Metaio & Audi AG Release Interactive Augmented Reality Manual for Audi A3

August 12, 2013

Today we are happy to announce together with our partner, the Audi AG, global leader in luxury vehicles, the release of the Audi A3 eKurzinfo augmented reality mobile application, available for free download on iOS devices.

After the amazing success of the Audi eKurzinfo app for the Audi A1, which was nominated for the 2013 GSMA Global Mobile Awards for Best Mobile Solution for the Automotive Industry, Audi AG has extended the availability to the new Audi A3.

The new app can recognize over 300 individual elements of the Audi A3 – from the insignia on the windshield wipers and entertainment system to actual engine components under the hood – in order to return relevant how-to information or even virtual overlays of maintenance instructions, animated in real-time and in 3-D. Metaio’s cloud-based architecture pushes digital information directly to the device, meaning the user will never have to update the app.

The new design of the Audi A3 eKurzinfo app brings the most intuitive user experience with it: using Metaio’s latest 2-D and 3-D augmented reality tracking technology, the user positions the camera of the mobile device directly over the individual vehicle elements, instantly detecting and returning information on the desired subject. For example, after scanning the engine compartment the app would return information and an animated overlay showing how to locate the engine coolant and refill it to the appropriate level.

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The Audi eKurzinfo app is available in English, German and Japanese, but at the moment not in the US and not in the Chinese App Store.

In the future, Metaio sees visualization technology decreasing the need for lengthy, costly and complex user manuals. Car owners should be able to access information instantly and directly from the car itself.

„After the remarkable success of the first version of the eKurzinfo application, we are very glad to continue our partnership with the Audi AG. We see a very high potential in the field of interactive service applications. For the future it will be possible to retrieve the information which are relevant in a certain situation”, Dr. Thomas Alt, CEO of Metaio.

Download the app here

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Survive THE THING in New App from Universal and metaio

October 13, 2011

Mobile devices are evidently the warmest place to hide.

metaio had the opportunity to develop this very cool mobile application with Universal Pictures to promote the highly-anticipated prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter cult-classic of the same name, out in theaters October 14th. We wanted to create a game that drew on the same suspense, horror, and isolation of the film while generating excitement for its release.

After downloading and launching the free THE THING: Flamethrower application for Android or iOS, players assume the role of one of the surviving Antarctic scientists, trapped in a virtual laboratory and assailed from all sides by creepy alien hybrid versions of their former colleagues.

Sounds like fun, right?

We really mean all sides, because this game is played in 360 degrees- players will have to move their mobile device in real life to defend themselves from the attacking aliens. FYI- it’s dark, the lighting quality is very poor, and you only have a limited amount of flamethrower fuel.

Try to hold out as long as you can, but as fans and people familiar with the film know- it’s very difficult to survive THE THING.

After playing, check out the INFECT YOURSELF feature that uses our advanced Facial Recognition AR capability. Watch as THE THING literally rips your face apart. Even Danika of @twitt_AR fame succumbed to the crafty invasive life form:

This game utilized metaio’s advanced Mobile SDK, the most comprehensive solution to create Augmented Reality applications for iOS and Android. Featuring a high-level API and the latest image recognition technologies, it allows developers to produce high-quality applications with low effort. And best of all: we’re releasing a free version in the near future.

Once again- the film hits theaters this Friday, October 14, so get out to your local cinema and happily cringe to this great horror thriller that more than does justice to the 1982 film.

For more info, check out the press release and don’t forget to download  this amazing game.

Download for Android

Download for iOS


Unifeye Design 2.5 Now Available

October 10, 2011

metaio is pleased to announce that the latest version of our Design software is now available for download.

Once again, AR is neither a sci-fi fantasy nor something limited to gimmicky one-off applications. Our design software enables anyone with a Windows PC to produce rich, interactive content. Our clients and partners use Design in trade shows, integrated marketing campaigns, classrooms, commercial applications, internal demonstrations and much more.

If you’re not already familiar with Design, you may have heard about our wonderful project with LEGO, now deployed in every LEGO-branded store in the world.

For the new 2.5 update we’ve rolled out the following updates:

  • New features:
    • Facetracking: for tracking a users face and overlaying3D content (e.g. hats, glasses etc.)
    • Extensible tracking: for tracking in unknown environments the system automatically creates and updates an internal map of features for tracking based on the camera image. This allows you to move around freely with your camera and the system adjusts on the fly.
  • Markerless tracking: Improved performance and stability
  • Licensing: Licenses can be moved to another PC (only full version)
  • Uses new version of BsContact renderer (7.2.2.0). For a list of features see the release notes on the Bitmanagement website.
  • Several bugfixes for Unifeye and the Workflow Authority GUI

For more information, please see our web store and our extensive documentation on all of our software.

