Metaio at the Wearable Technology Conference, San Francisco

July 21, 2014

We’re driving fast in my car and we just want to have fun.

Our own Amanda Le introducing some of the biggest names in Wearable Technology

Our own Amanda Le introducing some of the biggest names in Wearable Technology

wearable tech conference

The ladies of Metaio ready for anything.

Earlier this month, the Wearable Technologies Conference broke ground on its first event in San Francisco at Fort Mason. As the leading provider of augmented reality software for wearable technology, Metaio joined dozens of industry-leading wearable technology companies to show off some of the latest innovations. From fully immersive, first-person drone rides with ZEISS to hands-all motion with the newest Leap Motion controls, the conference boasted some incredible talks with industry leaders from around the world with our own Amanda Le making many of their introductions. According to Amanda, “the Wearable Tech Conference had an amazing lineup of speakers that expanded the horizon for what constitutes a wearable and brought up issues that many neglect such as form factor, security, and alternative energy sources.” The lineup included some of the greatest industry leaders in wearable technologies including Babak Parviz of Google X, David Holz of Leap Motion, and John Dwyen of Flextronics.

While we’d love to talk about all the cool technologies showcased at the conference, one product that caught our eye in particular was the Evena Eyes-On™ Glasses system. The glasses are used to detect the veins in the body by switching between different types of vision to help nurses during patient check ups. Definitely check out their website and product video to witness some amazing augmented reality!

However, the conference wasn’t all business. True to the organization’s German roots, the conference’s lunch break of the first day featured a most exciting show: the Brazil vs. Germany World Cup match. With a 7-1 finish in Germany’s favor, the conference mixed a little business with pleasure. Who says wearable technology and sports can’t mix?

Miss out on all the fun? The Wearable Technologies website has an overview of Day 1 and Day 2 of the San Francisco conference. You can also sign up for the next Wearable Technologies Conference in Taipei coming in October. We’ll see you next year!


Doing Magic with Augmented Reality… for real!

July 17, 2014

A guestpost by Andreea Raducan

If you could do magic, what would be your favorite trick? Well, some might say: “let’s make money!” So too did Simon Pierro  with his “How to get rich…!” magic trick, which he is now sharing with everyone in an amazing video proving that it is truly possible!

What is the mystery behind the “AR Money”?

The key ingredients are: a brilliant mind, some Augmented Reality “magic”, plus a sprinkle of “real” magic. From these three elements, the AR part is perhaps the easiest one. Since Simon is already equipped with the other two, all he had to do was to contact Metaio for support with the Augmented Reality part.  It all started in 2010, when he first discovered AR and its potential. At a time when AR was known only to a few, Simon found Metaio: a team he describes as “very flexible, creative and open to new ideas”, with extensive knowledge and experience in Augmented Reality. Together, they built the “Christmas show ”. “We had lots of fun” he said, and “stayed in contact for a long time”. According to him, “Metaio is very reliable”, both in terms of technology and as partners. This is why he decided to contact Metaio again in 2014 – to “be creative together”.

Where is the boundary between Augmented Reality and the real magic?

You probably noticed the hand-drawn dollar bills in the video. The role of AR in this trick is to digitally recognize (or “track”) these bills and “transform” them into realistic looking ones on the display of the device. One remarkable feature in this tracking process is the stability and robustness of the rendering: the digital banknotes follow precisely the movement of the physical ones under the tablet.

However, the “real” magic happens afterwards, when the physical, hand-drawn banknotes are transformed into real physical ones. Brilliant, isn’t it?

trial 2

So how does he manage to do this? You might wonder.

Well, as much as I wanted to find out myself, I could not convince him to reveal his secret. What I did manage to do, is to discover how ideas come to his mind. Unlike others might think, “Inspiration doesn’t just come out of the blue”, Simon says, “You need to concentrate on what you do and look for opportunities around you, never stop thinking! Then, when you have an idea, you just have to believe in it and work hard to make it happen. You need to make efforts to find that idea and then to bring it to life; it will not happen magically.”

Thus did the “How to get rich..!” idea become reality. When Simon discovered AR, he became “absolutely fascinated” by the technology. “The factor that AR and magic have in common is that they both make things appear and disappear”. The question for him was, how to bring these two together and make people believe in both. He was convinced that such a combination would open endless possibilities. He did find a way, and what an incredible way, isn’t it?! Simon just loves to be creative and work with interesting people.

