IKEA Catalog App 2015: Where the evARryday begins

October 10, 2014

catalog2015_cvr_enAn IKEA Home Story by Vanessa Oswald

It is 2014 and I am looking at the brand-new 2015 IKEA catalogue right in front of me. I finally get to experience the AR-features of this printed treasure chest myself. I never understood what all the fuss was about – up until now.

Two years ago, the IKEA Catalog App 2013 turned out to be the overall most downloaded app of 2012, creating a never before seen awareness of augmented reality among the population.

So naturally,  IKEA once more collaborated with Metaio to bring life to many pages of their famous catalogue, enabling me and you to get a whole new understanding of the term ‘augmented reality’.

There is more to see! Scan this page with the Ikea Catalog app and reveal more interactive content

There is more to see! Scan this page with the Ikea Catalog app and reveal more interactive content

The much talked-about bookbookTM lies neatly in front of me. My tablet rests in my lap and I am about to start the free IKEA Catalogue App 2015, which will empower me to unlock the concealed wonders between the sheets of paper. Just by skimming through the pages, I already see many orange little plus signs – the markers. These will be my guide to all the pages that unveil content, once I slide my tablet over them.

The App starts and my fingers tickle in anticipation. I tap the scan&discover button.

Chosing a cosy chair for our lounge in the Metaio offices in Munich

Chosing a cosy chair for our lounge in the Metaio offices in Munich

Oh, and scan and discover I will! I unlock videos, additional pictures, and I’m even able to see a 360° view of various bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms, which recognizes my movements and adapts to the correct angle of view, creating an illusion of being inside the room. Another feature offers up to seven different decorating styles – for all those, who need a visual incentive to turn their apartment into a cozy sanctuary.

Beer shelf next to the kicker?

Beer shelf next to the kicker?

And then, there are the 3-D models. Yes, 3-D life-sized furniture pieces, which can be easily placed in my own room. A plush little chair, for example. All I have to do now is place the catalogue where I want the chair to appear, and …voilà.  I can walk around the image, taking in every angle – it’s absolutely fascinating.

This year’s IKEA Catalog app even enables me to look at the 3-D models without placing the catalogue in the room first or having to scan the pages at all. I tap on the 3-D symbol, select ‘I don’t have a catalogue’ and the chair still appears in my living room. Moreover, I can adjust the model’s size by simply using the pinch-to-zoom motion.. I’ve been sitting in my living room for a solid 2 hours now, browsing the catalogue, and I’m not even close to being bored.

So, there you have it. Try it and enjoy all the features of the bookbookTM! I’ll be here, trying to figure out where exactly this cute little lamp would look best in my room. On a quick side note, though: you won’t be able to stop browsing for quite some time. Don’t say, I didn’t warn you.

It’s absolutely fascinating.


The IKEA Catalog Application is also presented at InsideAR Munich on October 29th/30th in the Kleine Olympiahalle.  For more information about the most exciting Augmented Reality conference visit our website: www.insideAR2014.com.

InsideAR Munich 2014

Maria Ekberg Brännström took the challenge three and a half years ago to become Global Catalogue Manager for the IKEA catalogue. Previously she was leading various positions within IKEA in Sweden and Spain as Sales and Commercial Manager. She loves the challenge of finding new ways of developing the IKEA catalogue to be even better and more relevant to consumers. She’s daring and demanding, and completely convinced that most things remain to be done.

She spoke at InsideAR Munich 2013 last year. Watch the video to find out more interesting details about the IKEA App:


AR Weekly – Early September

September 8, 2014

Think and wonder, wonder and think.

ikea_bookbook

Experience the power of the bookbook™! (Image Courtesy of IKEA and YouTube)

Metaio | Junaio Recap

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Gina Chung [Augmented Blog]

InsideAR Beijing – A Quick Preview [Augmented Blog]

Join our next webinar: “Engine Creative and Tesco Discover – AR Publishing for Brands” [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality News

Developers react: What it’s like to be making games for Gear VR [Gamasutra]

Meet the Scientists: Dr. Josh Kvavle [Armed With Science]

Watch out Google, Sony’s coming at’cha with its Smart EyeGlass AR specs (hands-on) [Pocket-lint]

Prettify yourself in Panasoic’s augmented reality mirror [WIRED UK]

Apple’s iPhone-based augmented reality navigation concept has ‘X-ray vision’ features [Apple Insider]

New Wedding Dress App Uses ‘Augmented Reality Technology’ for Virtual Try-Ons [ABC News]

