Weekest Links – Early April

April 7, 2014

April showers bring AR flowers

Courtesy of Google Maps

Only the most adventurous explorers experience augmented reality

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Come on baby, light my fire: Light switches in a new dimension [Augmented Blog]

Meet Metaio at the Laval Virtual Conference, April 9th – 11th [Augmented Blog]

Microsoft Allegedly Acquiring Augmented Reality IP [Augmented Blog]

Artscape – See the World Through the Eyes of Artists [Junaio Blog]

Augmented Reality News in the World

Augmented Reality will turns us all Superman [GamesBeat]

How eCommerce, Augmented & Virtual Reality will Redefine the Retail Experience [Business 2 Community]

Legal issues may define the future of wearable technology [Mobile Commerce News]

Tell me a story: augmented reality technology in museums [The Guardian]

Vuzix: Undervalued Augmented and Virtual Reality Play; New Products To Drive Growth In ’14 [Seeking Alpha]

Raytheon Uses Augmented Reality To Speed Missile Design [InformationWeek]

Sulon Cortex Blends Virtual Reality with Augmented Reality [Tom's Hardware]

Tim Sweeney: Virtual reality will be bigger than smartphones [Kit Guru]

PS4 dev: Virtual reality and augmented reality “the future of gaming” [Gamespot]

Augmented Reality – A Compelling Mobile Embedded Vision Opportunity [Electronic Engineering Journal]

Did Facebook Buy Virtual Reality too Soon? [New York Times]

Upcoming Events

AugmentaMe EDU 2014 [Ciberespiral blog]

Metaio at Laval Virtual Conference – Come visit us at stand D19! [Laval Virtual]

#MetaioWearsEpson Giveaway – Ends Wednesday at 11:59 pm PST [Register Here]

Webinar – Metaio and the Epson Moverio BT-200 [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

With April Fools’ it comes as no surprise that tech companies around the world would come up with obscure news and events for their products. From unfair game modes to personalized weather vents on planes, April Fools’ always gets interesting. But this year, Google grabbed everyone’s attention with their Google Maps Pokemon Challenge. 150 Pokemon were hidden through the Google Maps world and would-be Pokemon Masters around the world spent hours capturing Pokemon. But alas, with only 150 of  the 719 existing species available for capture, a true Pokemon Master will only exist in the Pokemon games. Maybe next year. . . .

I wanna be..the very best


Virtual Technologies are on the move & Mark Zuckerberg dreams of Augmented Reality

March 28, 2014

It’s a decisive time for tech industries and we were overwhelmed and thrilled by the announcement of the Metaio AREngine, the developer version of the  Google Glass, Apple buying PrimeSense and Intel announcing RealSense. Intel’s proclamation in Las Vegas to integrate our 3-D tracking technology into the RealSense platform was a huge step for us.  We’ve noticed an tremendous growth in usage, development and interest in Augmented Reality and two major topics around AR dominated 2013: Enterprise and Wearble Computing. The purpose of all these technologies is after all to make our life easier and more natural. But it still takes more money and brains to come closer to this vision.

Oculus Rift at 2013 InsideAR

Oculus Rift at 2013 InsideAR

This week  two announcements rocked the market: HTC bringing out the new HTC One (M8) with a depth-of-field sensor and great possibilities to AR makers. And the huge giant Facebook  who surprised with the announcement two days ago that they will buy Oculus VR, the company developing the Oculus Rift HMD. 

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, says: “By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, virtual and augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.” For sure!

We’ve asked Peter Meier, CTO and founder of Metaio and a visionary by heart, to talk in an interview about the latest news and to consider them in the context for Augmented Reality:


SLAM: It’s all about tracking and mapping your world

March 25, 2014

In this post we examine a technology with a cool name, and some pretty neat uses. SLAM stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. Since expanding on the abbreviation does little to demystify the meaning of the term, we have asked Metaio computer vision researcher Darko Stanimirovic to explain what SLAM is and why it’s important.