1st

Simon also loves the freedom of pursuing his ideas, turning visions into reality, while interacting with so many people. He loves seeing the impact his work creates – the reactions he draws from people. Seeing how they relate to his work, “with tears in their eyes”. “Moreover, it is so interesting to see how people from different countries express their emotions and impressions differently!”

I asked Simon what he is doing with all the money. He laughed saying “they all go with my illusion”. When asked about his future ambitions, Simon says “I don’t have plans for the next 10 years. Things are changing so much! For example, 5 years ago I had no clue about Augmented Reality. Who knows what the future will bring?  You should really stay flexible and open.”

For the time being, we are about to witness one of his dreams come true: performing live in front of large public audience. This is something he wished for a long time and which is going happen, as he will be performing his magic tricks live in Mannheim  (October 28) and Munich  (October 29). If you want to see the magic for yourself, this is your chance! Until then, discover more on his website.


Weekest Links – Mid July

July 14, 2014

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

germany-wins

Image courtesy of The News Tribe

Metaio | Junaio Recap

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

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

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

Metaio Presents Augmented Reality for Smart Watches [Augmented Blog]

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

Metaio presents Augmented Reality for Smart Watches [YouTube]

Augmented Reality News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Augmented Reality Is A Strategic Technology [BusinessWorld]

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

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

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

Upcoming Events

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

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

Pick of the Week

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


Metaio Presents Augmented Reality for Smart Watches

July 9, 2014

Metaio is announcing the first ever object recognition solution for smart watches today. We are releasing a video that demonstrates a computer vision-based health & lifestyle app for wearable devices implemented using Metaio technology as well as a solution for retail to quickly scan products to purchase and request delivery to your home.

SmartWatch_1Smart watch manufacturers are still struggling to find the balance between simplicity and functionality. By adding computer visual recognition functionality, the goal of fast and effective interaction with a smart watch is achieved. Utilizing the camera of a smart watch, users snap an image which a companion smartphone then checks for matches using Metaio visual search technology. When a match is found, data is returned to the user in the form of glanceable information on the watch, or rich, interactive data on the smartphone.

“When we gave phones and glasses the ability to see the world around them, it opened up huge opportunities for all kinds of mobile apps”, said Metaio CEO, Dr. Thomas Alt. “We can see that smart watches are going be a huge part of the mobile computing revolution, so we wanted to make sure that we could bring the power of computer vision and augmented reality to this form factor.”

SmartWatch_3There exist millions of objects in our environment that can be scanned by a smart device, but it is not always convenient for users to be constantly removing their smart phones from pockets or purses. Placing object recognition capabilities on the wrist allows for convenient access to visual search and augmented reality applications that already exist today.

Metaio presents a video showing a working demo of a health & lifestyle application. Rather than entering nutritional information manually; users simply scan the food package from the wrist, which automatically populates a daily nutrition diary on a companion device. The video also illustrates smart watches being used in retail to quickly scan products to purchase and request delivery to the home.

According to Metaio the technology can be implemented on existing smart watches currently on the market and will be running a live demo of the application at the upcoming InsideAR Munich conference,  on October 29th and 30th, 2014.

Read the interview with Thomas Alt on TechCrunch: “Metaio CEO Thomas Alt Discusses Augmented Reality For Smartwatches, Google Glass And More”

 


Weekest Links – Early July

July 7, 2014

Did you augmented your 4th with some fiARworks?

Augmented Reality in the Age of Wearables

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

Metaio | Junaio Recap

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

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

Augmented Reality Made Easy – Webinar [PaperSpecs]

Augmented Reality News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mobility’s Promise [Energy Biz]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Events

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

InsideAR Tokyo – July 8th [Program Info]

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

Pick of the Week

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


AR Toys Competition Jury Member #4: Introducing Pati Keilwerth

July 2, 2014

All great things come to an end.

LP_AR_toys competitionNEU 1

The submission deadline for the AR Toys Competition from Toywheel and Metaio was on Monday this week and we want to specially thank all AR fans who submitted their ideas! There are great proposals and we are now checking and evaluating all of them very carefully. Our great Jury will then carefully select their favorites and we will let you know as soon as they decide the winner of the AR Junior Award and the  AR Toymaker award!