Augmented reality – how can it enhance the future of football? [Engineering.com]

Mobile app designed for Google Glass reads facial expressions [Mobile Commerce News]

Optinvent ORA-1 Developer Edition smartglasses hit Kickstarter [SlashGear]

Cotton On Launches Global Augmented Reality Inititative [Power Retail]

Augmented Reality, Other Trainers for Complex Disease [Mimic Technologies Blog]

‘Smart packaging’ solutions for connected shoppers [Sys-Con Media]

Mobile games are coming to Google Glass [Mobile Commerce News]

Could these augmented reality headsets be the future of theme parks? [Daily Mail Online]

Revamping Content with Augmented Reality [SFAMA]

The War for Our Digital Future: Virtual Reality vs. Integral Reality [WIRED]

Upcoming Events

No webinar this week folks!

Thomas Alt at Intel’s IDF14 – Creating Immersive Augmented Reality Experiences on Android Mobile Platforms Based on Intel Architecture using Metaio SDK [IDF14 San Francisco]

InsideAR Munich, October 29th – 30th [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

When it comes to technological innovations, no other company breaks down barriers like IKEA. With their latest product, the bookbook™, IKEA stands to break ground in the tech industry in ways that we could only have imagined. Check out their latest innovation in the video below and get excited for that they have in store!

#innovation #tech #siliconSweden #dohashtagsevenworkonWordpress?


AR Weekly – Beginning of September

September 2, 2014

ARen’t you glad I didn’t say it’s Monday?

Courtesy of YouTube and IKEA

Courtesy of YouTube and IKEA

Metaio | Junaio Recap

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Ronald Azuma [Augmented Blog]

Introducing Metaio Advanced Partner: 3D Studio Blomberg [Augmented Blog]

Don’t have 3D models? Try 2.5D! [Augmented Blog]

Augmented Reality News

What Nikola Tesla and augmented reality have in common [Technical.ly]

App tap into students’ aptitude for learning [The Age]

Gen-Next Skully-AR-1 helmet arrives with augmented reality display, rear view camera and more [Daily Bhaskar]

Star Walk 2 App Review [PASTE Magazine]

Augmented reality mobile application [Manila Standard Today]

Augmented Reality Technology Becomes More Immersive [Mobile Commerce Press]

ORA-1 Glasses to Put Android On Your Face [Tom's Guide]

Disney’s ‘Mayhem at the Mansion’ Augmented Reality Game Now Available for Download [Stitch Kingdom]

Augmented Reality Helps in Troubleshooting [PCB Design 007]

Leap Motion’s next sensor is designed specifically for virtual reality [Mashable]

Marketing a product that doesn’t exist yet [BizCommunity.com]

Epson Welcomes JBKnowledge to Moverio BT-200 Smart Glasses Developer Program [Herald Online]

Furniture Shopping with Augmented Reality [MIT Technology Review]

Virtual Reality Could Help Teach Sustainable Habits, Change Long Term Behavior [Huffington Post]

A Headset Meant to Make Augmented Reality Less of a Gimmick [MIT Technology Review]

A Smart Helmet That Gives Riders Eyes in the Back of Their Heads [Entrepreneur]

Augmented Reality Untethers SAP [SAP Events]

Upcoming Events

Webinar – Engine Creative and Tesco Discover – AR Publishing for Brands [Register Here]

SXSW Panel Picker – HoloGramma: How Tech Can ‘Bring Back’ Our Departed [Vote Here]

InsideAR Beijing, September 5th [Info Here]

InsideAR Munich, October 29 – 30th [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

As one of the most iconic uses of Augmented Reality, the IKEA Catalog App recently released its third iteration. Check out the video below to see the update in action and be sure to try it out for yourself through Google Play and iTunes.


Metaio at the Augmented World Expo 2014

June 5, 2014

Last week was the Augmented World Expo and of course Metaio showed up in full force. Here’s a brief overview of everything that happened during the expo.

The Expo Floor

IMG_5636

Trak Lord checks the Google Glass Audi Engine demo. Yes, that is Audi A3 on the Expo floor. No, we didn’t get to drive it around. . . too much. ;)

This year Metaio brought a full range of augmented reality demonstrations ranging from Edge-Based tracking on Google Glass and Moverio BT-200s, to Interactive Print demos with the Metaio Creator and various product catalogs from vendors such as IKEA, and the latest from Metaio’s R&D department: facial reconstruction, 3-D Spacial Occlusion and Thermal Touch. Booth visitors got a chance to try each of these demos hand-on while Metaio’s partner companies Epson, Intel, NGRAIN, Nod Inc., Occipital, and Vuzix also made a good showing with their own augmented reality technologies.

