Augmenting Augmented Reality: Metaio Reveals 3D Depth Sensor Support for SDK 6

October 23, 2014

metaio depth sensing capabilities

Yesterday turned out to be a very big day for the world of Augmented Reality. Why? Because Metaio unveiled a few new details about the Metaio SDK 6 – support for 3D depth-sensing camera systems.

project tango and metaioFor those of you who didn’t hear the latest news about depth-sensing cameras and the enormous improvement they pose for AR technology, we’ll kindly nudge you in the direction of our previous blog post. With that refresher you’ll see why yesterday’s news is an important stepping-stone for the future of Augmented Reality.

According to Metaio CTO and co-founder, Peter Meier, “Smartphones and tablets have historically made use of single, ‘2D’ cameras primarily intended for image capture, but as smart devices have become more powerful, we are demanding more and more from the optics of these devices.With the ability to understand depth information, mobile devices will become significantly more powerful when it comes to Augmented Reality and computer vision tasks.”

With giants like Google and Intel announcing new generations of high-tech devices that are able to “see” the world in 3D via RGB-D (Red, Green, Blue, Depth) sensors, it seems natural for Metaio to support this technology on the Metaio SDK.

The video below illustrates how added 3D sensors in both a Windows tablet and an iPad make Augmented Reality much more powerful by virtually eliminating the need for markers in many use cases, and even more importantly,, solving the occlusion problem – where virtual data is incorrectly rendered into the environment.

occiptial and ipadOccipital’s Structure Sensor is one of the first devices to be supported in the Metaio SDK. According to Occipital CEO and co-founder, Jeff Powers, “We share a common goal with Metaio of allowing developers to create powerful and convincing 3D and AR experiences. It’s why we created the Structure Sensor. Metaio’s support of the Structure Sensor and SDK will bring added realism to AR experiences with real world scale and occlusion.”

This brings new possibilities in Augmented Reality gaming by enabling digital objects to react and interact with physical environments. Indoor navigation that does not require a GPS signal will be possible and precise, and scanners that can extract 3D models from the environment will no longer be a vision of the future.

Metaio’s flagship SDK will be updated to version 6.0 during InsideAR Munich, and will support depth sensor input from devices including Occipital Structure sensor and others to come in early 2015.

“Knowing that the likes of Google and Intel are heavily investing in depth-sensing camera devices, we made sure our SDK is prepared for the next big surge of of innovation that this hardware provides developers,” says Peter Meier. With development options for iOS, Android, and Windows PC, and the most advanced tracking technology available, the Metaio SDK is the most powerful Augmented Reality developer tool on the market.

There will be a  live demonstration highlighting the important benefits of RGB-D devices  during InsideAR Munich on October 29th and 30th. Just one of the many reasons to attend this year’s most exciting Augmented Reality conference. But hurry, there are only a few days left for you to secure your ticket. Don’t miss out and join us now!

Learn more at: http://www.insidear2014.com/


Niantic’s Fascinating New (Tr)Endgame

October 17, 2014

A guest post by Vanessa Oswald

1280_Game

I’m so excited. Why? Because of the news that flooded the internet over the last couple of days; news about a book (well, three books actually) which will be far more than just mere paper novels. Welcome to James Frey’s Endgame!

You’ve probably already heard about this new multilayered project before In case you haven’t, let me try to clear things up for you:

THE BASICS

91-nNxO5k2LEndgame is a book trilogy, whose first installment was released a few days ago on Oct. 7th. The books tell a story of earth’s impending doom and 12 ancient tribes chosen to participate in a scavenger hunt across the planet: the Endgame. The task itself is simple: Find three keys hidden somewhere on earth. The obstacles though, are enormous. Only the descendants of the tribe that finds all keys during the game will survive. Essentially, your fellow players turn into your mortal enemies.

That’s all well and good, right? There’s more: The books themselves contain puzzles and clues, which will lead to a total of three real-life keys. Whoever finds a key, will receive $500,000 in solid gold. Quite an incentive to get up and out into the world, isn’t it?

