Into the Wild: Metaio goes Re:publica

April 14, 2014

Nothing is as it once seemed.

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Another year has passed and it’s finally time for Germany’s biggest social media conference again: Re:publica is taking place from May 6 -8 in Berlin. Last year more than 5.000 attendees discussed, over the course of three days, internet policy, network neutrality and the future of social media campaigns.

Augmented Reality was also a hot topic, as you can read in our review from the 2013 Re:publica. This year we join Re:publica again and even have our own booth in the main hall which all people have to enter before spreading out to the keynote and session halls. On Wednesday, May 7, we will offer a short presentation on stage 3 between 12.30 – 1.30 pm: Anett Gläsel-Maslov, Manager PR & Social Media at Metaio, will present our company and some of our latest projects.

About the motto “Into the wild”:

rp14_banner_300x250_1“Re:publica 2014’s motto INTO THE WILD highlights various points of departure for solutions in the internet of the near future. When algorithms turn us transparent and controllable through predictability, perhaps we have to become more unpredictable; dissolving old structures, veering from the well-trodden path in favour of chaos and irrationality, heading INTO THE WILD. Yet this begs the questions: how will we navigate and find one another? How can one whisper into the global net and, in particular, with whom? Will those calling for a free and unrestricted internet not have to face being ever more vigilant and controlling of those who may partake and those who must stay out?

While the omni-surveilled net may have become draughty it will continue to protect its vital interests, learn to sidestep and manoeuvre and continue to develop. During the build-up to re:publica 2014, we will extend INTO THE WILD in search of unexpected technical solutions, surprising impulses stemming from business and politics and look forward to new, unbridled internet culture.” (Source: http://www.re-publica.de)

Looking forward to meeting you in Berlin! 

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Watch the video for impressions from the 2013 edition of Re:publica:


Meet Metaio at the Laval Virtual Conference, April 9th-11th

April 4, 2014

Laval

Metaio will attend the upcoming Laval Virtual conference in April. Don’t miss the best industrial AR projects presented by Thomas Jouhanneau both on stage and in the Expo Area together with our partners from CLARTE.

We spoke to Thomas and asked him about Metaio’s attendance at Laval:

Meet Thomas Jouhanneau, Product Manager Engineering Solutions at Metaio

Meet Thomas Jouhanneau, Product Manager Engineering Solutions at Metaio

What will you present at the Conference?

Metaio will be joining the expo area at the stand of our Partner CLARTE. We will show two demos: a Service & Maintenance Demo on a Mitsubishi climate machine and a Demo on AR for Documentation.

I will also provide a presentation about AR Solutions for Enterprise Users. During the presentation I will show how AR and especially how Metaio solutions can be used as a tool in an Enterprise to improve industrial processes.  Additionally, I will join other experts and customers in a Round Table on “How to use Augmented Reality to Improve Technical Documentation and Manuals”. In that Round Table, I will participate together with other experts such as Yvon Patte, Innovation Manager at GRTgaz, and Zile Liu, Co-founder & CEO of Laster Technologies. More information can be found on the conference’s website.

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Mitsubishi Maintenance: Advanced step by step guidance through complex maintenance tasks provides improved support for technicians

Why will you be focusing on Enterprise Solutions along the Product Life Cycle?

Today, many people have heard about Augmented Reality but are not necessarily aware of the real utility of this technology. It is important for us that people come out of our presentation knowing that Augmented Reality is not only used for marketing campaigns and video games but also can be used as a tool to simplify complex tasks or to improve communication within an Enterprise.
Because Augmented Reality is an interface to superimpose digital information on the world around us, this technology can be used as a tool along the Product Lifecycle: from conception to entrance into the market until after sales.

Companies are now facing various problems such as reducing operating errors, increasing flexibility operators or accelerating decisions.
For each of these problems, augmented reality can be used as a tool. I will illustrate my presentation with examples we have developed for our customers. (e.g MARTA, Audi eKurzinfo, Mitsubishi Electric)

For which applications in an Enterprise do you see AR as an added value?