Metaio Wins an Auggie Award!

Auggie Award

Such an amazing award to bring home!

In 2012, Metaio won an Auggie Award for Best Demo with 3-D tracking. Since then, the Auggies have expanded their the awards to include a variety of categories and the quality of submissions has become even more competitive than before. This year we’re happy to say that Metaio won the Auggie Award for Best Augmented Reality Campaign with the IKEA catalog app. Already a well-known augmented reality application, the IKEA catalog app boasts several milestones including Most Downloaded Branded App in 2012 (despite being on the market for only 6 months) and over 1 million placements of virtual furniture across the globe. We’re incredibly humbled to win such a prestigious award against some amazing augmented reality apps. Be sure to visit the AWE Auggie Awards page to see the finalists and winners for the other Auggie Awards.

Talks, Interviews, and Information Sessions

IMG_0114

Thomas Alt and Brian Mullins close AWE with some final thoughts.

No AWE  experience is complete without a few words from the most innovative minds in the augmented reality industry. Metaio’s CEO Thomas Alt, Head of Marketing Trak Lord, Brendan Scully, and Ryan Burgoyne each presented Metaio technologies across a range of topics. Check out the videos listed below or visit the AWE YouTube page to see all the presentations during this year’s AWE.

Deepdive for metaio SDK by Ryan Burgoyne

Ryan Burgoyne – Metaio SDK for Wearables at AWE 2014

AWE.tv Floor Demo with Trak Lord, Metaio

Trak Lord (Metaio) – 3D Cameras and Augmented Reality at AWE 2014

AWE.tv Interview with Thomas Alt & Brendan Scully, Metaio

Thomas Alt (CEO, Metaio) – Big Visions for the Interactive World – at AWE 2014

Thomas Alt (CEO, Metaio) – Automotive is Driving AR at AWE 2014

AWE 2014 Closing Panel: Future Opportunities in the Augmented World

In Closing

As always, AWE was an amazing experience and we had a great time showcasing the most advanced augmented reality software. In case you missed a chance to visit our booth at AWE, Metaio will be at ISMAR 2014 in Munich and will be hosting InsideAR at Beijing, Tokyo, and Munich.We hope you all enjoyed AWE, and we’ll see you next year!

 

A family that augments together, stays together

A family that augments together, stays together.


InsideAR Goes Global: Metaio to Host Augmented Reality Conferences in Munich, Tokyo and Beijing

May 20, 2014

2014 is the year of InsideAR!

We invite the Metaio eco-system and the whole international AR community to join any of our three major AR events held in Germany, Japan and China. The second InsideAR Tokyo will be held July 8, and the first InsideAR Beijing will be held September 5. The 8th Annual InsideAR, the largest InsideAR event in the world, will return to Munich October 29-30.

city-Munich1Wearable eyewear and other technologies will be the focus of the conference this year, including the latest 3D optics and Augmented Reality applications. Attendees will receive insight from the companies on the forefront of the industry- brands and agencies actively working to bring AR to the masses. Last year, companies and Metaio partners like IKEA, Audi AG, Intel, SAP, McDonald’s, Mitsubishi Electric Heating & Cooling USA, Volkswagen, Vuzix, NVIDIA, and Imagination Technologies revealed insight into their research, collaborations and projects in the AR space.

IMG-locations-beijing2As China boasts the world’s most internet and smartphone users and Japan possesses a technology-hungry ever-increasing market, the decision to expand the core InsideAR event to these two countries was an easy one. Creative agencies all over the world are already moving their focus to emerging technology like AR. Both these satellite events will focus on “The Utilization of AR Technology On Wearable Devices”, including enterprise, marketing and maintenance examples.

With more than 800 participants, 45 speakers and more than 400 participating companies InsideAR 2013 in Munich was already an international success. We would like to continue this year and offer exciting keynotes, discussions and workshops to attendees of all three InsideAR conferences as well as extensive exhibitions where recent examples and future technologies can be tested directly.

More information on all three conferences, please visit www.insideAR2014.com.

Tickets are already available at http://www.insidear2014.com/register

For speaker and sponsor information, please contact insideAR@metaio.com

See the video for all the highlights from 2013 InsideAR in Munich!

Read the press release in Chinese

Read the press release in Japanese

 


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!


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


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