But these books are only the tip of the fantasy iceberg. The planned content will consist of novellas, movies, blogs, vlogs and, most importantly, an augmented reality game for everybody all over the world. James Frey and co-author Nils Johnson-Shelton collaborated with Google’s Niantic Labs – the creators of the world’s most successful AR game ‘Ingress’ – to make this adventure possible for each and every one of us.

“I think the future of video games is not on a screen, it’s in the world”, says James Frey, “How do we turn the world into a video game, how do I make something, that allows a reader, a gamer, or a consumer to be engaged with our property everywhere they go”.

The massive project Frey inaugurated is only possible because of our modern way of living and coexistence with powerful mobile devices. The game is announced to run on both iOS and Android devices.

The Game

Endgame will be a location-based game, much like Ingress, making it possible for you to walk around a map created out of real-life Google Maps data. You can literally explore the whole world. Players will have to choose one of the twelve different ancient tribes and fight for them during the game. There will be approximately a million hotspots all over the world radiating weapons, power and protection. Once you’re close enough, you can access the hotspot and loot the special items it’s holding. The bigger the hotspot, the more power and players will be needed to access it. According to Frey and Niantic, you will also be able to attack other players if they are in a radius of 50 yards, giving you the possibility to interact closely with other participants.

12_societies

The more hotspots you’re accessing and the more enemies you’re defeating, the more powerful you’ll get. An extra bonus will be the additional clues you’ll receive. These clues will help you solve the complicated puzzle in the books. The concept itself is absolutely fascinating and since Niantic Labs has acquired a huge amount of experience with Ingress, we can probably expect one hell of a game.

By the way, you don’t have to read the books to be able to play the game and the other way around. But let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you?

The authors and masterminds of Niantic Labs created this vast universe, for all those who are hungry to not only read about their favorite adventure, but to participate in it as well. We all love to be heroes, after all. Real life and science fiction have never been so closely entwined.

I can’t wait to be a part of this epic project. I’ll see you out there. Make sure you’re ready!


Weekest Links – Mid July

July 14, 2014

There was little doubt in our minds that Germany would win yesterday. Congrats to the German National Team for a victory well deserved! Now in other news. . . .

germany-wins

Image courtesy of The News Tribe

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Google’s Augmented Reality Game INGRESS now available for iOS [Augmented Blog]

Navigate Tokyo with the help of augmented reality penguins! [RocketNews24]

From kids to augmented reality: the Wearables market knows no limits [Telecom TV]

Metaio Presents Augmented Reality for Smart Watches [Augmented Blog]

Smartwatches could be a perfect home for augmented reality (Video) [TheNextWeb]

Metaio presents Augmented Reality for Smart Watches [YouTube]

Augmented Reality News

Who will win the war of the wearables? [ITProPortal]

Google’s Ingress augmented reality game quietly launches for iOS devices [TheNextWeb]

Continental showcases Augmented Reality Head-up display [ET Auto]

Eyespeak Eye Tracking Augmented Reality Glasses Set To Revolutionise Hands Free Interfaces [Geeky Gadgets]

Jaguar Land Rover projects driving data directly on the windshield [Engadget]

An Augmented Reality Windshield Tells You How to Take a Racing Line [Gizmodo]

Google Glass Makes Its Way Into A Tennessee Operating Room [Mobile Commerce Press]

Nation’s Largest MLS to Offer New Augmented Reality App to Members [MarketWatch]

‘Modern Polaxis’ travels through time, augmented reality [Comic Book Resources]

Google’s 3D Augmented Reality Tech Gives NASA a Boost [DailyTech]

Why Augmented Reality Is A Strategic Technology [BusinessWorld]

Ludwig II – Walking in the Footsteps of a Fairytale King [AppShopper]

Wearable Technology Could Be A $50 Billion Industry By 2018 [Mobile Commerce Press]

Why do we need to buy TV’s when we can simply draw one? | Tim Gentle | TEDxBendigo [YouTube]

Upcoming Events

Webinar – 3D Tracking: Edge-Based and Point Cloud [Register Here]

DLDwoment14 – Munich, July 21 – 22 [Information Here]

Pick of the Week

Jaguar Land Rover has definitely been no stranger to augmented reality concepts. Their newest concept overlays virtual racing lines and racing ghosts onto the windshield to help drivers race better. Check out the articles posted above and the video below for a demonstration of their new technology.