Darko Stanimirovic, Computer Vision Research at Metaio

Darko Stanimirovic, Computer Vision Research at Metaio

Q. In layman’s terms, what is SLAM?

Darko: “The camera found on your smartphone is essentially a “dumb” device which simply captures the light in form of numbers. A video sequence then is simply an array of images containing again, nothing but numbers. In order for a smart device to know where it is an environment, it must be able to make sense of this stream of numbers. So, to help this “dumb” camera, a dedicated computer algorithm must be used. One such algorithm is called SLAM. The SLAM algorithm consists of “localization” and “mapping” tasks. Here, “mapping” refers to a process of charting a map of the environment, while “localization” refers to camera position tracking in the space. Both of these tasks benefit from each other: the better we know the map of the environment, the easier it is to determine the position of the camera and vice versa: the better we know the camera position, the more accurate the map is going to be. That is where the “S” in SLAM comes from, because both tasks are performed in the same time, i.e. simultaneously.”

Image

SLAM demonstrated from a remote quadracopter flying over a village

Q. Where can we find SLAM being used?

Darko: “SLAM technology is found in a variety of state-of-the-art inventions. Whether it is Google’s self-driving car, your little robot vaccuum, or even Autonomous Mars rovers, SLAM is being used to help these smart devices learn and navigate in real-world environments.”

Q. Why is SLAM important for Augmented Reality?

Darko: “The magic of AR cannot work without knowing where the camera is located, and SLAM is an important technology for determining where a smart device actually is. For example, if an AR experience is based on a holding a smartphone up to a poster, then the device needs to know where it is in relation to that poster in order to realistically “stitch” digital content into the scene, and SLAM is one of the key technologies that allow this.

SLAM can also be used to extend the known world around a smart device. SLAM helps to fill in additional details that exist in the environments of all the different users out there. We see this in IKEA’s 2014 catalogue app where a piece of virtual furniture “pops” out of from the cover of the catalogue (the known piece of information), and then the device begins to learn the environment in order to place the virtual furniture into the room in a realistic way.”

SLAM tracking technology is one of the many 3D tracking capabilities of the Metaio SDK PRO, making it the most powerful Augmented Reality development tool on the market. For more information about the Metaio SDK, check out the SDK page here


Weekest Links, March 3/10

March 10, 2014

♪Rain, rain, come today. Come augment our little bay

Metaio CEO Thomas Alt speaking with SAP’s Manuel Saez

Metaio|Junaio Recap

Augmented Reality Untethers SAP: An interview with Thomas Alt at 2014 MWC  [SAP Events]

Project Tango – The Specialized 3-D Mapping Device [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality Across the World

How Augmented Reality Builds Bridges Between Games and Children’s Books [The Guardian]

‘Smart’ Helmet Startup Wins Wearable Tech Award at SXSW 2014 [Live Science]

Google is Finally Getting Serious About Wearables [The Verge]

Augmented Reality: Why Gimmicks Aren’t Forever and How AR is Pushing Envelopes Around the World [Marketing Magazine]

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

A Look At Lumus, The Amazing Lens Technology That is Going to Change Wearables [TechCrunch]

What Happens in the Brain When Blind People Learn to See With Sound [Wired]

The Future of Higher Education? Five Experts Give Their Predictions [The Higher Education]

Events

See Trak Lord in a panel at this year’s SXSW! [SXSW Schedule]

No webinar this week, folks. Our apologizes! [Puppies]

Pick of the Week

Although convenient to have a keyboard  quite literally in the palm of your hand,  Samsung’s Augmented Reality Keyboard feels a bit out of place. We’ll have to see if this comes into realization, and it would be really interesting to see this paired with eye-tracking. . . .

phpte04y8


Project Tango – The Specialized 3-D Mapping Device

March 5, 2014

Oh lover boy.

You may have seen the post we published last week about the rise of 3-D cameras. Well it looks like Google was already working on something similar. Introducing Google’s Project Tango.

I swear they want us to make dance puns but I don’t lead that way

Project Tango is fairly simple:  A 4 mega-pixel camera, motion-tracking camera and an infrared sensor work with gyroscopes and other motion sensors to give the phone the ability to sense where it is in a space. They take in as much information about the surrounding area as possible and construct 3-D maps on the fly.

