Metaio unveils thermal imaging R&D for future use in wearable augmented reality headsets

May 23, 2014

Yesterday we announced a very new technology, a never-before-seen user interface that combines thermal imaging with augmented reality. We prepared a video illustrating potential applications of  Thermal Touch interface along with current examples of the working prototype.

“Everyone is talking about wearable computing eyewear like Google Glass,” said Metaio CTO Peter Meier, “but no one is talking about the best way to actually use those devices. We need natural, convenient interface to navigate the technology of tomorrow, and that’s why we developed ‘Thermal Touch’.”

Consisting of an infrared and standard camera working in tandem and running on a tablet PC, the prototype registers the heat signature left by a person’s finger when touching a surface. Metaio’s AR software then supplements the experience with AR and computer vision to allow the user to interact with digital content in all-new tactile way.

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Turn your world into a touchscreen!

The best graphic user interface (GUI) for wearable headsets has yet to be determined – device makers have so far experimented with voice navigation, companion devices and even projection, but in order for consumers to adopt new technology on a massive level it needs to be convenient and, above all, accessible in countless scenarios.

GAL-thermal-touch-003

Thermal Touch: Read a magazine and directly interact with the real objects in a virtual world.

With “Thermal Touch”, a wearable headset user could turn any surface into a touch-screen: Imagine pushing directions to your device simply by touching a static map in a shopping mall, building complex or airport; children could bring play to new levels and launch digital content directly from their toys; design professionals could visualize their digital and 3-D creations on their real world counterparts; and service technicians could pull up information just by touching an object in real life.

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Thermal Touch: An endless variety of possibilities.

“Thermal Touch” is a prototype and far from everyday usability. Metaio released the demo to educate the community on the possibilities of computer vision. It is likely that in 5-10 years infrared cameras may join a multitude of advanced sensors being integrated into devices everyday, including the wearable augmented reality headsets of the near future.

We will display the “Thermal Touch” prototype at the 2014 Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, May 27-29. Though “Thermal Touch” may be 5 years away from reality, attendees to AWE will nonetheless get the chance to see the latest automotive, consumer and enterprise AR apps that are driving innovation and value in 2014. To learn more about Augmented World Expo, visit the AWE website and in case you haven’t registered yet, we are offering a 200.00 discount with code METAIO4AWE at registration.

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Get your tickets now!

 

The Thermal Touch prototype will be also presented at 2014 InsideAR -the Augmented Reality conference – in Tokyo (8th of July), Beijing (5th of September) and at InsideAR Munich 29th/30th of October). Wearable eyewear and other technologies will be the focus of the conference this year, including the latest 3D optics and Augmented Reality applications. See you at InsideAR! You can already register for your tickets now.

 


Microsoft Allegedly Acquiring Augmented Reality IP

April 1, 2014

Those Microsoft guys are a bunch of ipsters. Also, this is not a joke. The Germans don’t do that. 

Image from ODG Patent for "Virtual Reality Headset"

Do not adjust your browser- this is not the Oculus Rift.

While everyone and the internet was gushing about the strange and confusing (yet, oddly satisfying) purchase of Oculus by Facebook for around $2 billion, TechCrunch broke a story that Microsoft had quietly purchased a hundred million odd dollars worth of IP from the Osterhout Design Group (ODG).

According to Ingrid Lunden of TechCrunch, Microsoft walked away from the deal with more than 80 patents in the wearable technology and Augmented Reality space, including the image above (which looks suspiciously like the Oculus).

Since Microsoft has neither denied nor commented on any of this information, speculation abounds at how they might apply this newly-purchased technology, but all roads seem to lead to a Project Morpheus-like gaming system that will interface with Microsoft’s existing and popular IP, their XBox gaming system.

What does this mean?

I was strolling around the 2014 San Francisco Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) the other day and it was a bit of a shock: major companies like Sony showing tethered VR experiences; new form factors like SeeBright debuting; Kickstarter projects like Omni drawing lines; the newest version of the Oculus Rift inaccessible beyond a 2 hour wait. The common denominator was gaming, which seems to be the driving force for these new Virtual Reality devices and experiences. Even if all of this is just a reaction to the early success of the Oculus, a rising tide floats all boats- expect VR to enjoy a prolonged reprieve, and of course immersive and interactive software like augmented reality to keep powering it.

Metaio has a significant amount of research & development already invested into wearable computing and immersive environments. Whether it’s Google Glass, Oculus Rift, or some as-of-yet unreleased or unpublished device, Metaio will be sure to evaluate it for the future of interactive technology.