Google’s Augmented Reality Game INGRESS now available for iOS

July 14, 2014

Long expected, finally available! 

Ingresslogo

Launched in 2012, more than 4 million people in over 200 countries have already played Ingress on Android-based devices. Today, Google’s Niantic Labs has released the iOS version of the Alternate Reality game that lets gamers explore more than 300 million portals worldwide. In the game you decide to either join the resistance or enlightened group and “battle to collect and control the powerful ‘Exotic Matter,’ which is virtually located in real-life locations worldwide.” (TechCrunch)

Through GPS and Augmented Reality, the portals can be found anywhere: for example in or around monuments, special buildings or street art in the real world. To take a portal, the agent can locate, attack and equip the conquest case. The portals can be connected with each other and several linked portals create energy fields. The area which covers these fields is counted as conquered. Thousands of passionate Ingress gamers organize meet-ups all over the world. An impressive case was Operation Green Marble, where gamers from the Enlightened team tried to convert the north half of the Earth to “Green”.

We will definitely try it and discover the Ingress world!

Note: Every Thursday, the Ingress Report is your source for all the latest on the Niantic Project.

Ingress is available for download in the App Store.


Weekest Links – Early July

July 7, 2014

Did you augmented your 4th with some fiARworks?

Augmented Reality in the Age of Wearables

Mr. Scully speaking on a panel of experts about the future of augmented reality.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

AR Toys Competition Jury Member #4: Introducing Pati Keilwerth [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality Makes Us More Human, Not Less [Tom's Guide]

Augmented Reality Made Easy – Webinar [PaperSpecs]

Augmented Reality News

Holographic optic could revolutionise augmented reality (and even works in 3D) [Stuff]

Head-up Displays: Technologies and Global Markets [Digital Journal]

The Top 5 Most Useful Augmented Reality Apps [Bidness Etc]

Oculus suspends Rift sales in China after “extreme” reselling [Vizworld]

Speck Design Collaborates with Google on Project Tango Tablet [MarketWatch]

Google’s Project Tango Could Define The Future of Augmented Reality [Benzinga]

R Security Uses Augmented Reality Video and Click to Call Through Engage Mobility to Promote Residential Protect America Security [MarketWatch]

K-Glass to be unveiled in 2015 [The Korea Herald]

Shining a light on the past: ‘Virtual Reality’ torch project missing fragments on to ancient treasures, restoring them to their former glory [Daily Mail Online]

Mobility’s Promise [Energy Biz]

Drakerz-Confrontation augmented-reality card game launches in the U.S. [VentureBeat]

Google Glass’s Thad Starner Wears the Future [IEEE Spectrum]

Enriching the User Experience with Augmented Reality Technology [Strawberry Hill]

Please DO Touch the Dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum [Smithsonian.com]

Scottish government uses augmented reality in campaign against second-hand smoke [The Drum]

FDA clearance for augmented reality device lets surgeons see each critical step before they make it [MedCity News]

Upcoming Events

Webinar – Metaio Creative: Interactive AR [Sign Up Here]

InsideAR Tokyo – July 8th [Program Info]

Wearable Technologies Conference, July 8th – 9th [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

A major difference between augmented reality and virtual reality is that augmented reality inherently has you interact with the real world while virtual reality seeks to immerse you in an entirely different reality. A panel about augmented reality and wearable computing at New York’s CE Week 2014 explored some arguments for (and against) a future embracing augmented reality. Check out the panel session below and be sure to read the article Augmented Reality Makes Us More Human, Not Less for more information.