As an engineer, I see using Augmented Reality to improve Service & Maintenance tasks in the after sales domain as adding the most value for the industry. Why?

Metaio developed together with Volkswagen the Project MARTA - a service and maintenance tool for the XL1

Metaio developed together with Volkswagen the Project MARTA – a service and maintenance tool for the XL1

The Technical Reason:

The possibility of tracking a car under all light conditions – it works everywhere

Benefits for the Enterprise:

  • Bringing data to the right context on a light device – e.g. a 300 gram tablet.
  • Information (and updates) are always available for the operator
  • Reduced training time and accelerated maintenance tasks
  • Reduce error rate during complex tasks
  • Improved flexibility for the operator

A symbolic reason is that Metaio was originally founded for Service & Maintenance use cases. Ten years later, it is possible to use AR everywhere to help the operator and this is really amazing for me.

Thank you, Thomas for your insights! Meet you at Laval! 

For our French speakers, find also an interview with Thomas at RA Pro’ by following this link.


Augmented Reality for Exhibitions: The Reifenhäuser app combines markerless tracking and 3D-printed models

December 16, 2013

At this year’s K2013 fair in Germany, Reifenhäuser presented itself in an amazing new way, using cutting-edge markerless augmented reality technology. Besides many other things, four production lines were reconstructed in 3-D and printed at a scale of 1:18, featuring the finest details. The models varied in size up to almost 3 meters and provided a perfect overview and entry point for visitors.

In addition to these models, iPads installed with a special augmented reality app allowed visitors to closely examine the production lines and their components in depth. Metaio’s 3D-markerless tracking made it possible to augment 3D-content onto and around the models from any angle and without any visual cues – such as ID markers or tracking patterns. The application enabled a seamless exploration of Reifenhäuser‘s product portfolio. Depending on the actual position of the visitor, buttons virtually appeared around the models, linking to the corresponding components with lines. A touch of a finger would open further details on the component, featuring 3D rotating renderings, images and written information.

“With it’s 3-D markerless tracking, the Metaio SDK enabled us to create a magic-like experience by perfectly tying together the physical and the virtual world without disclosing how it is made possible.” says Michael Schmitz, Designer of the AR experience.

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The open and inviting appeal of the Reifenhäuser stand and the synergistic combination of fascinating 3-D printed models with the latest augmented reality technology lead to a remarkable experience and communicates the Reifenhäuser Group as a leading manufacturer of innovative technology.

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The app was built by Michael Schmitz (www.interaktivegestaltung.net) and Kersten Broich (www.digitalvalues.de), commissioned by and based on the concept of ART+COM AG for the Reifenhäuser Group.

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11 Steps to Create Pixories Christmas Cards with a personalised Video at myprintcard.de

December 9, 2013

A guest post by Rainer Lonau, pixories

Thanks Metaio for the opportunity to share our service with the AR world. The pixories API is integrated at two German webshops since insideAR in Oktober. Right now we’re looking forward for new partners to use our API and the pixories Apps.

Maybe some of you are still searching a cool way to share their Christmas greetings?! With this step to step tutorial you can create your own augmented Christmas cards. I wish you a very happy Christmas and all good things in 2014!

Instruction for creating pixories Christmas cards

In two weeks  it’s this special time again, Christmas is coming. For those who want to send a special Christmas card this year, take a look at the following instructions to create a pixories Christmas card. Our partner myprintcard.de offers different Greeting cards which can be created and ordered.

1. Select a myprintcard.de Christmas card

Select a myprintcard.de Christmas card. Go to printcard.de and click on “zu den Karten”, to be forwarded to the overview of pixories Greeting cards. Choose your Christmas card.

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2. Confirm the card

Confirm the card

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Do you like the template? Click on “zur Gestaltung” to go to the next step.

