predictability, perhaps we have to become more unpredictable; dissolving old structures, veering from the well-trodden path in favour of chaos and irrationality, heading INTO THE WILD. Yet this begs the questions: how will we navigate and find one another? How can one whisper into the global net and, in particular, with whom? Will those calling for a free and unrestricted internet not have to face being ever more vigilant and controlling of those who may partake and those who must stay out?

While the omni-surveilled net may have become draughty it will continue to protect its vital interests, learn to sidestep and manoeuvre and continue to develop. During the build-up to re:publica 2014, we will extend INTO THE WILD in search of unexpected technical solutions, surprising impulses stemming from business and politics and look forward to new, unbridled internet culture.” (Source: http://www.re-publica.de)

Looking forward to meeting you in Berlin! 

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Watch the video for impressions from the 2013 edition of Re:publica:


Metaio at 2014 hy! Summit in Berlin: Be crazy and disruptive

March 21, 2014

hysummit_picThe last two days we attended the hy! Summit in Berlin – the most fanciest and coolest Startup event in whole Europe. The founders of hy! Berlin, Aydogan Ali Schosswald and Hans Raffauf, brought together top industry executives, innovative startups and investors to further advance the digital transformation of Europe’s economy. The discussions focused on current trend topics, big data and research, e-health, security, mobility and wearable technologies.

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“Pushing forward the dialogue between the new and old economy the hy! summit is a learning and innovation platform. At the summit decision makers of today will meet the ones of tomorrow”, says Aydogan Ali Schosswald, CEO of hy!. “Startups are exciting catalysts of our time when it comes to user-centred innovation. So our goal is not only to help them with general support but also giving them access to capital, science, politics and industrial infrastructure.”

dobrindtFederal Minister Alexander Dobrindt delivered the opening speech of the hy! summit and welcomed all participants to the “digital summit” and warned the audience: “Europe is standing on the border of being an innovation society to becoming a staganted one. Now is the time to do something.” Peter Thiel, angel investor at Facebook and Co-Founder of PayPal, as well as Charles Adler, founder of Kickstarter discussed topics around “new digital frontiers” and “innovation in the digital era”.

The most freaky show came from Ijad Madisch, founder of ResearchGate and a former doctor, who talked about his vision to create one single platform where scientists from all over the world could share their knowledge and interact with each other. And the vision came true: Ijad built ResearchGate and could even convince Bill Gates to become an investor for the Startup. Not a bad start, right?

Ijad Madisch

In addition to the leading startups and investors, established companies such as Bosch, Google, Siemens and of course Metaio were also present. The hy! summit managed perfectly to bring together decision makers of the new and old economy to identify and realize potential growth and innovation developments in the digital society.

We took also part in a fireside session “Future Applications for 3-D Spatial Awareness and Object Recognition” and had a discussion about the future of Augmented Reality, the valueness of developed applications and the future of mobile devices. These kind of debates with the AR peer group and beyond are very helpful and inspiring and we should encourage people from different industries to continue to discuss.

For Metaio the hy! Summit was a great platform to talk to new entreprenieurs with great visions and to get a lot of media awareness. Anett Glaesel-Maslov, PR Manager of Metaio, took part in the hy! Live WebShow and gave an interview about what Metaio is doing, how the AR industry changed in the last ten years and about keydriver projects. Here your can watch the complete interview:

Thank you to hy! Berlin for being part of the 2014 hy! Summit!


re:publica 2013 – Europe’s Biggest Digital Conference

May 9, 2013

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From 6th till 8th of May the re:publica, Europe’s biggest conference on digital and social media, took place in Berlin. More than 5,000 attendees discussed over three days internet policy, network neutrality and the future of social media campaigns. The most controversial topic at the moment in Germany are the plans of the Deutsche Telekom, which announced already in the beginning of May, that they will choke the speed of the internet in the nearest future. The hosts of the re:publica, Markus Beckedahl, Johnny (@spreeblick) and Tanja Häusler (@elektrotanja) as well as Andreas Gebhard, called up the participants to appeal to their government to anticipate these plans: “Avoid that the Telekom introduces a 2nd class internet!” Tanja Häusler said: “If we can now afford limitations for the sake of commercial interests, if there are no more protests against these limitations, we have to realize, in fact, that the digital society is growing continously, but still, has no power to public opinion.”