In the meantime, we would like to continue by introducing our 4th member of the awesome AR Jury …..drum roll…..

Pati_KeilworthPati Keilwerth: A storyteller par excellence

PATI KEILWERTH after finishing law school at the University Passau, was hired to coordinate the protocol of the Berlin Film Festival. She continued working for the Berlinale in various departments and for the Broadcaster rbb and some media labs – all while also studying Audiovisual Media Science at the Filmschool HFF “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam-Babelsberg. Directly after her diploma with a thesis on international Co-Production she began employment with German filmmaker and playwright Wim Wenders.

After a three-year tenure as Wim Wenders’s Executive Assistant, she embarked on new terrain in the media industry and has been engaged in cross media and interactive storytelling ever since. The past two years she worked for RTL Disney in the online department and focuses now on projects with PATISSERIE FILM.

AR Toys competition is awesome because…

“…I’m happy to be invited to be part of the Jury. In the past years I have been very involved with interactive storytelling, games and digital toys for kids and we also frequently tested some augmented reality features with kids. They had a lot of fun. So I’m curious to see what new app ideas there are and which of these I would like to try out with the kids of my friends and family.”

Thank you, Pati for supporting us!


Weekest Links – Beginning of July

June 30, 2014

Germany plays today with strong hopes of advancing to the quarter finals. Will Algeria come with a surprise upset? 

Will the US bring a win to the table against Belgium and advance to the quarter finals for the first time since 2002?

Welcome to the Holodeck!

Welcome to the Holodeck!

Metaio | Junaio Recap

2014 InsideAR Tokyo: Professor Kirokazu Kato “The Father of Augmented Reality” will join us! [Augmented Blog]

So long, and thanks for all the Augmented Reality. [Augmented Blog]

Last reminder AR Toys Competition & a new jury member [Augmented Blog]

Hey WNY – Your Craft Beer is Near! [Digital Delta Design]

Augmented Baseball – Bringing Legends to Life [Augmented Blog]

You are now free to move about the ‘holodeck': Metaio gives virtual reality legs [VentureBeat]

Metaio R&D Lab Releases 6D Augmented Reality Holodeck Technology to Developers [Augmented Blog]

Metaio Unveils 6D Augmented Reality Holodeck To Developers [Ubergizmo]

Augmented Reality News

Augmented realty glasses patented by Lenovo [Mobile Commerce News]

UK cinemas promptly ban Google Glass over ‘piracy’ fears [the Inquirer]

What’s The Point of Wearable Technology [Mobile Commerce Press]

Kickstarter Campaign to Bring Learning to Life on Mobile Devices Using Augmented Reality [Consumer Electronics Net]

Augmented Reality transforms logistic process [HumanIPO]

Google I/O: Project Tango LG Tablet Coming To Consumers In 2015 [Forbes]

Venture Architecture Biennale: Australia gets augmented [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Zombie Gunship Reality Set To Grace Project Tango Hardware [mxdwn.com]

Virtual Reality Is A ‘Game Changer’ For Overseas Real Estate Industry [Opp Connect]

The Military Is About to Get New Spy Glasses [Defense One]

Google Glass is taking off more rapidly in mobile health [Mobile Commerce News]

Intel’s New Laptop Can Read Your Emotions, Make Everything 3D [Betabeat]

Using A 3-D Version Of Rodin’s Hands To Understand Anatomy [ideastream]

How VR and Augmented Reality Are Transforming the Workplace [Business 2 Community]

Augmented Reality – The Next Big Thing In Digital Marketing [Verify Recruitment]

Epson Moverio BT-200 Review: Smashing Glass [SlashGear]

Upcoming Events

Webinar: Thermal Touch [Register Here]

InsideAR Tokyo, July 8 [Register Here]

Wearable Technologies Conference 2014, July 8 – 9  [Register Here]

Pick of the Week

Have you been in a Holodeck before? This futuristic virtual reality room comes closer to realization every day with advancing technology such as the Metaio 6D Augmented Reality Experience. Welcome to the Holodeck!