3. Select tools

Select tools

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Now the card can be designed: Enter your own text and upload a photo. Now the special thing is the tool selection. Here you get to the “embed video” function.

4. Embed video

Embed video

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Select the “Video einbinden” option at the tools menu.

5. Upload video

Upload video

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Upload your personal video. This video will be stored on the card and the recipient or recipients of your Christmas card can experience it with the pixories app.

6. Close video option

Close video option

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In this video menu several videos can be managed. Select “verwenden” for the video you want to be on the card. Click “Schliessen” to return to the design page.

7. Notes to the recipient

Notes to the recipient

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Blue circle: If a video is embedded for pixories, a note on the back of the card is printed automatically. The recipient of the Greeting card gains information about pixories and the video which is stored on the card.

Red circle: Click “3D Ansicht” to get to preview the card.

8. Print preview

Print preview

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Use the preview function to see how the Christmas card will look like. “A” shows the front on the right side and the back of the card on the left side. “B” shows the inside of the greeting card. At this design an image and text can be edited on the inside of the card.

9. Video preview in 2-D and 3-D

Video preview in 2-D and 3-D

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With the preview mode the video can be viewed. This is possible in a 2-D and 3-D view. Just click the buttons above the “Browservorschau”.

10. Preview with the pixories app

Preview with the pixories app

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Even with the pixories app the video can be tested directly at the monitor. You get a good impression of the later experience. Simply download the free pixories app (iOS and Android). With the shown QR code, the app can be downloaded, if it is not already installed on your smartphone. The personal content can then be loaded in the pixories app by entering the pixID or scanning the QR code.

11. Experience the video through pixories app

Experience the video through pixories app

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If you want to test the pixories effect directly at the monitor use this demo card.

Summary and free card

I hope you enjoyed the instruction for creating pixories Christmas cards. Here’s a tip: You can create a free card at mybabycard.de. Those who are interested in pixories, can create a test card and later order their Christmas cards at myprintcard.de.



Vanatur and WARNER present AURYN’s Augmented Reality Debut

November 20, 2013

I’m singing in the rain.

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The Metaio SDK hits the Spanish pop scene with boy band AURYN and their new self titled app. Developed by Vanatur World Mobile Solutions, the app comes with five main features – Social, Videos, Radio, an amazing Augmented Reality Experience and + Auryn – to fully immerse fans in everything AURYN.

Vanataur says about the AR function: “The Augmented Reality functionality will give fans even more surprises over time, connecting the online and offline world with “Gamification” strategies. The app is able to recognize certain images caused by actions such as video streaming, links to special content, etc.”

Besides providing an easy way to access updates from AURYN, the app takes the group’s ANTI-HEROES album cover along with various posters and pictures published to their social networks and embeds exclusive content only accessible through the AURYN app.

Image Courtesy of Vanataur

Image Courtesy of Vanataur

The app is free to download on Google Play and iTunes. For a peak at one of the AR exclusives use the AURYN app on the photo above or check the band’s promotional video below.

Every real story is a never ending story.


Working with the Metaio Creator 3.0 – A user’s experience

November 5, 2013

My name is Jan Graf and in October I started a marketing & sales internship at Metaio’s office in Munich. One of my first tasks was to test the new version of the software Metaio Creator 3.0. With the Metaio Creator 3.0 nearly anybody is said to be able to create own augmented reality (AR) projects. Since I am a newcomer to AR, I was very curious to find out how it works.

Download the Metaio Creator for free!

To use the Creator and to test a created scenario on a mobile device, you will also require a Metaio developer account and the AR browser Junaio on your smart phone or tablet. But both are easy to get or to create and both are free of charge. After you install the Creator, you can access online tutorials, webinars and a helpdesk forum for support. I consulted all of these resources for my experiences described below, and I recommend the same to any new user.

choose tracking technologyAt first I had to choose a so-called “trackable” to which I wanted to attach digital content. This can be a 2-D object like a magazine or photo (image tracking), or even a 3-D object like a building (object tracking) or even complete outdoor areas (environment tracking). Another technology is called instant tracking which allows you to add content spontaneously to anything you can find in the real world. To start I tried out “image tracking“ with a picture of the Oktoberfest, Munich’s annual celebration of Bavarian culture.

