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.


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

********

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!


Augmented Guerilla Marketing

June 8, 2011

I found two very intersting stories, which fit perfectly to an ongoing discussion in the AR sphere: property rights of virtual space. Is it possbile to place your interaction POI directly in front (on top, behind, around…) the outle of a competitor? Can you use the logo of a company to display your own point of view? Or: Who Owns the Advertising Space in an Augmented Reality World? The author of the one latest story John Havens points at many  more open issues, which will be discussed a lot in the next years. If you do not share my opinion, what about the other story: “Heavy’s “Pirate Banker” channel is an augmented reality takeover of the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides “Captain Barbossa” (Geoffrey Rush) movie poster. You can place the poster in your camera view to trigger a short movie texture that reveals Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as the real “pirate”. (…)”. More information about this nicely done guerilla campaign can be found: here. So, who owns the space in front of a poster? I think my new colleague Trak should make an interview with Lawrence Lessig soon… (http://www.lessig.org/info/bio/ )


junaio and Augmented Reality to Revolutionize Print Advertising

November 15, 2010

Sausalitos together with Coke zero of Germany just launched their Augmented Reality campaign on junaio this week. Traditional advertising is losing traction and people often pay little attention to commercial messages found in newspapers and magazines. Now, the much talked about Augmented Reality (AR) technology as available within the smartphone AR browser junaio may change all that. junaio`s highly sophisticated image recognition and object tracking capabilities make it possible to recognize a print ad and call up additional digital content to delight the viewer and draw renewed attention to a sponsor`s message.

junaio is capable of recognizing images as seen through the camera. This works not only on print ads, but also on billboards, product packaging, flyers, coupons or any other predetermined image. Once recognized junaio will fetch via internet any available multimedia content and overlay it dynamically onto the camera view. Not only will junaio recognize an object on the image, but is then capable of virtually “gluing” for example a 3D model onto the object in the right proportion and scale. As you move the camera, so the 3D model will follow accordingly. Of course other types of digital augmentation may be triggered by the ad as well, such as an engaging game, an opportunity to integrate response elements like coupons or any other interactive exchange with the viewer. Mobile AR technology allows combining different media, making the borders between print and digital become permeable, just like it is already on the internet. We´ll keep you updated, because there are already some more campaigns in the pipeline…


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