It takes two cameras to. . . wait for it. . . TANGO!

Tango appears to use a process very similar to SLAM but grabs even more data in regards to its surroundings. What’s really impressive is that Tango grabs all of that data and processes it live, and all on a mobile device (via the Myriad 1 vision processor). Tango can act as a virtual eye for those with visual impairments or even give robots the ability to learn and remember their environments. Combined with Google’s robotics departments, self-driving cars, and anything else they’ve been developing behind closed doors, Tango’s technology will likely see a lot of use within Google.

No please, my phone will lead

While Tango has been set up to blow away all expectations, I can’t help but wonder what sort of limitations it has. How long does the battery last when device is running? How much of the environment can it process at a time? To what detail? So far Google has been fairly hush hush about Tango’s specifications so we’ll have to wait and see.

Google will be releasing 200 devices to select developers. If you’re interested in grabbing your own Tango, sign up on their website. As previously mentioned Google probably has its own plans with Tango’s technology, but it will likely be looking towards other developers to see if Tango has wide commercial potential. Be sure to check out the video below for more information on Tango.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Project Tango


Weekest Links – End of February

February 24, 2014

Sometimes we all need a little AR love.

There appears to have been some complications at check-in.

Metaio|Junaio Recap

Meet us at Mobile World Congress! [Augmented Blog]

AR Interoperability Demo at Mobile World Congress [Augmented Blog]

Metaio reveals new Augmented Reality SDK to support latest 3-D camera and 3-D printing technologies [Metaio]

Junaio Update! [Junaio Blog]

Augmented Reality in the World

Augmented Reality Gets to Work [MIT Technology Review]

Multi booth showcase for Vuzix Wearable Technology during Mobile World Congress 2014 [MarketWatch]

7 Ways to Benefit from Augmented Reality Devices [SAP Blog]

5 Future Car Technologies That Truly Have a Chance [HowStuffWorks]

Upcoming Events

Mobile World Congress. We’re here! Come visit us in Hall 8.1 booth 8.1G47! [Mobile World Congress]

Webinar – Metaio Trivia: Non-Technical Edition [Sign Up]

Pick of the Week

AR and 3-D and Google, oh my! Google has unveiled an augmented reality smartphone capable of mapping its environment in real time. Some pretty cool stuff. Be sure to check out the video for more information!


Metaio opens new offices at Munich’s Hackerbrücke (ZOB)

January 13, 2014

new office_3

During the turn of the year Metaio headquarters in Munich moved and we opened our new offices  into the commercial complex of Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof (ZOB) close to the Munich Hackerbrücke. 

„With the centrally located new offices close to Hackerbrücke we have established a presence at one of the best business locations in Munich,” says Dr. Thomas Alt, CEO Metaio. “With leading technology companies such as Apple and Google’s planned offices as our neighbors, we are in a very good company here.”

Our official address is now: Metaio GmbH, Hackerbrücke 6 (ZOB), 80335 Munich – and we are still looking for new people. Check our career page here for vacancies!

new_office_4

new_office_1

(Image courtesy: ZOB München)

(Image courtesy: ZOB München)


November 4, 2013: Weekest Links

November 4, 2013

Remember remember the fourth of November. 

I remember this from that one night in college.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

  • Augmented Reality: Ikea Catalogue and beyond [Econsultancy]
  • New Webinar: Learn all about the new features in the Metaio Creator 3.0 [video]
  • CastAR: A future in Augmented Reality and Videogames [blog]
  • InsideAR 2013: The Future of Wearable Computing [blog]
  • AR Dirt Podcast: InsideAR Recap [AR Dirt]

There are things that are happening

  • Google gesture patent would let Glass wearers “heart” real-world objects [engadget]
  • Virtual Reality: All you need to know about input devices for the bright new future of gaming [Gamasutra]
  • The rise of Augmented Reality in gaming [IQ Intel Blog]
  • Peering into the future of Augmented Reality Gaming [Gamasutra]

Events

  • Trak Lord will present at this year’s Visual Media Alliance in San Francisco, “How to: Augment Reality into a Real Thing”, November 6 [event site]
  • Brendan Scully will participate in a panel on AR at the 7th GeoWeb Summit, November 7 in New York City [50% discount]
  • All the InsideAR presentations from Day 1 and Day 2 are available on Metaio’s YouTube page [youtube.com/metaioAR]

Pick of the week: Pixelstick – Light Painting Evolved

For those of you who don’t know about light painting, it’s basically twirling around gigantic light-saber type things to slow-capture large digital impressions on reality. Maybe not computer vision, but extremely creative and visually stimulating. Enjoy the video- more on their Kickstarter page.