A nice feature of the Creator is that it automatically estimates the quality of your photo. As you can see, my picture just got one out of three stars so it might possibly not work well. But I tried it anyway.

On the right you find the resources with which you can augment your trackable. You can choose between 3-D models, audio files, websites, (YouTube) videos and graphics, among others. For my scenario I used Metaio’s provided sample content, which is good if you don’t want to spend time making your own 3-D models.

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Drag and Drop content to create your own AR experience

My plan was to get to the website of each beer tent by clicking on the tent on my scanned photo in Junaio. To do this,  I chose the “?” button and put it on each tent on my trackable in the editing area. Using the features of the Creator is very simple. You can easily drag and drop the resources, change the size and the proportions of elements, rotate them and determine the distance to your trackable in the 3-D view. On the left you select the view. Zooming is possible with the mouse wheel. Theoretically, you can add a limitless amount of content items to a trackable. Unfortunately I didn’t figure out whether and how I can change the color of the provided sample content, how to process multiple objects simultaneously or add text to an object- but all of this is explained in the available tutorials on Metaio’s Dev Portal.

After a right click on a button of my scenario and a left click on “Properties” I could determined what should happen when I click on “?” buttons. For my project I selected “Open a hyperlink” and entered the links to each website of the beer tents. In the same way I added a link to the Wikipedia entry of the Bavarian statue, also pictured, though this time I used a magnifier as button. Additionally I attached a play button on my trackable that starts a YouTube video, but I didn’t use the “YouTube” resource, since in this case the video would start automatically after scanning my photo with Junaio, and I wanted a video texture to play on the image itself. With a clickable button I can define the time of playing. Done!

hyperlink

If you have a webcam, you can preview your scenario directly on your PC. For that you have to print your trackable or you can also point your camera to the digital image on your screen. Unfortunately I have no webcam so I tested my scenario with my smart phone. In order to enjoy your AR experience with Junaio, you first have to upload it to a server. With the Creator you can easily upload your project to the provided cloud space by Metaio or to your own server.

create channelIn the section, “Upload to Metaio Cloud” on the bottom right I chose “New channel”, next “Create”, named the channel for my scenario “Oktoberfest” and pressed “Create” again. A few seconds later a QR code appeared on my screen that I had to scan with Junaio. That’s it. Now I should be able to experience my first own AR project by pointing the camera of my smart phone on my printed trackable. What can I say, the result looks very good, although the quality of my print doesn’t, and my buttons work!

After this encouraging result, I also tried the “instant tracking”  that doesn’t need a predefined trackable. I did not have to select a picture, but place the content items directly on a mapped grid in the editing area of the Creator.

 

channel uploaded

Among the sample content, I found the 3-D model of a pumpkin and added it to my AR scenario. Then the UI Designer (user interface designer) you can see on the bottom left opened automatically and a camera and a cross button appeared on a mapped mobile device. These buttons will activate or deactivate the instant tracking. With the UI Designer I can place all menu elements wherever I want to see them later on my smart phone. After that I finished my AR scenario as described in the test before and scanned the QR code with Junaio. The amazing result you can see on the pictures.

UI Designer

User-friendly Interface to manage your Content

pumpkin 1 Overall, I can say that the Metaio Creator 3.0 delivers what its developers promised. The software has a very user-friendly and clear interface that allows you to simply drag and drop content on your scenario. The tutorials are well-written and easy to understand, so even if you are not a developer or know little about the technology behind augmented reality and just want to have fun, you can create and enjoy your own projects within a short time. But of course the Metaio Creator is also a tool for professionals who can put much more functionality to AR scenarios with the AREL Script Editor within the Creator.pumpkin 2 It is not difficult to imagine that you can create added value to print media by creating a multimedia extension with the Creator and that the Metaio Creator is a great marketing tool for many companies. But there are surely many opportunities for the industry as well. So there is a huge audience for the Creator and I’m sure I will be using the software in the future.


