Category Archives: Augmented Reality

parrot-AR-Drone

Parrot: Introducing The AR Drone

For the first time, a consumer product encompasses:

  • A quadricopter made in carbon fiber and high resistance PA66 plastic
  • MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) and video processing to ensure a very
    intuitive piloting of a radio controlled object
  • Wi-Fi and video streaming for a modern interface with an iPhone™ or iPod touch®
  • Images processing software for augmented reality

Parrot’s AR.Drone is a unique combination of fun, iPhone-controlled quadricopter hardware and a promising new platform for augmented reality (AR) gaming applications.

The Parrot AR.Drone launched in the U.S. this September at a price point of $299. (Click here to purchase)

We first caught a glimpse of the AR.Drone turning heads back at CES earlier this year, and we caught up with Parrot again at this year’s E3, where its makers unveiled the release date and pricing information and showed off the AR.Free Flight [warning: iTunes link] iPhone app used to control the drone. The copter will also launch with two other AR titles to start: AR.Drone Gate, a solo game in which you fight enemies to defend your home base, and AR.Flying Ace, an app that enables large aerial battles with other drone owners.

Part hovercraft and part flying video game, Parrot’s new AR Drone is an aircraft that is controlled over Wi-Fi with an iOS app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

By placing your left and right thumbs on two touchscreen buttons, you can make the Drone ascend, descend and rotate. The Drone moves forward, backward and sideways by tilting the iOS device in the direction you want to go.

We expect to see many more games forthcoming for the AR.Drone as well, thanks to an open SDK and robust developer community of over 450 so far. Check out a video of the drone in action along with the Free Flight iPhone control interface  and let us know what you think of the AR Drone in the comments below.

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pranav-mistry

The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology

Last week we had a group of 30 inspiring new media graduates come through the derooted studios on a tour (FallTour5) organized by Oddly Studios. One student, Nasir Mohamed later approached me on Twitter with the following question; “What are your views on augmented reality? Do you think it has a lot of potential?”

Simple enough of a question, and with no doubt one which enough people are asking. In reality I believe anything that would bring the technological vs human interaction closer together would have great potential within our society. Augmented reality is still in its primal stage and therefore is full of potential with proper direction and guidance.

It may be that augmented reality proves to be more of a gimmick than a lasting technological revolution, at least in the short term, but perhaps it will eventually become more like a sixth sense for us. Pranav Mistry from MIT’s Media Lab shows how the physical world and our natural gestures can interact with the world of data in such a way that AR would become part of our everyday lives without us having to hold our phones up awkwardly in front of us. Have a look at his astonishing TED talk:

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progue-clock-tower-mapping

600 years of the astrological tower clock

 

Mapping during 600 years anniversary of the astrological tower clock situated at Old Town Square in center of Prague.
Mapping by Macula, Lukáš Duběda, Michal Kotek.

music: data-live
photos & video: Michal Ureš
teaser audio: Hecq -Typhon

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adidas

Augmented Reality Sneakers

 

Adidas just tore the doors off of the entire footwear industry with their brand new uber-cool Adidas Originals AR Game Pack line. Adidas Originals is launching the first-ever augmented reality experience embedded in footwear.

Each Adidas Originals AR Game Pack shoe in the 5-shoe collection has a unique AR code printed on the tongue that, when held in front of your webcam, gives you exclusive access to the virtual Adidas Originals neighborhood. Get this: your kicks control the game. How sweet is that?

Adidas Originals has broken the barriers to the limitation of an iconic shoe. No longer does a sneaker fit the niche of comfort and style, but now it is the key to a whole new virtual world. (ltdmag)


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Augmented Reality: The Future Is Now

[via: Minnesota Public Relations Blog]

In the digital space, we’re always looking at what the next trend is going to be. We’re paid to ensure we’re in the loop of “what’s hot” and how our company and/or clients can implement it into their business. As such, for the past 12 months I’ve been completely fascinated with augmented reality (AR). In my opinion, and if I had to scale the level of opportunity, impact and importance, AR would be on the top of my list for trends-to-watch.