 

 


Metaio Leads Next-Gen Augmented Reality On Wearables at CES 2014

January 2, 2014

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SAN FRANCISCO – 2 JANUARY, 2014: Metaio, the world leader in augmented reality (AR) software and solutions, will be the main augmented reality exhibitor and participant in this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dr. Thomas Alt, Metaio CEO & Co-Founder will share his insight in a special executive panel (January 8, 2014, 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at LVCC, North Hall N261) and Metaio showcase next-generation consumer and enterprise augmented reality on the latest wearable devices, including those from partners EPSON and Vuzix.

With smartwatches and Google Glass projected to sell tens of millions of units in the next few years, 2014 will begin a new era of wearable computing devices, all of which can be enhanced by visualization technology like Augmented Reality. Metaio, the Augmented Reality Company, will deliver live demonstrations with these devices on the exhibition floor at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show.

Metaio will showcase both consumer-focused and enterprise augmented reality apps on the latest wearable computing platforms like the EPSON Moverio and the Vuzix M-100. Among the demonstrations shown will be a 3-D maintenance app for a Mitsubishi Electric HVAC unit; a demo that allows potential car buyers to switch out components on a vehicle; and “Mirage”, the first AR Browser for wearable computing.

In addition, CEO and Co-Founder of Metaio Dr. Thomas Alt will share his insight on the AR industry, reinforced by over ten years working in the space, in a panel entitled, “Augmented Reality: The Next Big Thing or Information Overload?”.

“Wearable computing doesn’t make sense without augmented reality,” said Alt. “Metaio is creating methods of interaction that enhance vision and make experiencing the digital more intuitive and more natural. The first step is transporting that information right before your eyes in a hands-free interface.”

We’ll be posting news and updates live from CES 2014, so make sure to stay tuned to our Twitter and Facebook feeds. And who knows, we may even write about our experiences there next week. And don’t forget to visit Epson at booth S214 and Vuzix at booth 14846!


Post-Thanksgiving Weekest Links

December 2, 2013

So long, and thanks for all the tryptophan. 

Mirage: illusions of grandeur.

Metaio | Junaio Recap

  • Metaio CEO Thomas Alt discusses augmented reality for smartwatches, Google Glass and more [TechCrunch]
  • Junaio featured on US TV Channel ABC 6 In Philadelphia through “Virtual View” [Junaio Blog]
  • Xcope – creating an immersive AR experience [Augmented Blog]
  • Satisfying consumers with Augmented Reality [Augmented Blog]
  • SCARLET: Interactive learning for augmented reality [Junaio Blog]
  • Enabling AR with stronger hardware[Augmented Blog]
  • Vanatur and Warner present AURYN’s augmented reality debut [Augmented Blog]
  • The new Metaio Creator – the perfect tool to optimize AR scenarios [Augmented Blog]
  • Cars, cars, and more cars – Junaio & Automotive augmented reality [Junaio Blog]

There are things that are happening

  • CastAR and the promise of augmented reality games [Gamasutra]
  • Apple Confirms Acquisition of 3-D Sensor Startup PrimeSense [AllThingsD]
  • Augmented Reality: General Electric meets Google Glass [Wired: Beyond the Beyond]
  • The “AR Rift” – Grad Student William Steptoe hacks the Oculus Rift into a 360 augmented reality machine – check it out [Project Website]
  • Visionary – Google Glass moves from concept to clinical care [Forbes]
  • Epic Google Glass Douchebaggery 101 [VentureBeat]
  • Current TV Founder Michael Rosenblum writes of his first two days with Google Glass [Huffington Post]
  • Seattle restaurant boots Glass-wearing patron [PCMag]

Events

  • Catch Metaio at the APPNATION V “Garage”, December 4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA [event site]
  • Going to the 2014 CES in Las Vegas? Don’t miss Metaio CEO Thomas Alt’s panel, “Augmented Reality: Next Big Thing or Information Overload?” [link]

Pick of the week: Augmented Reality Super Mario [Kotaku]

No, it’s not real. Yes, we wish it were. No, not really possible with current technology. But still fun to watch.


Metaio CEO Thomas Alt Discusses Augmented Reality For Smartwatches, Google Glass And More

November 26, 2013

Trak:

Today in TechCrunch, Metaio CEO Thomas Alt sits down with Jay Donovan to discuss the state of augmented reality and wearable devices. Read on and learn all about the exciting announcements and developments that have happened since InsideAR 2013!

