Augmenting Augmented Reality: Metaio Reveals 3D Depth Sensor Support for SDK 6

October 23, 2014

metaio depth sensing capabilities

Yesterday turned out to be a very big day for the world of Augmented Reality. Why? Because Metaio unveiled a few new details about the Metaio SDK 6 – support for 3D depth-sensing camera systems.

project tango and metaioFor those of you who didn’t hear the latest news about depth-sensing cameras and the enormous improvement they pose for AR technology, we’ll kindly nudge you in the direction of our previous blog post. With that refresher you’ll see why yesterday’s news is an important stepping-stone for the future of Augmented Reality.

According to Metaio CTO and co-founder, Peter Meier, “Smartphones and tablets have historically made use of single, ‘2D’ cameras primarily intended for image capture, but as smart devices have become more powerful, we are demanding more and more from the optics of these devices.With the ability to understand depth information, mobile devices will become significantly more powerful when it comes to Augmented Reality and computer vision tasks.”

With giants like Google and Intel announcing new generations of high-tech devices that are able to “see” the world in 3D via RGB-D (Red, Green, Blue, Depth) sensors, it seems natural for Metaio to support this technology on the Metaio SDK.

The video below illustrates how added 3D sensors in both a Windows tablet and an iPad make Augmented Reality much more powerful by virtually eliminating the need for markers in many use cases, and even more importantly,, solving the occlusion problem – where virtual data is incorrectly rendered into the environment.

occiptial and ipadOccipital’s Structure Sensor is one of the first devices to be supported in the Metaio SDK. According to Occipital CEO and co-founder, Jeff Powers, “We share a common goal with Metaio of allowing developers to create powerful and convincing 3D and AR experiences. It’s why we created the Structure Sensor. Metaio’s support of the Structure Sensor and SDK will bring added realism to AR experiences with real world scale and occlusion.”

This brings new possibilities in Augmented Reality gaming by enabling digital objects to react and interact with physical environments. Indoor navigation that does not require a GPS signal will be possible and precise, and scanners that can extract 3D models from the environment will no longer be a vision of the future.

Metaio’s flagship SDK will be updated to version 6.0 during InsideAR Munich, and will support depth sensor input from devices including Occipital Structure sensor and others to come in early 2015.

“Knowing that the likes of Google and Intel are heavily investing in depth-sensing camera devices, we made sure our SDK is prepared for the next big surge of of innovation that this hardware provides developers,” says Peter Meier. With development options for iOS, Android, and Windows PC, and the most advanced tracking technology available, the Metaio SDK is the most powerful Augmented Reality developer tool on the market.

There will be a  live demonstration highlighting the important benefits of RGB-D devices  during InsideAR Munich on October 29th and 30th. Just one of the many reasons to attend this year’s most exciting Augmented Reality conference. But hurry, there are only a few days left for you to secure your ticket. Don’t miss out and join us now!

Learn more at: http://www.insidear2014.com/


InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Carl Byers of NGRAIN

October 23, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014

Welcome to our fourteenth edition of our InsideAR Speaker Spotlight series!

For our fourteenth edition of the InsideAR Speaker Spotlight, we are happy to introduce Carl Byers, Chief Strategy Officer of NGRAIN. Carl has been working with virtual and augmented technology since 1986. At NGRAIN he focuses on business innovation and expansion through integrated product development, market diversification, and collaborative partnership and advocacy strategies.

Meet Carl Byers of NGRAIN!

Meet Carl Byers of NGRAIN!

What are you going to present at InsideAR 2014?

Carl Byers: I will presenting on the topic: NGRAIN 3DAR – The Visual Language of the Industrial Internet of Things.

Have you ever attended InsideAR before and what was the most exciting part for you at previous events?

CBI had the pleasure and privilege to attend and speak at insideAR in Munich in 2013 and others from our organization participated in insideAR Japan earlier this year. We were all impressed by the caliber of attendees and talks. In particular, the real-world insights and applications that are driving this market forward were extremely interesting. The blend of consumer and industrial presentations was also valuable as we continuously look for cross-over opportunities and implementation lessons. 

What is the next challenge in AR that you would like to see overcome?

CBTwo of the biggest upcoming challenges in AR will be discovery and compatibility/interoperability. As more AR experiences are developed and deployed for both consumer and industrial applications, the ability to automatically find or know that an AR experience is available near you or for a piece of equipment you are working on, regardless of the browser or player that you are using, will become critical. If we are not able to get to this point, the true utility of AR will not be achieved and we will end up with more and more fragmented experiences that we will never be aware of.