Augmented Reality has been around for quite some time, with its roots dating back to the late 50s – the term “augment reality” was coined in 1992. While there have been a significant amount of uses of AR, the most well-known to the general public is the yellow “first down” line used in the National Football League. However, as the smart phone has continued to occupy more hands and more of our daily lives, AR has begun to get more attention. As a result, more companies and brands are beginning to explore AR and put more emphasis on its potential use.

For the sake of trying to keep this article short, I’ll focus mostly on mobile use, but will touch briefly on examples of AR outside the mobile space.

Common Uses:
• Location overlay: Right now, the broadest and most basic use of AR is in terms of location. You can use Yelp’s AR app, for example, to find a nearby restaurant, hotel, hospital, shopping outlet, etc.; and then get reviews and tips on Lonely Planet’s AR app.

• Information: For those who like to travel, you can use Wikitude World Browser to find information and data about a variety of points of interest. Not only that, but museums are starting to use AR for their exhibits and to share information. One of the coolest apps that I’ve recently started playing with is Sekai, which allows you to tag a location with information (photos, text, video)

• Gaming: One of the coolest uses of AR is in the gaming industry. While the initial gaming will be basic, we’ll eventually evolve into more complex and advanced gaming. A few cool examples: Rock’em Sock’em Robots; AR.Drone Parrot; Zombie ShootAR

One of the most intriguing uses of AR comes in the potential collaboration with location-based services. Imagine the uses of an AR-LBS partnership for city and state departments. I’m imaging a protocol where data about everyone who visits a certain location is stored in the cloud and only accessible by local police departments. Say a store was robbed, a child gone missing, or someone assaulted. Your local police could simply point their phone at a designated location and see everyone who was at or near that location within a given time period. An interesting and useful way to cut down on crime and violence.

Augmentrd-Reality-The-Future

PRESS RELEASE: The Future of Augmented Reality

[via: Real @ Real] Munich, September 29th, 2010 – metaio GmbH, the leading expert on Augmented Reality (AR), held a conference in Munich, called ”insideAR”, with focus on current practical applications in marketing and industry as well as on the future of this exciting field, which is being identified by many analysts as one of the most disruptive technologies of the years to come. 250 attendees from many countries and industries were able to follow insightful presentations by Intel, Nokia, Siemens and others about their company`s contributions and plans regarding AR. As the many money-earning practical applications on display during the conference demonstrated, Augmented Reality is definitely here to stay and has found its place in everyday life. metaio, as conference host, took opportunity to present its view of market opportunities, its vision of a seamless interconnection between the real and the digital world, and the kind of advanced technologies available already or being developed at the metaio labs at this point in time.

The founders of metaio, Thomas Alt and Peter Meier, opened the conference with the message that the technology has matured to the point that more and more practical applications are being implemented today in marketing and industry. AR has definitely left the hype stage and is entering our daily life in many useful ways. Pointing to the results of a market study by ABI Research, with an exploding market size for augmented reality of 360 million USD by 2014, metaio´s CEO Thomas Alt could demonstrate how closely the revenue curve of metaio matches the growth rate, both past and projected, of this new and vibrant industry.

Peter Meier, one of the world`s recognized experts in the field,presented his vision of closing the gap between the real world and the traditional desktop as we know it. Advanced AR software running on powerful mobile devices, such as smartphones, capable of object / image recognition and natural feature tracking will allow the user to experience the real world effortlessly enriched by informative displays as relevant to him personally in terms of preference, time and location. Advances in software, chip making, device capabilities and imaginative content all combine to create a whole host of new experiences and application opportunities.