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Augmented Reality pioneers Metaio hardly qualify as a startup these days (being incorporated since 2003 and funded by a stream of project work from the likes of Volkswagen and IKEA), but they behave very much like a startup and are constantly inventing new systems for their considerable augmented reality SDK.

Many of their yearly announcements come from an annual event called insideAR that they host in their hometown of Munich, Germany.

This year there were many announcements. Everything from their new “Edge-Based Tracking” methodology to the new augmented reality browser they built for Google Glass called Junaio Mirage. The event took place in October, but I recently had a chance to speak with Metaio CEO Thomas Alt and discuss some of these announcements in greater detail along with his viewpoint on the general state of augmented reality today. You can read the interview below (or just skip to the…

View original 1,882 more words


Using AR with Wearable Tech – From InsideAR 2013

November 6, 2013

Heading for always on, always augmented.

If you checked out last week’s post you saw our review of wearable computing from InsideAR 2013. Now we’ve branched out to AR on wearable tech with talks from SAP’s Nick Brown, SITA’s Kevin O’Sullivan, Vuzix’s Dan C. Cui,  and Metaio’s very own Stefan Misslinger.

Here are their keynotes:

Nick Brown, SAP: Augmented Reality in the Enterprise

Nick Brown is senior vice president of strategy and solution management for SAP‘s mobile applications and mobile platforms. In this global role he is responsible for driving SAP’s mobile platform strategy for MEAP, MCAP, and MDM, and managing the portfolio of mobile B2E & B2C applications across all SAP LoB and Industry focus areas. Nick and his team are responsible for delivery of mobile roadmaps and market requirements for all aspects for SAP Mobile business. In addition he is responsible for strategic market development, mobile strategy and overall business planning. His team supports SAP partners and customers become better-run mobile enterprises. He explores how you can embrace emerging technologies to improve employee productivity, reduce safety incidents, reduce training and on boarding, and improve overall operational efficiency within your warehouse or on your shop floor – regardless of your industry.

Kevin O’Sullivan, SITA Lab: Smart Glasses in Aviation Industry

Kevin O’Sullivan is a Lead Engineer at SITA Lab, the technology research laboratory of SITA, the world’s leading specialist in air transport communication and information technology (IT) solutions. At the SITA Lab, Kevin investigates disruptive technologies that will impact the airline & transport industry in the near and mid-term future. Areas of research include consumer & workforce mobility, wearable computing & augmented reality, big data, NFC, indoor location and context driven systems. Kevin’s previous augmented reality projects include the Copenhagen Airport indoor AR app and the Malaysia Airlines AR booking application. SITA Lab will present the result of a six month research project into the use of smart glasses in an airport environment. The talk includes an assessment of “Smart Glasses” technology on the marketplace, comparisons between the capabilities of this technology, background on the aims & goals, development process and lessons learned.

Dan C. Cui, Vuzix: Serving and Creating a Great Experience for the Consumer

Dan C. Cui’s career as a sales, marketing and business development professional has focused on introducing leading edge technology and products into new markets on a global basis. Dan has held senior positions in consumer electronics, e-commerce, semi-conductor, system, and electronic design automation (EDA) industries. Prior to joining Vuzix, Dan held the position of Sr. Vice President of Sale & Marketing at Myvu (formely MicroOptical) Corporation, one of the early HMD market leaders. He was instrumental in creating brand name recognition and consumer demand for Myvu’s award winning, wearable video displays around the world.

Stefan Misslinger, Metaio: World’s First AR Browser on Google Glass

Stefan Misslinger is one of the lead develoeprs for Metaio and is responsible for the development of the augmented reality browser, Junaio.

We’ll keep you posted for more summaries and presentations from this year’s InsideAR or check them all out on our YouTube page!


CastAR – A Future in Augmented Reality and Videogames

October 31, 2013

 Back in my day we had sticks. Two sticks and a rock for the whole platoon — and we had to share the rock!

The world of augmented reality continues to grow and evolve as more and more players throw in their ideas and inventions into the market. Today we’re going to highlight a system that many of us here at Metaio are excited to see in action: castAR by Technical Illusions.

You know our motto! “We deliver!”

What is castAR?

CastAR, developed by former Valve employees Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, is a projection-based augmented reality system that uses two micro-projectors to cast dim images that reflect off a retroreflective material. The retroreflective material (similar to what you see on safety jackets and road signs) is constructed to reduce light scattering so the image you send bounces straight back to you even if there are multiple castARs aimed at the same location. This also means that multiple systems can look at the same space and receive unique perspectives based on where they are projecting from.

Cool, got some technical speak for me?

The optimal design. Almost there!