2014 InsideAR Tokyo: Professor Hirokazu Kato “The Father of Augmented Reality” will join us!   

June 30, 2014

InsideAR Tokyo is just days away and we are proud to announce that we have doubled the number of attendees from last year! In addition, we have tripled the number of speakers and workshop presenters including AR leaders from Intel, Epson, Canon and more. We are also especially pleased to announce that Professor Kato joins us at InsideAR Tokyo 2014 with his presentation: How should we improve AR for making our future better? So what exactly does it take to earn the title of “Father of Augmented Reality”?

Professor Kato

Professor Kato

In the late 1990’s a new toolset became available to Augmented Reality researchers around the world. The toolset was open source, meaning it could be used freely by anyone. It provided a common set of software libraries by which AR researchers could work together and publish new findings. The name of this software was the “ARToolKit” and since its release has been downloaded over 160,000 times. In 2012, the creators were honored with a “10 Year Lasting Impact Award” by the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR). Those creators; Professor Hirokazu Kato and Professor Mark Billinghurst today are known as the “Fathers of Augmented Reality”.

ARToolkit HIT lab

Courtesy: University of Michigan Human Interface Lab

Being heralded the “Father” of something is no small achievement and when it comes to the field of Augmented Reality, it is possible to make a strong case for why Professor Kato fits the bill. Professor Kato was responsible for writing the most widely cited paper in the field of Augmented Reality, and created an open source library that has enabled thousands of researchers and businesses to further the field of AR to the point that it is today. The ARToolKit even contributed to the beginning of what Metaio is today. According to Metaio CEO and co-founder Dr. Thomas Alt:

“When we founded Metaio, the ARToolKit was the first available resource for Augmented Reality. The ARToolKit has inspired a great amount of both academic and industrial research in Augmented Realty. One can truthfully state that the ARToolKit has been the inception point for what is now the vibrant and growing industry of AR as we know it today”.

These days Professor Kato continues his pioneering research into AR at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology in his Interactive Media Design Lab.

Join us at InsideAR Tokyo from on July 9th for a chance to hear from the “Father of Augmented Reality” himself. Professor Kato will be presenting his speech and directly following will join other AR leaders in a panel discussion. In the meantime you can see Professor Kato’s 2010 ISMAR presentation here.

InsideAR Munich Update:

InsideAR Bejing:

Registration is open now, learn more here and register today!


So long, and thanks for all the Augmented Reality.

June 27, 2014

I remember the first time I saw it.

Almost 5 years ago Brendan Scully walked into my room in the house we shared in college. I was trying desperately at the time to devise a most insidiously clever first tweet, which as I recall was something along the lines of “destabilize the discourse” (though Twitter itself belies these memories, I can assure you that was the original). Rudely, Brendan interrupted my most-important mission, demanding my attention.

“Trak. Trak.”

“…”

“TRAK.”

“…”

“TRAAAAAAAAAA-“

“What?!”

AugmentedReality.”

(Interestingly enough, this would later become Brendan’s chosen icebreaker for nearly any conversation or situation. Standing in line in 2011 for what was to be a godawful post-WWDC party at the Roe, Brendan once proposed that we run up and down said line shouting, “AUGMENTED REALITY,” to “see what happens”.)

Brendan ushered me into his room, where he took print-out of a funny-looking bar code and displayed it in front of the webcam of his computer, only to have the object burst into a multi-colored 3-D animation of varying sizes of geometric shapes.

By today’s standards, the frame-rate was intolerable; the latency was more than noticeable.

It was beautiful.

That one moment was the first in a series of events that led myself (along with Brendan) to join Metaio. This was, in retrospect, not the first time I encountered AR: Bladerunner, Terminator, Predator, Minority Report, Iron Man, comics, science fiction novels, video games; as a society we had always manifested our dreams for technology in popular culture. And we will never lose sight of those dreams and expectations- it’s only a matter of time.

But in that moment, sitting in the only flat-roofed house in New Hampshire in a poorly-lighted room, the glow of the monitor illuminating our grinning faces in the graininess of the camera view, I saw the future.

And I wanted to be part of it.

That is why it is with heaviness of heart that I announce that I am leaving Metaio. The last three years have been nothing short of wondrous. But in the spirit of this blog, and because I said I was going to do it, I will now interview myself.

Where are you going?!