Cruising the Augmented City: Mercedes-Benz Presenting Prototype as World Premiere at InsideAR 2013

September 26, 2013

It’s only two weeks left until we will rock the Olympiapark in Munich with this year’s InsideAR!

The widespread announcement of the Google Glass AR-demo that Metaio CEO, Dr. Thomas Alt, will showcase in his welcome keynote not enough? Still not convinced why you should come to the world’s biggest augmented reality conference?

There is something really cool that will help you to make your decision quite easy: Mercedes-Benz will be presenting a prototype as a public world premiere at this year’s InsideAR and you should come over to be part of it!

Screen Mockup (Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

Screen Mockup (Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

Comfort and Safety are two important pillars of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Augmented Reality can help strengthen both aspects when put to use inside an In-Vehicle Infotainment system; however, first some obstacles have to be overcome.  Mercedes-Benz will come to InsideAR to present a world premiere: The first fully-functional prototype of an In-Vehicle Infotainment System using augmented reality.  In his keynote Markus Hammori, Manager HMI Architecture and Instrument Cluster at Daimler AG, will explain why augmented reality and cars work great together and why in fact now is the time to implement those systems. Then the prototype vehicle used at Mercedes-Benz to verify AR use cases is introduced and Markus Hammori explains why some ideas might look great when shown in a fixed-based exhibition prototype, but fall to pieces as soon as they are tested on the road. After a short glimpse into the technology of the prototype vehicle, Markus Hammori will explain why augmented video at the moment can provide a richer experience than a AR in a head-up-display.

Markus Hammori representing Mercedes-Benz at InsideAR 2013

Hammori Markus

At Daimler Group Research and Advanced Engineering Telematics Markus and his team develop new architecture concepts for the next generation of In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI). Scanning for new technologies that help to make the user interface in the car even more intuitive is part of the task – and AR definitely fits this bill. He believes strongly that Augmented Reality can help make the user interface in cars easier to understand and thus safer and more comfortable to use.

What was your main target working on this experimental trial?

Markus Hammori: In this first step of our project we wanted to build a prototype showing augmented video in the car using widely available hardware. The ultimate goal was to assess on the one hand which use cases will work and give a benefit to our customers and on the other gather information on the target architecture for implementing this technology. At the moment we are building a technology demonstrator putting to use all sensor data available to current Mercedes-Benz models.

How long did it take from the very first idea to realize the In-Vehicle Infotainment navigation system? 

Markus Hammori: At Mercedes-Benz Group Research we always monitor innovative Technologies. When it became clear in 2011 that AR could become a key innovation for In-vehicle HMI we decided to have a deeper look at it.

In 2012 our team at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America developed the “Dice” (Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience) study and showed it at CES 2012. The concept is to represent information from the environment to the driver on the windshield visually and create a network. The study gives an outlook on how telematics and infotainment systems in the car of the future might look like.

Markus Hammori: After this visionary approach we wanted to show what is possible today. We started in our department with a small team and built a straightforward prototype. Today there is even an additional team whose members work exclusively on our goal of bringing AR into the next Mercedes-Benz models. But we still have a few things to do until then. There are still some tricky obstructions such as street canyons with insufficient GPS reception or high speed maneuvers with a car, which mark big challenges to us.

What will Mercedes-Benz be showcasing at InsideAR 2013?

Markus Hammori: At InsideAR we’ll show an In-Vehicle Infotainment System featuring augmented video with use cases for drivers as well as for co-drivers. The system will give a glimpse of how AR may be integrated in future Mercedes-Benz COMAND systems.

