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.

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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.


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