What is your personal vision of the future of AR? What Application do you wish you had today?

CBMy personal vision of AR is on always on personal assistant that will help, notify and guide me in the decisions that need to be made. Integrating the vast amount of information around us and in our businesses, and giving only the information to me that I need, when I need it, using various forms of augmentations applicable to the environment I’m in or the job I’m doing. This is my personal vision and the vision of the future that NGRAIN is building for industrial environments.

Carl’s presentation will cover the NGRAIN 3DAR platform as a “visual language” that connects together sensory data. He’ll also go over how the NGRAIN 3DAR platform provides contextual AR information, so that any field can access data where they need it, when they need it, and how they need it.

That’s it from us for this week – be sure to visit our previous spotlight and if you’d like to watch some of the presentations from last year’s InsideAR event, check out our InsideAR YouTube playlist.

 


 InsideAR Munich takes place on October 29th and 30th, 2014 at the Kleine Olympiahalle in Munich. Learn more at http://www.insidear2014.com/

Need a ticket? Register here: http://www.insidear2014.com/register

 Interested in becoming a speaker? Get in touch with our team via: insidear@metaio.com

Want to join us as a journalist or become a media partner? Send us an email: press@metaio.com.


Phun&Dunn – Agencies Get To Work

October 22, 2014

We’ve always enjoyed working with companies to produce some amazing Augmented Reality projects. Last year, San Francisco-based agency Phun&Dunn released an app in association with Chouffe USA called “Summon the Chouffe.” You can read about it here.

Recently, we got to chat with Phun&Dunn’s team – Trevor Oldershaw (Creative Director), Tommy Giovagnoli (Creative Director), Pamela Gonzalez (Designer), and Leslie Edelman (Production) – about the Summon the Chouffe app. They were happy to share some details.


 

P&D-Logo

What was the overall goal of the project?

chouffe family backgroundIn the world of import craft beers, it’s about connecting more deeply with a very small group of enthusiasts, rather than making a play for broad awareness. After all, a beer like Chouffe will only be distributing in relatively small quantities to a particular set of bars and restaurants that focus on better beers. So the primary goal here was to excite the brand’s entire ecosystem of distributors, accounts, and customers – enthusiasts, one and all, by giving them a very special view into the magical and legendary world of the Chouffe gnomes.

Why did you decide to use Augmented Reality?

Seeing things that aren’t really there? Somehow, AR just seems like a natural choice in context of strong Belgian beer brewed by community of 6,000 year-old forest gnomes.

StickersHow long has the project been online?

We dipped our toes into the AR water back in 2012, and then took a huge leap forward with new artwork and new technical capabilities thanks to Metaio. 

How long did development take?

The app took nearly four months to create, but that was driven as much by the creation of the original artwork and animations as the pure dev involved. Creating the app itself, including versions for iOS and Android, took roughly three months.

What resources were already available? What resources need to be created?

This was a real storytelling effort, and a real team adventure. Phun&Dunn designed all the campaign elements – copy, art, animations and fundamental app planning and design. This history and legend of Chouffe beer was a story there to be told, but it required all-new illustrations, and required us to create whole new chapters. 

Chouffe USA, experts themselves in the production of beer collateral, handled the printing of all the collateral with triggers: posters, coasters, table tents and stickers.

Technically, we based the structure from an earlier version, but rebuilt everything from the ground up with our developer-partners, Apptitude Digital. They were able to include not only the AR component that made our stories spring to life from the various triggers, but also a fun and engaging “Gnome Thyself” module that allowed users to put their own faces into the illustrated world of Chouffe. 

Master illustrator Michael Dziekan rendered the world for us, giving more detail and backstory than before. coaster part 1

What tools did you use?

Other than native platform SDK’s and standard backend management, we used Metaio’s SDK to create fast and awesome AR experience.

What were some difficulties in development? How were they handled?

Our biggest single hurdle was handling the video performance across legacy device issues in the Android ecosystem. iOS was really no problem, but Android did create some challenges as we set about supporting a number or prior releases and less robust processors on early smart phones.

choufee app uiHow was the app received?

Again, this was not a game of going viral for us. It was more about exciting and energizing a rabid core. So while a number like 1,600 downloads might not seem like a major victory, the impact felt throughout the sales channel and on premise with key accounts can’t be underestimated. The app became a true “wow” moment for everyone involved. And those who engaged did stay within the app for nearly five minutes as they enjoyed many tiny revelations while watching our small tall tales.