Update

A Design license (post-activation) is bound to the user’s PC, so moving / transferring the license is not allowed. There are however cases where a user would need to transfer a license, such as when uploading to a new machine. Starting with Design 2.5, license holders will have the ability to transfer their licenses twice. 

To send a request or purchase a license dongle, contact sales (at) metaio (dot) com.

To transfer your license, go here. Enter your activation key and click Get Licenses.

 


insideAR 2011 Exhibition Highlights [Video]

October 7, 2011

Hopefully by now you’ve all seen the teaser video and read about the very, very cool announcements we made at insideAR this year. I honestly wish that I could adequately describe insideAR. Maybe it’s because I helped assemble and move 15-20 very heavy table. Maybe watching these camera arrays and industrial prototyping demos come to life, piece by piece gives one more of an appreciation in seeing the finished product. Maybe it was just my first time in Germany, combined with the anticipation of Oktoberfest in Bavaria, combined with the excitement of meeting all of the people with whom I’ve only ever communicated via Skype or telephone or email. Luckily, we don’t have to rely on my floundering attempts at description- we have videos!

This is the first clip of many that we plan to roll out over the coming days and weeks, demonstrating the current and future technologies under the hood (sometimes literally) of metaio.

insideAR was divided into various exhibition segments- one of these was called “Augmented Living”, where we demonstrated some of the potential uses of AR in the household, including the new junaio 3.0 SCAN release that allows the user to get pricing and ingredient information from grocery item barcodes. In that same area, we were also showing our Bosch 3D studio app for iPad that allows people to practically redesign their kitchens with new appliances- without ever leaving their homes.

Many attendees played around with the Around Me Geo Trivia junaio game is a very creative example of how gaming, education and mobile AR can work together to shape an engaging user experience. Sensor fusion takes elements that we tend to take for granted — orientation, geographical relative position, radial distance — and translates them into usable information- in this case, a very fun trivia game.

Our company was built on out-of-the-box industrial solutions, so it should be no surprise to see those prototyping examples in the above video. The sub-millimeter tracking with a guided camera-arm would allow any manufacturer the highest digital scrutiny in examining a prototype on the factory floor; and with the “window-to-the-world”-type 3D mapping you can overlay the original wireframe to the real-word object itself, regardless of its size. With this kind of technology, metaio is naturally bridging the industrial gap between the digital creation and the physical construction of a given product.

Really cool stuff we’re talking about here. Really cool.

Once again, we’re going to be rolling out all sorts of video in the near future, so be sure to either subscribe to this blog or to our YouTube channel (or both!) in order to stay posted.


Augmented Reality On Every Smartphone by 2014

October 5, 2011

If you haven’t heard from TechCrunch, Dexigner, or Augmented.org, this year’s insideAR brought some very significant developments for metaio. To sum it up, we made three important announcements to over 450(!) attendees:

  • The release a free version of the Mobile SDK, soon to be integrated with a game engine
  • The release of an AR-publishing tool, junaio Creator, to enable virtually anybody to create AR content for junaio
  • Strategic partnerships with the leading chipset IP supplier ARM and mobile platform developer ST-Ericsson on joint R&D

What this means for the industry

Mobile SDK is now free

This is a big deal. AR is a young industry- we want to see it into adulthood. We want developers, researchers, students, newcomers etc to be able to test the limits of their imaginations and creativity with one of the most comprehensive and advanced mobile AR solutions out there. I can’t wait to watch these independent developers shape the future of AR applications in their endeavors.

The junaio Creator

User interface and workflow are two of the most important things that any software provider must consider- we want both of these aspects to be more streamlined, more convenient, more natural- and that’s why we announced the junaio Creator. It’s tool that takes all of the image recognition, the natural feature tracking, and the complex algorithms of junaio and reduces that magic to two simple words: point and click. Whether  you’re creating a junaio channel or utilizing our junaio Plugin to add a feature to an existing app, the junaio Creator allows you to do this without a single line of code. Check out the demo in the TechCrunch article and see for yourself.

Formal Collaborations with ARM & ST-Ericsson

I’ve been saying this for years: the surest way to enable the smoothest most immersive AR experiences is to ensure the optimization of the hardware. Though we’ve already been optimizing our software for these wonderful mobile devices that pepper our lives, metaio can now work directly with these processing and chipset providers to find the best way to ensure that mobile devices are AR-ready before they hit the shelves.

In closing

 

 

We have a genuine passion for what we do.  It may seem as though we ‘re making bold statements, but please understand that it comes from a shared excitement, an almost child-like fascination in its innocence at seeing dreams becoming reality, not just 3D and digital content (though we do that too).