During the conference the metaio team presented many prototypes of such new technologies. One of these is marker-less (3D) image recognition, representing one of the most important R&D projects at metaio to help the vision of the “Augmented City” become reality: walking around the real world, pointing your phone at objects, buildings or directions and being offered helpful information, be it text, sound, video or complete 3D displays not only overlaid, but integrated accurately with the object viewed. The right architecture for Visual Search, the right distribution platforms for AR experiences

In order to use objects in the real world as optical references,one of the most important prerequisites are improved algorithms for visual search in combination with an intelligent service architecture, which an AR browser like junaio can use to create a fully augmented world. In his keynote address, Dr. Haussecker from Intel´s Interaction and Experience Research Lab explained the progress made in this field: “In Intel Labs, we research how mobile platforms can be optimized in the future to enable capabilities for compute performance, power management, sensing and contextual awareness to deliver a preferred mobile AR (MAR) experience. Designing and delivering superior MAR applications is where companies like metaio are leading this new market.”

Other important prerequisites for creating meaningful AR experiences are the continuing advances in smartphone technology . The estimated 1.3 billion smartphones in use by 2013 represent a hotly contested market. Riku Suomela, a producer at Nokia, explained the AR experiences already available for current Symbian devices: “Nokia`s Ovi Store offers developers and partners a worldwide distribution platform to hundreds of millions of people. Our own game “Conspiracy For Good” or the “Zombie ShootAR” by metaio are some of many examples where we already deliver great augmented reality experiences to our users.”

Specific Announcements
With shipment on Symbian OS scheduled for the end of October, junaio, metaio`s mobile AR browser, will then run on more than 50% of all smartphones in the world, to be downloaded at the Android Marketplace, the iTunes App Store and the Ovi Store. junaio running on Nokia`s N8 could already be seen at the recent Nokia World.

Peter Meier also provided a first look at some of the additional features in the 3.0 release of junaio: there will be an optional advertising program (comparable to Google´s Adsense) in order to monetize channels and a completely revised user interface for quicker navigation and an even more intuitive user experience.

More than 1.100 developers have started to use junaio`s open API to implement their ideas and business models. This growing popularity and the unique technical features available on the junaio platform have convinced one of the most creative developers for mobile AR content, “Tab Worldmedia”, to bring their successful channels, TwitARound or Worksnug, over to junaio. And with “kino.de” – the biggest German website for cinema and movies – another great channel was presented for the first time. In this new channel users can see cinemas around and after one click they are directed to the schedule, the route or the trailer for the featured movies.

You can find an elaborate technology and company portrait here:


layar-augmented-reality-app

Layar Reality Browser – App

download layer for iPhone 4 & 3GS – download Layar for Android

What is Layar?
The Layar Reality Browser is a beautiful, fun augmented reality app that shows you what is around you by displaying real time digital information (layers) on top of reality. This digital information is called a ‘layer’.

There are many layers to choose from, for example Architecture 3D, Foursquare, Google local search, Third Echelon, Trulia, Twitter, Wikipedia, and Yellowpages.

There are hundreds of layers; both international and local. Have a go and experience it yourself.

How does Layar’s Augmented Reality work?
The idea is simple: Layar works by using a combination of the mobile phone’s camera, GPS, compass, accelerometer and a mobile Internet connection. The camera captures the world as seen through its lens and shows it on the screen. The GPS determines the exact location and the compass and accelerometer the field of view. Based on these sensors and the selected layer, digital information is retrieved over a mobile Internet connection and augmented on top of the camera view.

Layar provides services and experiences
Layers can provide services, such as finding ATMs, houses for sale and restaurants including reviews. Layers can also provide an experience with interactivity, 3D objects and sounds for games and engaging guided tours. Many layers provide both.

How do you use Layar?
Select a layer from the local, featured or popular tab. Or search the Layar catalog using any keyword to quickly find what you’re looking for. Hold the phone in front of you. See information being displayed on top of the camera display view. By turning around, you can point your phone toward the various Points of Interest. Adjust settings (filters) by clicking the wheel button in the bottom left corner. For all Points of Interest which are displayed on the screen, information is shown at the bottom of the screen. By clicking on the arrow you will see how you can interact with that specific Point of Interest. Use the map and list views to see all points in one screen.

Important notes:
– If you’re experiencing a crash at startup, please uninstall/reinstall the app. There seems to be an issue with migration of the data from earlier versions in certain cases.

This app does NOT run on iPhone 3G or iPod Touch.