Was this released in conjunction with other campaigns?

Yes, this release was actually a key brand-building component for the launch of our “Summon the Chouffe” campaign. The tag line was a three-fold meaning: Summon the light-hearted spirit of the Chouffe beer within yourself; Summon a delicious Chouffe by signaling the bartender right now; and, of course, bring the gnomes of Chouffe to life before your eyes by summoning them with our AR app on your smart phone. 

Did you notice any trends?

Chouffe is still a brand that markets based on events and promotions. The brew itself is revered, and the model is to build word-of-mouth excitement. So, rest assured, usage and additional downloads spike with each new event or promotion.

cheers to chouffe


 

Thanks Phun&Dunn! We can’t wait to see what you guys develop in the future!

For any of you SF locals out there, Chouffe Fest is just around the corner. Check it out!

 

P&D_shieldONLY


InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research

October 20, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014

Welcome to our thirteenth edition of our InsideAR Speaker Spotlight series!

For our thirteenth edition of the InsideAR Speaker Spotlight, we are happy to introduce Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research. An already popular futurist technology speaker, Rohit has been an active futurist for years. At Fast Future, he leads the research division to produce studies across a series of topics.

Rohit-Talwar-pic

Meet Rohit Talwar of Fast Future Research!

What are you going to present at InsideAR 2014?

Rohit Talwar: I am going to explore the future evolution of AR as a variety of technologies come together e.g. wearable and embedded devices, artificial intelligence, immersive, multi-sensory internet, gesture interfaces and brainwave recognition. I will highlight the opportunities these developments could bring about and explore opportunities from different industries. 

Have you ever attended InsideAR before and what was the most exciting part for you at previous events?

RTThis is my first time to attend and I am keen to see where different players think AR could be heading in the next 5-10 years.

What is the next challenge in AR that you would like to see overcome?

RT: Integration with other personal technologies e.g. mind reading headsets and wearable/embedded devices.

What is your personal vision of the future of AR? What Application do you wish you had today?

RTI think it has a wide variety of applications as part of an integrated personal technology ecosystem. I can see diverse applications in leisure, retail, security, entertainment, maintenance and repair.  

Rohit’s talk “Augmented Futures – How the next generation of emerging technologies could impact AR and the applications of that could emerge” will touch base on his futurist beliefs, and hopefully provide a positive outlook on Augmented Reality’s future.

That’s it from us for now – be sure to visit our previous spotlight and if you’d like to watch some of the presentations from last year’s InsideAR event, check out our InsideAR YouTube playlist.

 


 InsideAR Munich takes place on October 29th and 30th, 2014 at the Kleine Olympiahalle in Munich. Learn more at http://www.insidear2014.com/

Need a ticket? Register here: http://www.insidear2014.com/register

 Interested in becoming a speaker? Get in touch with our team via: insidear@metaio.com

Want to join us as a journalist or become a media partner? Send us an email: press@metaio.com.


InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Martin Vesper of digitalSTROM

October 16, 2014

InsideAR Munich 2014

Welcome to our twelfth edition of our InsideAR Speaker Spotlight series!

For our twelfth edition of the InsideAR Speaker Spotlight, we are happy to introduce Martin Vesper, CEO of digitalSTROM AG. Martin is regarded as an expert in smart products, processes, energy, optimum customer orientation and strong brands. His main goal is to make the innovative smart home system digitalSTROM accessible to a wider public in the DACH region and other European countries.

Martin Vesper-300dpi-RGBDigitalstromWhat are you going to present at InsideAR 2014?

Martin Vesper: I will give a presentation on how connectivity and AR will transform the craftsmanship of electricians into an industrial process thus, allowing smart homes to evolve.

Have you ever attended InsideAR before and what was the most exciting part for you at previous events?

MVThis is my first time at the conference, and I am looking forward to it.

What is the next challenge in AR that you would like to see overcome?

MV: The practicability of the technology. AR will become widely accepted, if it is really applicable in specific areas. This means a low error rate, low latency and a number of enjoyable applications.

What is your personal vision of the future of AR? What Application do you wish you had today?

MVI see the future of AR in the combination with cognitive systems, moving away from “single use applications” towards AR applications with a broader scope. This will allow a more practical way of expanding knowledge in a multitasking environment.

Martin’s talk “Connectivity Means Change: Augmented Reality and the Smart Home” will provide us with some thoughts behind how an augmented home could be a great supplement to a smart home. Here is the link to the program of InsideAR of Day 1 and Day 2.