Augmented Reality on Every Smartphone by 2014- It will be magic.

Magic.


Get Out The Vote For South By Southwest Interactive AR Panels

August 25, 2011

South by Southwest Interactive 2012 might seem far off, but the voting deadline for panels is quickly approaching. I am happy to say that metaio is participating in four different potential panels, and we’d really like to see them get a great response from our followers. We’ve got some very cool topics in the works, so we’d really appreciate your support! You can vote for as many panels as you like, so please be generous. Make sure to create an account, it only takes a few minutes- just click on the titles of the panels below to go straight to the voting page!

The New Role of Advertising in AR Game Development
Brendan Scully, Business Development Manager

Augmented Reality promises the future, but who is actually building new things with it? How are they making any money? As new projects demand six-figure budgets, can privacy rights, humanistic design and fun coexist with user metrics, brand messaging and a lust for “k-factor”? We’ll take a look at what’s been built, why it did and how we might design better games for players and clients alike moving forward.

Negotiating The Hype Curve: How UX Can Sell AR
Roman Hasenbeck, US Director Sales & Marketing

Every new project is defined by the business practices that enable them. So why do so many Augmented Reality experiences fall short of the expectations of both the buyer and end user? With dissatisfied clients and rumors of low ROI, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate how we sell AR. Roman Hasenbeck, Director of Sales and Business Development at metaio Inc., the nation’s leading AR Tech firm, explains the process of selling AR the right way. He shows us why the Hype Curve is just a crutch for lazy producers, and how the most crucial yet often-ignored components to ensuring a great project and closing a sale is taking the time to learn the tech, design a thoughtful experience and communicate it effectively to the client.

Augmented Reality = ARPA’s Original Vision of Web
Lisa Murphy, Sr. Sales & Marketing Manager

Using a variety of original source material, Chris Grayson will give an overview of the global network, as envisioned by thinkers at ARPA before the creation of the ARPAnet. Examples include J.C.R. Licklider’s “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” 1960; Douglas Engelbart’s “Augmenting Human Intellect,” 1962; and Ivan Sutherland’s “The Ultimate Display,” 1965. Some focus will also be given to the people and personalities involved. Lisa Murphy will provide the technical explanation for many milestones in the evolution of the internet, making the case that the human interface to the network has historically been limited by the available technology, and with Augmented Reality, we are now entering an era that truly begins to deliver on the original vision.

And lastly, Yours Truly:

Real Time Hyperlocal Brokerage Communities
Trak Lord, PR & Social Marketing Manager

Our life styles are increasingly evolving into hybrid experiences that blend the physical with the cyberspatial and the virtual. Moreover, these interactions are creating new forms of communities for fun and commerce, where consumers and businesses increasingly use hyperlocal incentives to leverage our immediate surroundings. In this panel, we’ll explore how games, collaborative consumption, Augmented Reality, consumer to consumer brokerages, experience augmentation, visual discovery and local commerce are providing the glue for diverse hyper-local experiences and communities.

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Outside voting counts for 30% of the selection process! Help us get to SXSW so we can bring these great panels to life.


Deep-Laid Augmented Reality

July 1, 2011

There are several ways of integrating augmented reality into your strategy, business model, project, product or ballpark. With junaio and its open API everything possible in mobile AR is possible. You can start right away without any monetary invest. That´s how for example artists play around or museums evaluate the latest digital technologies. And after you find out, that you can generate buzz, more turn-over and real added value for your clients you now can even integrate a junaio Plugin into your own app. That´s what publishing house Bauer Media did recently with two of their magazines and the related apps. With Smart View and Trailer View they enriched their print magazines with trailers and animations. The AR features are powered by metaio´s image processing technologies running smoothly in the background. The result is new experiences for the “readers”, new sales channels for the ad department and more creative fllexibility for the editors! And here you can see how the “Welt der Wunder” branded app works:

More information herehere and  here.


The World’s First Reverse Vending Machine

June 30, 2011

Last week, Mayors from around the United States gathered for the 79th United States Mayor Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Unlike the last 78 USCM’s, the mayors this year got to experience a device that is the first of its kind: Recyclable Planet‘s Augmented Reality Reverse Vending Machine, powered by metaio’s Unifeye Platform and with the help of German vending firm trautwein sb technik.