No. Okay, maybe a little. CastAR is equipped with standard-definition projectors that provide 45 degrees of viewing with plans to implement HD (720p) projectors for 60 degrees of viewing or more.  The game itself is run on a computer that castAR communicates through with USB or HDMI/DVI and uses package structures of 72 bytes per frame (really not much of a mouthful). There is also a tracking camera that refreshes at a rate of 120 hertz making it more than capable of following your movements with sub-millimeter accuracy.

Sounds pretty good to me, what else do you know?

For now castAR is in prototype mode. Jeri and Rick have shown some working models at the Maker Faire 2013 in San Francisco and New York. They recently started a Kickstarter campaign that has already successfully raised over $500,000 in a week, surpassing their original goal of $400,000 in a single day! As the campaign continues its success they’ve added two stretch goals: customizable tile mappers and  (even more hopefully) positional audio for headphones and an integrated mic. We look forward to everything Jeri and Rick have planned (which hopefully includes a few games of D&D). Be sure to check out their website, Kickstarter, and the video below for more information.

I think we’re just getting started.


The future of wearable computing – a keynote wrap up from InsideAR 2013

October 29, 2013

Courtesy of Augmented.Org

In the Welcome Keynote of InsideAR 2013 Metaio Co-founders CEO Dr. Thomas Alt and CTO Peter Meier stressed the importance of enabling “always on, always augmented” experiences while exploring new form factors like wearable computing. And analysts such as R “Ray” Wang of Constellation, Joshua Flood of ABI Research, and futurist & academic Luke Robert Mason as well as Jay Kim of APX Labs gave their own outlooks into the future of digital business and wearable devices.

In case you missed their keynotes, here they are:

Luke Robert Mason, Virtual Futures: “New Narratives for the future of AR”

Luke Robert Mason is a researcher in emerging technology, performance practitioner and journalist based between London and Birmingham. His work is largely focused on the role that media art can fill as a tool for understanding one of the most important intellectual and cultural developments of our times – the technological extension of the human condition. Currently, he is working as the sole-researcher on innovative digital book project.

Jay Kim, APX Labs: The business of smart glass

Jay Kim is the Director of Research & Development at APX Labs, a Virginia-based company focused on the adaption of smart glasses in enterprise and industrial environments. Using Skylight, APX’s enterprise smart glasses platform, Jay leads the large scale implementation of wearable computing and display technology for customers’ worldwide operations. Jay’s APX R&D efforts include the user-centric convergence of wearable devices for consumer and industrial applications, mobile biometric devices, and healthcare applications of smart glasses. As a globally recognized expert on wearable display hardware and device implementation matters, he is frequently consulted by research organizations, systems integrators, and mobile device manufacturers. An electrical and systems engineer with a concentration in mobile and wireless technology.

Joshua Flood, ABI Research: AR will be the magic key for smart glasses

Based in the UK, Josh Flood is a senior analyst for ABI Research‘s mobile devices, applications and content team. Josh focuses on mobile device enabling technologies, functionality, user interfaces, and form factors used in handsets, such as smartphones, enhanced feature phones, and low-cost phones. He also covers mobile software, security, and other services. Josh is an experienced market analyst with strong analytical and relationship-building skills. Prior to joining ABI Research he worked for Harris Interactive as a research account manager for its business, industrial, and consumer sectors on custom research projects. Previous to his work at Harris Interactive, Josh served as a market analyst at IMS Research, producing in-depth reports on the power management and power supply markets.

Stay tuned to our blog, as we’ll be rolling out even more summaries and presentations from this year’s InsideAR, including talks on Enterprise, Aviation, Automotive and more.

Or if you’re the impatient sort, just check them all out at our YouTube page!


Metaio to Unveil First Hands-Free Car Manual on Google Glass, New 3-D Tracking Technology and optimized wearable augmented reality platform at InsideAR 2013

September 17, 2013
Munich & San Francisco, 17 September 2013: Metaio, world leader in augmented reality (AR) software and solutions, today announces the development of the first-ever hands-free, marker-less augmented automotive manual using Google Glass. Metaio will additionally update and optimize its core technology and leading augmented reality platform to accommodate the major wearable device providers like Epson, Google and Vuzix, all of which will be presented October 10-11 in Munich at Metaio’s annual technology conference, InsideAR:www.metaio.com/insideAR.