Weekest Links – Late June

June 16, 2014

Germany won today’s match 4-0! And best of luck to team USA playing later today!

augmented reality gamers

Courtesy of The Star Online

 

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Thermal Camera Turns Many Things into Interactive Surfaces [MIT Technology Review]

AR Toy Competition – Extended Deadline and Meet the Judges [Augmented Blog]

Metaio Reaches 100,000 Developers [Augmented Blog]

Free Historic Augmented Reality Tour of the Asbury Boardwalk Launches June 29 [New Jersey Stage]

#ARToys: Extended Deadline + Introducing Michaela Haberlander [Toywheel]

Meet the AR Toys Competition Jury No. 1: Csongor Baranyai [Toywheel]

Metaio’s Thermal Touch and the Future of Wearable AR Input Methods [Brainberry Global]

Augmented Reality News

Microsoft rumored to have put Project Fortaleza augmented reality glasses on hold [Mobile Nations]

Augmented reality puts players into videogame action [The Star Online]

Does Wearable Technology Have a Future? [Mobile Commerce News]

Hello, Google Glass: Microsoft tries to patent touch input for eyeglass frames [Geek Wire]

Augmented Reality Signs Could Overlay Personal Maps On The Road Ahead [psfk]

Augmented reality puts players into video game action [Yahoo 7 News]

Finding 3D pose with a monocular camera [IMV Europe]

Augmented Australia 1914-2014 has a great opening in Venice [InfoLink]

Wearable Augmented-Reality Solution for Color Blindness [UCSD Computer Science and Engineering]

Google begins testing new feature for its augmented reality glasses [Mobile Commerce News]

Augmented reality road markings and signage “could be applied as a digital layer” [Dezeen and MINI Frontiers]

Upcoming Events

Webinar – TBD

SFAMA – Print & Digital Unite! How To Create Integrated Campaigns That Get Results [Register Here]

Pre-I/O Google Glass Hackathon [Register Here]

Wearable Technologies Conference 2014, July 8-9 | USA [Register Here]

Meetup – The Today and Tomorrow of Augmented Reality, June 18 [Register Here]

InsideAR Tokyo, July 8th [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

Lowe’s has created a augmented reality room dubbed the “Holoroom” to help customers visualize home improvements using digital technology. Using a series of markers places throughout a room, Lowe’s Holoroom hopes to bring the Star Trek holodeck one step closer to reality. The Holoroom will be installed in various Lowe’s stores in Toronto this year. Read more about it here.

Courtesy of CNBC

Courtesy of CNBC


Google Acquires Augmented Reality Translation Company Quest Visual

May 19, 2014

If you’ve ever traveled through a country home to a language you’re unfamiliar with, you know how frustrating it can be just to navigate through even simple tasks such as ordering at a restaurant. That’s where Quest Visual and their app Word Lens come into play. Word Lens is an augmented reality app that translates text in real time on your smartphone.

Demo Video

This functionality caught Google’s eye. On Friday, Google announced that it would be acquiring Quest Visual for undisclosed amount. The Quest Visual team will be integrated with the Google Translate team to merge the two technologies and bring augmented reality translations to Google Translate.

The acquisition makes a lot of sense for Google because it could make Google Translate an even more successful, seamless tool for translations on the fly. By bringing the 345 languages supported by the Translator Toolkit to an augmented reality-based application that has already had success on Google Glass, Go0gle can make accessing information across languages that much easier. And once integrated onto Google Glass, translating a text can be as simple as looking at it. (Of course that all depends on the quality of the translation, but that’s a different topic in and of itself.)

In the meantime, Word Lens and all of its translation packages are free on Google Play and iTunes while Quest Visual transitions to Google. As the second mixed reality company to be acquired by a major tech giant this year, it looks to be an exciting year for augmented and virtual reality. Congrats to the Quest Visual team, we look forward to seeing an even stronger augmented reality translation app in the future!

Googles Quest Visual


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