Reverse vending machine? Yes! It rewards you for using it, and most importantly, for doing your part to help the environment. The concept is simple, much like redemption machines that already exist around the US where you can redeem recyclables for a small bonus, usually around 0.05 per item, depending on state regulations. This new “Green Machine” is universal- users can be rewarded with prizes and discounts at local retailers, just for recycling. Even better, these impressive devices come equipped with interactive augmented reality. Check out the video below to see how it works:

This is a major step for urban connectivity, commerce, and especially the environment. I’ve traveled through over 85% of the United States, and I can’t tell you how many places I came across where recycling was a foreign concept. I even stopped at cafeteria-style restaurants that sold bottled and canned beverages, only to be met with blank stares when I asked for the nearest recycling bin at the end of my meal. These machines could be a large move to educating people on the value of recycling through reward-based incentives and progressive-minded, interactive technology.

Attention Mayors of major US cities: Recycling just got gamified- let’s play “Save the Planet”.


Augmented Expression: ARtists Making ARt

June 11, 2011

Augmented Reality as a technology is often seen through utilitarian eyes. AR has many appropriate industry uses, such as improving mechanical safety inspections, interactive training procedures, mobile instruction manuals, and assembly-line safety. But over the past few months, we’ve seen developers use our technology more and more for personal, emotional, most importantly artistic expression.

XYZ Site Gallery AR experience

It’s difficult to try to comprehend the almost limitless design possibilities when you have the potential to take any digitally-designed or rendered object and place, overlay, or otherwise anchor it to the physical world.  Imagine: a vast museum of virtual artifacts and objects occupying the same space as the Louvre- accessible only through your mobile device! The term “mixed media” is barely sufficient anymore- we’re beginning to see a real blending of the virtual and the physical, with a substantial emphasis on using metaio’s software, like junaio, to curate and design galleries, exhibits, art and space augmentations, and even use “basic” functionalities of junaio to guide and navigate around them.

Chris Hodson and Sarah Staton recently designed an experience for the Sheffield, UK Site Gallery in which they designed and implemented sculptures that were part virtual and part material, including marble, concrete, metal, wood, glass, wool and cork. The experience was triggered by a series of markers placed around and inside the museum- such a simple installation process for something so complex! Hodson and Staton even worked with physicist Dominic Hosler to design a “cuboid game of life and death”, in which “infinitely accumulating and dissipating cubes” loop themselves into eternity.

Anyone living or vacationing in Italy this year should already be familiar with the 54th Venice Biennale Art Exhibition. This year, we’re pleased to announce there will be a junaio channel running the duration of the event until 27 November 2011. The channel, “Venice Augmented”, was developed by San Francisco-based Certified Developer Vitamin AR under the direction of artist Amir Baradaran, and places examples of Baradaran’s work in POI’s around Venice and the Biennale, as part of his “FutARism” campaign:

I am interested in how small acts of resistance, particularly within so-called virtual domains, can create pockets of transformation. Seeking to generate much more than novel surprise, my art explores new ways of being.

These are just two ways in which artists are using junaio to design wonderfully interactive experiences. Below is a list of links to recent examples of junaio augmenting the art world. What kind of projects could you envision, knowing that what you design is not bound by the laws of nature? A Borgesian map, perhaps?

Wink.

-Trak

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Scope, Cabinet Exhibition, Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth, UK; Vladimir Geroimenko and Roberto Fraquelli

-          “Scope” junaio channel that adds enhanced dimensionality to a specific exhibit

Mao Dollar Channel, part of the Manifest.AR art festival

Gallery Kessler-Battaglia AR experience, developed by our partner eDiam Sistemas

Museum Night in Belgrade with our own TV appearance!


Multimedia Racetrack: Augmented Reality, Stereoscopic Cameras, Remote Control – over LTE!

March 11, 2011

At this year´s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), a leading global enabler of telecommunications services, used a fantastic multimedia installation to communicate their “Quality of Service over LTE”. It combined a radio controlled car driving through a miniature city, which was used as a trigger for certain sub topics out of the new LTE-enabled services, a full HD live-video-stream broadcasting the visitors race performance on a big screen, two stereoscopic cameras on the roof of the car for a real 3D cockpit view on another screen, augmented reality scenarios overlaying animations onto the live-video image which were triggered either with a light barrier or optically, which were done by metaio. And all this – overall control, car steering and AR/3D broadcasting on two screens – was transmitted via a LTE station in the NSN trade fair hall! There was no latency, not in the live images and not when steering the car. So it was not only the most advanced combination of multimedia techniques I´ve seen so far, it also demonstrated the power of the new transmission technology. Within the augmented reality mode the partners and clients of NSN were able to experience these new possibilities of mobile networks. 3D animations showed: identity management, roaming and billing for the e-mobility of the future (smart grid);  a smart antenna system, for better coverage of hotspots; and finally the possibility to create individual services for the various needs of clients, be it high-end business rates vs. de-priorized leisure activities on mobile devices. I know, a lot of tech-talk here. Fair enough there´s a video below:


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