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

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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

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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.”

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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: Mid February

February 18, 2014

Even the Simpsons are getting their AR on. 

Image from Buzzfeed.com

Image from Buzzfeed.com

Metaio | Junaio Recap

Metaio featured in BBC Click and ARTE Futuremag [Augmented Blog]

InsectARium – Beyond a Bug in a Box [Junaio Blog]

OGC, Wikitude, Layar, and Metaio invite Mobile World Congress attendees to AR Interoperability Demo [Wikitude]

Augmented Reality Across the World

Savvy Brands Are Using Apps Instead of Ads to Get Messages Across [Time]

Making Computing More Human with Wearable Tech [Designers of Things]

Beyond Glass: Inside Epson’s Scheme to Make the De-Facto Smart Glasses [SlashGear]

Augmented Reality is a Missed Opportunity for Marketers [The Guardian]

The latest marketing issues blog, brought to you by The Marketing Agencies Association.

Only Genuine Augmented Reality Eyewear App to Deliver Richest Experience for Motorcyclists [Digital Journal]

Augmented Reality Innovators, 6 Companies to Look Out For [Neon Tommy]

castAR rocks the Augmented World [AR Dirt]

Upcoming Events

Mobile World Congress. Come visit us next week in Hall 8.1 booth 8.1G47! [Mobile World Congress]

Webinar –  Continuous Visual Search: A Basic Introduction [Metaio Developer Portal]

Pick of the Week

There isn’t anything as fun as hanging out with the guys from BBC Click. Check out Dan Simmons’s trip to Audi’s research headquarters here and at 14 minutes in the video below.


DLD Conference and Augmented Reality Experts at Metaio presented interactive Museum Tour in Munich

January 22, 2014

In collaboration with the Digital Life Design (DLD) Conference taking place this week in Munich, we presented a guided and interactive tour through the Bavarian National Museum. On January 19th DLD visitors and journalists joined us for the chance to see live how Augmented Reality builds a bridge between historical pieces of art and the digitalisation of our everyday lives.

DLD visitors were able to experience Augmented Reality with mobile devices and even a pair of Google Glass to get additional information about the art pieces on show. Five exhibition pieces from different periods and artistic styles were augmented with rich virtual information via the latest 3D object tracking technologies from Metaio.

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For us, the most amazing piece of art was the St. Maria Magdalene statue: Legend has it that Maria Magdalene lived for years as a penitent in the desert clad only in her long hair until her entire body became hirsute. In the 18th century, objections around her were raised and she was removed from the famous Riemenschneider altar in 1756. We wanted to show St. Marie Magdalene in her original setting so we reconstructed a virtual altar visible around her. And the result is amazing! 

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DLD Panel Discussion: “From Museums to Playstations”

On Tuesday morning, Dr. Thomas Alt, CEO and Co-Founder of Metaio, joined  curator and museum director Max Hollein from Frankfurt as well as Sophia George, an artist from Great Britain,  on a panel at DLD Conference to discuss the possibilities of integrating Augmented Reality in museums. “Building virtual exhibitions doesn’t do the trick, ” Thomas Alt said: “What Metaio is trying to do, is to teach mobile devices to recognize the environment. The idea behind is to create context for the user in a real environment and to offer them additional content.” He also emphasized that Augmented Reality cannot replace the real object in a museum, but it can actually enrich the visitor’s personal visit and experiences.  

DLD Conference already celebrated ten years of bringing together the most influential opinion-makers, industry leaders, start-ups and digital giants in Munich. We were very proud to join them as partners this year and want especially thank Steffi Czerny (the very charming organizer of the DLD Conference), her great team and in particular the National Bavarian Museum to realize this idea so fast! 

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Merry Christmas to all Metaio partners, developers and friends!

December 19, 2013

Dear Metaio and Junaio developers,

2013 was a very exciting year for Metaio, with many highlights: We announced the AREngine at the 2013 Mobile World Congress; we hosted the largest InsideAR conference ever; we launched some amazing projects with fantastic partners, from augmented catalogs to entire cars; and we finished of the year by winning the Volkswagen Tracking Challenge 2013! We are looking into a very exciting new year 2014 starting with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in the beginning of January and the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February. There will be great announcements, more cool amazing projects and new partnerships in 2014 – for sure!

We wish all our partners, developers & friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2014 – always on, always augmented!