That’s it from us for this week – be sure to visit our previous spotlight and if you’d like to watch some of the presentations from last year’s InsideAR event, check out our InsideAR YouTube playlist.

 


 InsideAR Munich takes place on October 29th and 30th, 2014 at the Kleine Olympiahalle in Munich. Learn more at http://www.insidear2014.com/

Need a ticket? Register here: http://www.insidear2014.com/register

 Interested in becoming a speaker? Get in touch with our team via: insidear@metaio.com

Want to join us as a journalist or become a media partner? Send us an email: press@metaio.com.


Here are the winners of the ‘AR Toys Competition’: Once upon an AR time…

October 14, 2014

Today’s the day!! After long discussions and considerations amongst the chosen jury, the two winners of our AR Toys Competition – initiated by Toywheel and Metaio - were finally picked. The competition consisted of two different challenges, with two different rewards.

Logo_AR_Toys

AR Toymaker Award

The AR Toymaker Award asked for the best ideas and concepts for an Augmented Reality Toy, based on today´s already existing technology. The prizes for this category – a commercial license of a Metaio SDK or a Metaio Cloud subscription and free consulting considering game design and implementation – will enable the winner to implement the idea together with Toywheel and Metaio, bringing the concept to life. All submissions were assessed by their excitement value, the uniqueness of concept, user friendliness and their technical feasibility, setting the bar quite high for every participant.

CaptureFront and center in this category took Maria Neureither, a game design student, with her ‘myARtale’ concept; an augmented reality app for iOS and Android which enables kids aged six to twelve years to create their own storybook with AR fairytale objects. The scene can be arranged with up to five AR objects and can be captured via camera afterwards. You can unite the pictures to a storybook and add text blocks to tell your very own fairytale.

Her concept shows three different types of AR objects to create your very own storybook: characters, items and scenery sets. All 3D Models are generated via image-based tracking. The printable AR cards are to be offered online for free.

“The game encourages to be creative and artistic. Inventing a new fairytale and setting the stage can be a short or a time-consuming experience depending on the child’s interest and motivation.” says Maria.  

The camera of your mobile device captures the AR cards, which will be translated to 3D models appearing live on the screen. Two cards laid on top of each other, enable characters to hold items or appear in different settings. They will also be able to change their facial appearance and posture to make the game experience even more creative and versatile. Children will also be able to choose different-sized and shaped text boxes to describe what happens in the scene with a few sentences.

Involving the existing environment to the game as background and scenery motivates to reinvent the setting by adding toys as further characters. An endless number of stories can be told using Maria’s ‘myARtale’, giving you and your child the possibility to rewrite common fairytales however you’d like to.

takenpictext

What a fascinating idea, huh?! The little characters are as cute as it gets and we are absolutely thrilled to announce Maria as the winner of the AR Toymaker Award. Her idea convinced us in every aspect of the chosen criteria.  So naturally, congratulations are in order!

We are very much looking forward to help you develop your idea further in the scope of the promised consulting days with Metaio and Toywheel.  Great job!

AR Junior Award

The AR Junior Award was targeting ‘ideas by kids for kids’. Respectively, this category asked for submissions from children and youths and  questioned how kids want to play in the future (using AR). As such it was not necessary that the idea was fully realizable from a technical standpoint. Fantasy and creativity  were keywords! Once again, the most important criteria for assessment were the uniqueness of the idea and the excitement guarantee.

MillieWe are so very glad to announce young Millie Powell as the winner of our AR Junior Award! Among all the other fantastic submissions, her exceptional concept and idea of miniature characters, accompanying you in your everyday life thrilled the jury the most. Of course, these little figures can only be seen with the help of a little bit augmented magic.

Millie’s idea is as simple as it is genius: Create your very own imaginary friend with the help of modern day technology, namely AR. By being able to customize the miniature sized creature inside the tablet or smartphone at your heart’s desire, the child would already set the basis of a long-lasting, close relationship between it and themselves.

“While the character would have an element of freewill, the user would still be able to control it and interact with it. By tapping the screen, the character would move, for example climbing stairs or running along a bookshelf.”

By capturing the surrounding area with your device’s camera, your little friend could practically do anything. Sit on your nightstand to tell you good night, for example.

Millie also suggested to introduce additional markers for the character, enabling you to extend its animations and features. Such markers could be used in many ways. They could be printable or in the form of physical toys that can be purchased and lets your character interact with them on your smart device. You could add furniture, cars, pets or even houses!