Clandestine: Anomaly – Bringing Augmented Games to a New Level

October 1, 2013
Clandestine Poster

Danger, Will Robinson. Danger! Danger!

Can’t stop the signal.

Metaio recently announced the winners of the 2013 Metaio Developer Competition who displayed some spectacular use of augmented reality. Today we’re featuring Clandestine: Anomaly, developed by ZenFri Inc. and winner of the GamAR category.

What is Clandestine: Anomaly?

Clandestine: Anomaly is an AR-based, or Emergent Reality, science fiction game that incorporates tower defense and RPG elements as a way to create a captivating gaming experience that evolves as you play.  The game begins as your smart device is “hacked” by a crashing alien ship seeking your help. Once you find a safe place for the crash site the game opens up its RPG elements and gives you a choice to begin defending the crash site from alien attack or search for building resources called “nanobots.”

I don't think we're in Canada anymore.

Welcome to Canada.

Clandestine takes full advantage of the Metaio SDK GPS tracking methods and places the battleground right in your backyard. The game features two ways to view the world: tactical or “isometric” viewing for a real-world map with the game overlay and the recon view for watching all the live, AR elements interact with the real world.

Regular readers will remember the inception of Clandestine: Anomaly from the original Kickstarter that we covered earlier this year. As a result, Zenfri even joined us at our booth at the 2013 Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, where they were nominated for an “Auggie Award”.

It’s not from this world, Clark.

For more information about the game, be sure to visit their website and watch the video of the prototype below. As a reward for winning, Executive Producer Corey King received a free license for the Metaio SDK as well as a round-trip flight to Munich to present the game at InsideAR 2013! So purchase your ticket for the event now, and be sure to check out when Corey and the other winners of 2013 Metaio Developer Competition along with tons of other content.

Strap yourselves in boys.


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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We’re so excited and just can’t hide it! – The new IKEA Catalog App 2014 has Metaio inside

August 7, 2013

We are very proud to be part of this very great project!

Update: The new Catalog and the App 2014 are now available in Germany! 

Image courtesy IKEA

Image courtesy IKEA

Amazing media coverage!

““Our customers want to be able to test out whether the products they’ve been inspired by in our catalog will work in their own homes – particularly when it comes to larger pieces of furniture. Offering a way of using mobile technology to enable to test products means the technology has a practical purpose and really helps customers visualize the way their homes could look.” says Peter Wright, Country Marketing Manager, IKEA UK and Ireland.

With the help of cutting-edge software, IKEA is looking to make interior decorating more fun, efficient, and less wasteful. By cutting down on returns, the company can potentially save money and energy in shipping and production costs. Sadly, you still have to go to the store in person to visit the cafeteria.” 

(Quote taken from Inhabitant.com)

“By any measure IKEA is an innovative brand and when they team up with Metaio, one of the leading Augmented Reality(AR) technology companies something interesting is bound to happen.

The 2014 IKEA Catalogue app for Android and iOS will let you place, move and share over 100 pieces of furniture in 3D AR. IKEA’s internal research showed that 14% of their customers have in the past purchased furniture of the wrong size and 70% do not know the size of their own rooms. Hence the app was created to allow consumers to visualize the size, shape, colour and positioning in situ (video below). At its worst an AR app that allows customers to see how IKEA’s products would fit into their own homes should reduce the returns of ill-fitting furniture and at best it could provide a significant increase in online sales.”

(Quote taken from 2dcode.co.uk)

“Ikea has developed a killer app for AR”

(Quote taken from fastcodesign.com)

Further articles on the Augmentedblog:  

Thank you IKEA for this amazing video! 


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