Here is our Metaio Christmas card for you. Thanks to Ian O’Shea, the artist from Ireland who designed it! Visit his blog to view more.

To view the AR content just download the Junaio App  and scan the image below!

christmas


Metaio wins 2013 Volkswagen Augmented Reality Tracking Challenge

December 10, 2013

Last month we competed with three other teams from countries around Europe in the 2013 Volkswagen Augmented Reality Tracking Competition. We are very happy to announce that we won overall by excelling in two of four tracking scenarios!! We were very successful in  the following scenarios: “Tracking in various lighting conditions” as well as ” Tracking changes to a vehicle’s interior”.

We are very proud of our team! Special thanks to Darko, Thomas, Christian and Luca!

VW_Tracking_Challenge_1

Tracking, or the ability to recognize and continuously overlay or attach digital content to a real-world object as it moves through space, is perhaps the most important aspect of any augmented reality technology. Volkswagen began the Augmented Reality Tracking Competition in order to evaluate and determine the best technology available for industrial and high-precision environments. Metaio competed with universities and research firms on key criteria like accuracy, robustness and practicality.

VW_Tracking_Challenge_6

 

To see augmented reality tracking in action check out Volkswagen’s MARTA project, which offers 3-D service support for the Volkswagen XL1 using augmented reality:

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The Tracking Challenge consisted of an unknown environment where the participants would utilize their respective technology to find their way with a device camera with image processing algorithms and visual search engines in order to identify different features and positions in real-time and overlay them with virtual data.

VW_Tracking_Challenge_8

The challenges of Tracking Challenge were split this year to four scenarios and dealt with the marker-less tracking under varying lighting conditions, the transfer of tracking data to new vehicles, the tracking based on virtual data and the tracking changes to the vehicle interior.

VW_Tracking_Challenge_2

Volkswagen will renew the Augmented Reality Tracking Challenge in 2014 with a new set of objectives and scenarios. For more information about the competition, please visit http://tracking-challenge.de. If you want to find out more about Metaio, visit our website: www.metaio.com.

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Satisfying Consumers with Augmented Reality – A Review from InsideAR 2013

November 27, 2013
insideAR2013-39

Why yes, this is quite amazing.

As augmented reality becomes more capable, businesses have discovered more and more possibilities to enhance the consumer experience. Today we’re sharing Maria Ekberg Brännström of Ikea, Peter Lemm of McDonalds, Larissa Laternser of Ball Packaging Europe and Gerald Bumann of Villeroy and Boch experiences with augmented reality and their consumer base.

Maria Ekberg Brännström, IKEA: Serving and Creating a Great Experience for the Consumer

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.

Peter Lemm, McDonald’s: A New Way to Communicate Sustainability – McDonald’s McMission

Before joining McDonald’s Germany in 2013, Peter Lemm earned his extensive media-savvy at a renowned German radio agency as Senior Editor and later as Head of Marketing and Sales. As Department Head Corporate Affairs, External Communications at McDonald’s, he is responsible for Brand and Media Relations, bringing the brand and its values closer to the public.

Larissa Laternser, Ball Packaging Europe: Tomorrow’s Point of Sale – Driving Sales with Interactive Packaging

Larissa Laternser studied Media Communications Technology (BEng) in London and New York, and completed her Master of International Business (MIB) at the University of Queensland, Australia. She worked in TV production and journalism, before founding her own IT Service company. Her hobbies include autonomous flying objects (founder of motodrone.org) and street art (organizer of Turmkunst.de). For Ball Packaging Europe, one of Europe’s largest can makers, Larissa has strategically activated Consumer Communications through New Media. She now works as Business Manager Soft Drinks in Zürich, Switzerland.

Gerald Bumann, Villeroy & Boch: Villeroy & Boch Puts Virtual Baths in Customers’ Homes Before Any Purchase

Following the wholly positive feedback for the demonstration version of the AR app at the ISH Trade Fair in Frankfurt, Villeroy & Boch soon realized that they wanted to make it an innovative form of product presentation available to their sales partners and customers. With the AR app they are blazing a brand new trail in the bath segment. They are extending the boundaries of the retail area while reducing long-term costs. The use of the app also generates added value during the selling process –  for dealers, installers, architects and salespeople alike. Now customers can experience their new bath at home in 3-D before they make the purchasing decision.

We’ll keep you posted with more reviews from InsideAR 2013. Want to see it all now? Check out our Youtube page for all the event videos.


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.


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