I am going to Google, where I will join the Waze team. More on this later, but I can tell you that position doesn’t have anything to do with augmented reality.

Are you done with AR?

Not in the least. I still hold a childlike fascination for the magic of computer vision, and just because I’m moving on doesn’t mean I won’t stop writing about it, either. In fact, depending on my schedule I will still try to write about technology, including AR, in my blog that I literally just started today. Please feel free to keep up with me there, as well as LinkedIn and Twitter.

from Brendan: Is Humanity ready for AR? 

I would counter that question with “Is AR ready for humanity?” It’s the decathlon of technologies, and it takes years of training for a human to run a decathlon. That being said, technology is only going to improve, so expect in the next few years to watch former barriers crumble beneath the might of optimization. I know for a fact you’re going to see some great things from Metaio in the very near future.

What was your favorite part about working for Metaio?

(Other than every InsideAR and AWE ever) Four things:

1) The Team

2) The Technology

3) Traveling

4) Talking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For anyone considering working in Augmented Reality, you really can’t get better than Metaio. I have been so fortunate to work at a company full of such fun, passionate and determined individuals. I have traveled all over the world with them, and many will be lifelong friends.

To all of you I’ve met along the way, It’s been a blast.

To the Metaio Team- you all know who you are, and you’re the best. I know that I would not have been able to accomplish anything in the last three years without your support.

To Augmented Reality- don’t think I’m done with you yet.

 

 

 


Last reminder AR Toys Competition & a new jury member

June 27, 2014

Weekend is coming and exactly 3 days are left to join our AR Toys Competition!

Logo_AR_Toys

The competition is open to everyone including developers, non-developers, parents, AND children all over the world. The competition features two categories: the “AR Toymaker Award” which is specifically targeted towards adults and the “AR Junior Award” is open to children and entrants under the age of 18. Each category requires the participant to submit a concept of an augmented reality game or toy.

New jury member Rolf Kosakowski

Portrait Rolf Kosakowski_finalWe are happy to introduce our latest jury member, Rolf Kosakowski to you: 46 years old he has been an entrepreneur ever since he left school. He is a huge fan of technology, in fact, there is a load of gadgets in his office and he can answer any questions related to digital tools.

Since the age of 17, Rolf has managed his own advertising agency, KB&B – The Kids Group. The company now has 25 employees, and Rolf operates it together with his wife, Julia. Throughout their international marketing activities, they have consulted customers such as; Super RTL, Sony Entertainment, Lufthansa, MIGROS, and many others in the children and family market.

Children and family marketing by KB&B – The Kids Group

By analyzing the children market trends and developing individual strategies – from TV-Spot to website, online, offline and apps – they have developed international advertising campaigns. Rolf is very proud of KB&B’s latest baby: The Lufthansa children app “Take-Off – The fun-packed journey for little passengers”, is now ranked among the top 10 free iPad apps for kids on the iTunes Store. Rolf’s Motto is: “Crazy enough to be taken seriously by kids! Serious enough to make adults understand that it’s not crazy!”

Why do you support the competition?

“App development is our most important new business field at KB&B – The Kids Group. Augmented Reality presents  a huge opportunity for all kinds of app development. Merging real life and fictional storytelling is just the perfect concept for any kind of toy. I am very happy to learn more about the ideas, and especially curious about the concepts the young participants hand in. Maybe I will be spotting some new talents?”

In your words – what’s the potential in Augmented Reality for kids?

“Kids have a huge benefit when compared to adults: They are very curious and adapt to new technologies quickly and joyfully. I believe that Augmented Reality can teach in a way that has not been possible before.  Furthermore, AR has the ability to lift kid’s fantasies to new a whole new level. I see a lot of potential in AR-apps.”

What would you like upcoming apps for kids to be like?

As with any kind of app, childrens applications should also be technically high performing, entertaining and secure. It is self-evident that they may not implement salecalls, since this in inappropriate for children  and, not to mention, illegal. They should address kids at their level: If the target group is preschoolers the app must operate without text. If it is for teenagers, then safe communication tools should be included.

But most of all, I wish that the new concepts that come out of this competition are mind blowing, creative and fresh; in other words, something that we have never seen before. So, Good luck to all the competitors. I am excited to learn about your ideas.


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