Layar Reality Browser uses a mobile Internet connection, camera, GPS, compass, and accelerometer to function properly. An iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 will give the best experience.

recommend: a flat-fee data subscription.

manchaster-zombies

Manchester AR Halloween Monster Hunt

Over 1,000 people have now taken part in a world first in Manchester – finding virtual monsters hidden among landmarks throughout the city. The free Manchester Monster Hunt uses an Augmented Reality (AR) app to enable members of the public to find virtual objects within the physical world, from Demons on Deansgate to Poltergeists at The Printworks, using an iPhone or Android phone. Once a monster is found, there are opportunities to slay them to win prizes, or photograph yourself and friends alongside the beast. Photos are starting to appear on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Flicker.

The campaign is the brainchild of Manchester-based Gencia Media and its AR arm, Your Brand Reality. “Until now, AR has mainly been used for practical purposes – such as finding the nearest underground station in London or GPS tourist landmarks including hotels and restaurants,” says campaign manager, Gary Lovatt. “We wanted to take AR a step further by engaging the public in something fun, exciting and addictive, both online and on their phones. The opportunity for them to win prizes offers a great incentive too, and a brand new platform for the campaign’s sponsors to engage with their various audiences.”

The campaign, which has already featured Vampires and Zombies, will release a new beast every week leading up to Halloween and beyond. As Halloween approaches, other cities throughout the UK are also expected to receive their own guest ‘visits’ from the Monsters.

You can download the free Monster Hunt app, via AR browser, Layar. There’s more information about the campaign here.

QPC

Articulated Naturality Web (ANW) technology from QPC

(via: Buzz-Beast) Articulated Naturality Web, coined by Steve Chao, Chief Executive Officer of QPC, fuses augmented reality (AR) and the Internet together. ANW technology services include video scene feature identification, image processing, multi-sensor coordination, real-time positioning, wireless access, media information, digital publication, entertainment and other fields of augmented reality. The combination of these components coupled with the Internet and mobile Internet technology will form an emerging industry. Articulated Naturality Web offers a complete renaissance in the way we approach technology, the system would let you check hotel room availability simply by looking at the outside of the hotel, try out different furniture in an empty office space, look at items from a museum before you go inside, and get a weather forecast just by looking at the skyWatch the video demo after the jump for a better understanding of ANW!

QderoPateo Communications (QPC), a leader in visually connected information networks, devices and technologies, is expanding the frontiers of Augmented Reality. Founded in 2009, with headquarter in Tianjin China, branch offices in London, Beijing, New York, Shanghai, and Shenzhen China, the Company has made major strides in achieving meaningful penetration of the Chinese smartphone market, which will be its foundation to expand to other markets. QPC has seized a leadership position in advancing AR to drive AR to new levels of sophistication and enhanced user experience, a development QPC has labeled “Articulated Naturality Web” (ANW). It has done this by assembling vital technological and marketing assets with a highly skilled team.
tissot-augmented-reality

Holition Augmented Reality – Tissot

In line with a marketing strategy designed to appeal to a younger, digitally-aware consumer, Tissot used Holition’s irresistibly attention-grabbing Augmented Reality experience to generate stand-out in a way not possible through traditional point-of-sale techniques or through web-based publicity.

To maximise the impact of this unique approach to point-of-sale engagement and brand engagement online, a major PR initiative was swung into place to create real buzz around the initiative.

Holition designed and deployed a bespoke Augmented Reality application for Tissot, allowing consumers to experience the T-Touch collection online in full interactive 3D.

A branded tip-on was designed and printed for insertion onto a Tissot print advertising campaign across a variety of media, including GQ and T3, driving readers onto Tissot’s website to experience the Augmented Reality application for themselves.

The activity was accompanied by a data-capture mechanism, allowing Tissot to build a B2C database for future marketing projects.

To take the experience direct to consumers, the Augmented Reality application was affixed to a window at Selfridges department store, in one of Europe’s busiest shopping districts, allowing consumers to try on Tissot’s virtual T-Touch collection while standing in Oxford Street.