The hands-free interactive car manual prototype developed by Metaio will be the first time that augmented reality on wearable computing will be shown to be productive and commercially viable.Metaio R&D developed this new prototype as a proof-of-concept of the capabilities of its AR platform on wearable devices. A new type of 3-D tracking and recognition technology engineered by Metaio utilizes CAD models to recognize and overlay 3-D content onto the real world counterpart. Since no markers, GPS or point clouds are required, the stability of the augmented reality experience increases dramatically, while remaining almost immune to variable lighting, glare, position, and other environmental factors that tend to interfere with vision-based experiences.

Update Metaio AR-Platform

Metaio will update its leading augmented reality platform to include the incredible new tracking technology presented in the demo, in addition to adding support for major wearable computing devices, including Epson Moverio, Google Glass and Vuzix M-100. And looking toward a wearable ecosystem, Metaio will upgrade 3-D and 2-D visualization to include programmable shaders and other camera optimizations that will allow for more robust tracking and an overall more realistic user experience.

InsideAR attendees will get the chance to try the demo on Google Glass, along with many other wearable demos that feature hands-free augmented reality. Developers and non-developers alike can learn how they can use the Metaio AR platform to build next-generation wearable apps, with the Metaio SDK, Creator and Cloud services.

“We’re going beyond one-off passive viewing experiences,” says Metaio CTO Peter Meier. “Metaio is taking all the necessary steps to ensure an always on, always augmented future, and we’re beginning that journey in a big way at this year’s InsideAR in Munich.”

More images of the experience are available on our press page

To learn more and register for InsideAR, October 10-11 in Munich, please visitwww.metaio.com/insideAR

To learn more about augmented reality software and services by Metaio, please visit www.metaio.com

About Metaio

The worldwide leader in Augmented Reality (AR) research and technology, Metaio develops software products for visually interactive solutions between the real and the virtual world. Based on the Metaio Augmented Reality platform, digital and 3-D content can be integrated seamlessly into the user’s camera view looking upon the real world. Serving over 50.000 developers and powering over 1,000 apps for enterprise, marketing, retail, publishing and industrial cases, over 30 Million consumers use Metaio’s AR software. Learn more at www.metaio.com


Weekest Links + 10 Reasons to Attend InsideAR 2013

September 16, 2013

InsideAR 2013 is the only cure for summertime sadness. 

10 Reasons to attend the most exciting conference in the Augmented Reality industry (in no particular order) 

  1. We gather luminaries, visionaries and the brightest minds the world of professional augmented reality for two days. These people journey from all over the world just to share their insight- will you be there?
  2. With over 2500 square meters of exhibition space, this is the largest dedicated showcase for Augmented Reality apps, demos and experiences
  3. The automotive industry basically kickstarted commercial augmented reality in 2003; InsideAR is the only place to see, first-hand, exactly what they’ve got planned for the next 10 years.
  4. Want to know what AR looks like through wearable computing like Google Glass, Vuzix, and Epson? InsideAR will feature all of these and more as we look to the future of hands-free interfaces.
  5. No other event in the world collects as many passionate, visionary and dedicated augmented reality professionals as InsideAR. From speakers to sponsors to guests, InsideAR is the place to get to know the major players in the industry. 
  6. Hear from the Metaio founders themselves, Thomas Alt & Peter Meier, on what Metaio has planned for the next year. 
  7. InsideAR is the first and best opportunity every year to see the latest R&D and try out the newest updates to Metaio’s AR platform.
  8. Developers from all over the world will be in attendance, including the winners of the first ever Metaio International Developer Competition- don’t miss the awards ceremony on the first day.
  9. Some of the coolest AR installations are “hidden” on assembly lines, in warehouses and on factory floors all across the world. InsideAR is the one chance to see these innovative industrial augmented reality examples collected under one roof.
  10. Have you ever been to a Metaio party? If so, you know exactly what to expect for this year. If not- ask someone who has. They’re quite memorable :)

Other Metaio news

  • Metaio nominated for a Constellation Research SuperNova award- read our entry [here] or go straight to voting [here]
  • Announcing the winners to the first-ever Metaio International Developer Competition [blog]
  • Disney Research to present at InsideAR 2013 [blog]
  • Cannes Lions Silver winning AR experience “Penguin Navi” will be featured at InsideAR 2013 [blog]
  • Stoli von Gotti develops app for Villeroy & Boch, will present at InsideAR [blog]
  • FOCUS Magazine to showcase augmented reality print media at InsideAR [blog]
  • Washington DC gets an augmented reality preview of a new museum [blog]
  • Metaio to Celebrate 10 years of augmented reality at InsideAR 2013 [blog]

InsideAR 2012 Highlights

Still not convinced? Check out this video from last year’s event, and hopefully we’ll see you October 10-11 in Munich!

 


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