By caring for and playing with your little companion, you would be able to collect experience points (XP), which would allow your friend to level up and unlock rewards or new interactions. The possibilities are vast and extensive. Special mini games could be implemented, other players could combine their little friends on screen and the characters could even function as some kind of tutors for the child, introducing them to educational topics and tasks. One thing’s for sure – with a little creature like that in your living room, you won’t be bored anytime soon!

Thank you, Millie, for sharing this wonderful idea! Enjoy your well-earned iPad mini and commercial Metaio Creator license. And who knows – with the license, perhaps we will be able to show your finished AR-app here in the near future.

At this point, we’d like to thank everybody who participated and shared their magnificent concepts with us. We’ve seen so many extraordinary visions and ideas in the last couple of months, from AR generated Bubbles to an augmented history tour through Turkey. Unfortunately though, there can only be one winner in each category. Nevertheless, great job, everybody!

Matthias-Evgeni-5652 (1)

Join us for the most exciting AR conference!

Since both of our winners receive free tickets to InsideAR Munich – the world’s most exciting Augmented Reality Conference, we hope to see you there as well! Join us October 29th/30th at the Kleine Olympiahalle Munich! Get your tickets here: www.insideAR2014.com.

Here’s a little sneak peak of what you can expect:


AR Weekly – Mid October

October 13, 2014

We’re Back!

We're just doodling.

We’re just doodling.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Thorsten Stephan of SAP [Augmented Blog]

Metaio Rocks Adobe MAX [Augmented Blog]

IKEA Catalog App 2015: Where the evARyday begins [Augmented Blog]

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Dr. Stephan Erlenkämper of Mayersche Book Stores [Augmented Blog]

Feel your next holiday destination with Junaio! – An Example for an Augmented Reality Tourism Catalog [Augmented Blog]

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: Valerie Riffaud Cangelosi of Epson Europe [Augmented Blog]

Calling all 3D buffs! Metaio Teams up with Pinshape for a Halloween 3D Printed Model Competition [Augmented Blog]

InsideAR Speaker Spotlight: John puterbaugh, Ph.D., of Nellymoser [Augmented Blog]

Metaio debuts augmented reality plug-in for Adobe InDesign [TheNextWeb]

Augmented Reality Meets Adobe InDesign [Trekk]

As Easy as Coloring by Numbers – Metaio AR Creator InDesign Plugin [Augmented Blog]

Metaio Launches The First Augmented Reality Plugin For Adobe InDesign [TechCrunch]

Junaio: From rustic farmer fair to rollercoaster beer festival – The Oktoberfest 1910 – 2014 [Augmented Blog]

OnTheGo Platforms Releases Metaio Support to Bring ‘Minority Report’ Tech To Reality [OnTheGo Platforms]

Augmented Reality News

Niantic Labs’s John Hanke: alternate reality games are the future of storytelling [Stuff]

Carl Zeiss Showcases VR ONE headset, Under $100, Due By Christmas [AndroidHeadlines.com]

Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration [Kickstarter]

Smart Glasses From Toshiba Take A Different Design Track [Mobile Commerce Press]

Augmented reality with ultrafast Internet soon, experts say [Malay Mail Online]

Arch Grant Recipients Candy Lab Partners With Carnival Corp [Techli]

Epson Moverio BT-200 Augmented Reality Glasses Review [Tom's Hardware]

Welcome to ‘Endgame,’ Google’s worldwide augmented reality game that begins today [The Verge]

Toshiba Glass Prototype Unveiled; Hoped to Rival Google Glass in 2015 [NDTV Gadgets]

A little bit of depth [The Hindu]

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Market Worth $1.06 Billion by 2018 [Digital Journal]

Vuzix focuses on enterprise wearable tech, inks deal with Lenovo for growth in China [451 Research]

Augmented Reality Will Change Your World [Mobile Commerce Press]

iPhone Smart Glasses – Vuzix Now Compatible [Load the Game]

Microsoft’s ‘RoomAlive’ turns the living room into an augmented-reality game [Polygon]

Could virtual reality help build better cities [BBC News]

This Sony researcher wants to put you in someone else’s head [CNET]

Upcoming Events

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

Pick of the Week

While we were at Adobe MAX last week, Microsoft released a new proof of concept, video game projector setup that turns your living room into an interactive gaming environment. The setup uses 6 depth-sensing cameras and projectors to map out the space and then project a game on the upper surfaces. The concept looks amazing as users can use controllers or their bodies to interact with the full virtual environment. Check out the video below for the current concept.


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