IN/SIDE/OUT – The link between online and offline

The motto of this year reminds of the difficulty to connect people from the online and the offline world: “With this in mind, the motto IN/SIDE/OUT can be read as an upending of the digital society: Facebook is reaching one billion users, established newspapers are folding to the net-based competition, and Twitter, which was once the tool for alternative civilian war correspondence, is being utilised by militaries to communicate their combat targets. While we were always sure that at some point everyone would use the mechanisms offered by Web2.0, the question remains: Who profits in the end? Will citizens embrace obligations of governments and businesses to become more transparent, while at the same time tolerate the non-transparency of those companies which form the structures of the internet? Or will we soon pull the plug and return to a place where privacy is tangible again? Will we replace the INternet with an OUTernet?”


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Sascha Lobo: Who’s afraid of Augmented Reality?

Lobo is one of Germany’s most established digital avantgardists, working as an author, columnist and speaker on digitial issues and net politics. He held his keynote on Monday not without mentioning an amazing technology such as augmented reality is. He is fascinated in AR, but honestly understands the fear of people, who don’t know what to expect about it: “It’s like the radioactivity of Internet. There has to come up a lot of awareness training on augmented reality in the future. At the moment it provokes fear on this invisible, unknown power. There is still an anxiety for the merge of the digital and real life.” He himself is enthusiatic about Ingress, an augmented reality game produced by NinanticLabs, which he played passionately in the last weeks: “It’s the most ‘nerdy’ game one can imagine.” Unfortunately, Ingress “guzzles” a lot of energy, but is lot of fun, he said.

Francesco Lapenta: A Critical look on Augmented Reality

Yesterday I’ve visited Francesco Lapenta‘s presentation with the amazing title “Mediated Life after Virtualization. A Critical Look at the Scenarios Forecast by New Wearable Augmented Reality Visualization Technologies.” He agreed so far with Lobo, that there is still a huge insecurity according to new wearable devices which are visualizing information. People usually have six senses and he imagines that all these senses should be combined in one mobile (augmenting) device such as for example Google Glass and giving real added value to people: “Our Augmented Reality device could interact with these machines, and there could be competetional power of different senses which could interact with your vision and offers you help to learn more.” But what does it really mean for us? He asked: “What will follow the inevitable technological peak and demise of old communication technologies such as the mobile and the screen? If the mobile embodied the newly acquired freedom from the constrained spaces of earlier mediated communications? New “seamless” and “immersive” technological evolutions will acquire social, cultural and market dominance while cannibalizing previous technological milestones very much like television did with photography, radio and cinema, and the computer did with them all. what are the consequences of a technology that does not pretend anymore to “simulate” reality or its visualization but now “naturally” creates the way we see the world and experience it?”

If you want to see the whole presentation, please watch the video:

I still feel overwhelmed by all these very great sessions at the re:publica and would like to recommend the #rp14 to you taking place on the May 5 – 7, 2014 in Berlin.

There was not enough time for me to attend in all events and if you are interested as well, we can also follow the re:publica YouTube channel with all presentations and keynotes.

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Come And See The Berg – For Real

September 17, 2009

In case you haven´t heard of The Berg, it is an utopia developed by the creatives at Mila Berlin. When it was time to think about new spatial concepts for the former airport “Tempelhof” in the heart of Berlin they had a great idea. The Manifesto goes a little like this: “While big and wealthy cities in many parts of the world challenge the limits of possibility by building gigantic hotels with fancy shapes, erecting  sky-high office towers or constructing hovering philharmonic temples, Berlin sets up a decent mountain. Its peak exceeds 1000 metres and is covered with snow from September to March…” After officially contributing it to the contest people all over the world could testimony, how an idea of a place transforms the place itself. People created fictive postcards with The Berg, integrated it into the advertising campaign of Berlin and created many other visions of how the city would actually look like with having The Berg. So after all, The Berg at the beginning was fiction, something virtual, somehow becoming reality. And that´s where we came in, because that´s actually what augmented reality is all about! Now, by holding a map of Berlin in front of your webcam you can see The Berg grow and take it in your hands. It is there. On your table, and maybe within the playmobil figures you are using to create a little movie with real and virtual elements. So, as a starter, here´s a little movie of The Berg in someones hands. Would you like to video-answer? What comes to your mind?

And just in case you are reading this, while you are breathing the Berliner Luft, hey, go to The Berg Fest at fabulous St. Oberholz today. Here´s the flyer:

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