Screen Prototype (Image Courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

Of course we are also working on use cases for head-up displays; however, for several reasons we think that at the moment augmented video is the better option. Two short reasons: First the field of view of the current and also the next generation of HUD will only allow augmenting a relatively small area when you aim for contact precise augmentation. More important however we will want to reduce the information shown on the HUD to top priority information e.g. speed, navigation and driver assistance in order to keep the distraction for the driver as low as possible. When aiming at a broader AR experience and especially for reaching the passengers we therefore need to look at the other display areas. Thanks to our split-view display we are also able to show the co-driver a different picture on the central screen than the driver. In vehicles with rear seat entertainment we thus can provide each passenger with an individual view.

On the 1st of October we’ll have a pre-pitch for a handful of journalists already, but what we’ll show at InsideAR is the first public world premiere. Mercedes-Benz is the first OEM showing this very new generation of In-Vehicle Infotainment inside a car. We’ll have our Mercedes-Benz prototype vehicle standing outside of the Kleine Olympiahalle showing our In-Vehicle Infotainment and are happy to discuss your opinion on our current project-state

Why do you think AR makes sense for In-Vehicle Infotainment?

Markus Hammori: The technology helps us tremendously to provide drivers quickly with the right information they need in a certain situation.  It is simply much faster to be presented with the name of the street you are currently looking at or the number of the house that you are just passing compared to zooming into your navigation map until you find that information.

Protoype (Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

Protoype (Image courtesy Mercedes-Benz)

And speed in this case means less distraction and therefore more safety and comfort.

Also we want to provide new entertainment use cases to the co-drivers. That starts with touristic information such as panorama images or geo caches. We want to offer a motivation to stop for sightseeing or just to explore new areas while driving around.

Nevertheless, the technology still needs a final touch until we can offer it in on any Mercedes-Benz vehicle. Currently, we are looking for content providers and hope to meet some potential partners at InsideAR 2013! We know from previous years that Inside AR gathers Augmented Reality experts from around the world. It is therefore the perfect place for us to show our use case prototype, and we look forward to great discussions and possibilities for cooperation.

Thank you for the opportunity to give us an insight view before InsideAR already starts! 

Register for your tickets on our InsideAR webpage!

insideAR


Weekest Links 514 – 5/20

May 20, 2013

Don’t be a glasshole

AVK Terwey Zoo Monster Augmented Reality project with Junaio

Zoo Monster: An Augmented Reality Project with Junaio, by Certified Developers AVK Terwey [video]

Metaio | Junaio

  • Vote for the Metaio SDK, the Mitsubishi Enterprise MeView, The IKEA Catalog and the AREngine in the 2013 Augmented World Expo Auggies Competition! [Vote]
  • Developers: Sign up for this week’s webinar, Augmented Reality Content Creation [sign up]
  • Even more stuff for developers: Submit your intent to compete in the first-ever Metaio International Developers Contest, with grand prizes including software licenses and a trip to Munich to present at the 2013 InsideAR [contests]
  • Intelligent Computing meets Augmented Reality: Brutus guides you through Ohio State University [article]

There are things that are happening

  • 7 Standout Google Glass apps you can download right now [Mashable]
  • Forget Google Glass: Recon debuts Android-friendly glasses at I/O [CNET]
  • Epson tries its hand at high-tech glasses [USA Today]
  • Meta 1 augmented reality headset launches on Kickstarter [Slashgear]
  • How two Valve Engineers walked away with the company’s augmented reality glasses [The Verge]

Events

  • We like to party- are you in the Silicon Valley area on June 3? Come to an Augmented Evening with Metaio (tickets are limited) [registration]
  • Join the Ninth annual AR standards meeting at Columbia University, May 29-30 [event site]
  • Interested in speaking, sponsoring or attending InsideAR, the most exciting event in the augmented reality industry? Contact us! [event site]
  • Meet Metaio at the Augmented Reality Summit, June 20th in London [event site]

pick of the week: Google Glass from the eyes of the toddler

“Lego stuff…and blocks and stuff….”


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