Archive for the ‘Augmented Reality innovation’ Category

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December 13, 2012

The Microsoft Bing team is doing more than building a search engine that competes head-to-head with Google.

Part of the team, as I’ve blogged previously, also built some of the first Microsoft-branded consumer apps for Windows 8.

But it turns out there’s another team inside the Bing organization that is working on Windows 8 apps, too. There’s an Augmented Reality (AR) team inside Bing that is building both an AR framework and AR applications that will ship on Windows 8 tablets and other unspecified devices.

roadtofortaleza

In keeping with Microsoft’s new charter as a devices and services company, the so-called “Bing Information Platform team” is in the midst of developing “next-generation of intelligent cloud services for developers on all screen sizes,” according to a couple of job openings posted on Microsoft’s site.

This AR-focused Bing team is working on everything from camera tracking, to visual and audio recognition, to optical character recognition and translation and vision-based natural-user interfaces. The team already has made available some AR deliverables, including the Bing translation appaugmented-reality-enriched Bing Maps, and the Bing Vision and Bing Audio technologies in Windows Phone.

But the Bing AR team — which is staffing up further — also is working on an AR software development kit (SDK) for third-party developers interested in buildng AR apps; Microsoft-developed and -branded AR apps and games using this SDK; and a Windows Azure-based cloud framework for supporting both the Microsoft- and third-party AR apps.

The AR focus inside Bing shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given that Microsoft moved many of those working on its defunct Live Labs team into Bing a couple of years back. The Bing unit also is home to Microsoft’s TellMe and other speech-centric products.

It will be interesting to see what kind of AR apps for Windows 8 the Bing Information Platform team builds out. Will any of these apps be optimized for the AR glasses — codenamed Fortaleza, and targeted for delivery in 2014 according to a Microsoft futures deck that leaked earlier this year — upon which Microsoft’s Xbox team is believed to be working?

Mary Jo Foley

By  for All About Microsoft

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New media, Modern democracy at Lund University in Sweden

October 5, 2012

ImageDiscussing New media, Modern democracy at Lund University in Sweden. What role do mobile and more specific augmented reality play in Modern democracy.

Our host calls what we do “PR in 3D” and in some cases he’s not so far off. Augmented reality does have great impact on PR if you look at it from the perspective that every location, every person, every object has digital information linked to it. If it’s social information, digitised historical information or any other information for that matter. All will become visual when using augmented reality and that can effect a reputation in real time!

For now we use our phones as “augmented viewers” but augmented car windows, glasses and mirrors will be very common in the near future.

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TAB Worldmedia launches new generation marketing and promotion apps with augmented reality.

July 14, 2012

Amsterdam based agency TAB Worldmedia, known for their mobile augmented reality productions for Walt Disney, National Geographic, Canon and family park Efteling, launches a new generation of mobile apps aimed at the marketing and communication industry. These new generation apps, standard with integrated augmented reality technique, make them very natural to integrate as part of sales promotions, loyalty programmes and social media in combination with print campaigns.

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Metaio shows their augmented driver assistance on windshield displays concepts.

June 5, 2012

On another note… our business partner Metaio shares their skills and future projects through this fantastic video.

Eleven partners from the German automotive industry join forces to explore innovative technologies and concepts for boosting energy efficiency in vehicles. Firstly, cars are to become “intelligent” and, for example, use knowledge of the planned route to develop proactive operating strategies designed to save energy and, based on this, initiate appropriate responses in good time on the part of the car or driver. Secondly, the vehicle power supply and associated components are to be specifically tailored to the possibilities of these intelligent operating strategies. The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Technology (BMBF) and supervised by the VDI TZ.

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Today Layar will announce its biggest launch yet!

June 5, 2012

An exiting day for the Layar team today as the company will announce, as they are calling it them selves, its biggest launch yet. Of course insiders to the company already know what’s coming but for the public and the print publishing industry this new product, service or brand is announced to be a business changer. As certified creation and development agency for Layar augmented reality concepts we will be following the media announcements closely.

Update: read our first review here!

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Googles Project Glass: Mass market augmented reality glasses.

April 4, 2012

Although with our blog we aim for sharing interesting stuff regarding mobile augmented reality. I try not to write too much about really futuristic stuff but things that are in our immediate reach. Augmented Reality glasses is one of those subjects that I find hard to write about because… well what I’ve seen so far looks kind of ridiculous on your face and the technology just isn’t there yet to make it functionally appealing to “normal people”.

However, I am truly exited about the fact that Google officially announced that they are actually producing their own AR glasses this year. Still reluctant about the rumors and speculations I tried not to jump on this too much. However this week we’ve seen some pretty exiting stuff passing over the internet that show what they are actually working on and now I just can’t help myself in believing we are actually really close in getting good looking, immersive AR glasses very soon.

Important note: Some blogs currently state that Google has began rolling out prototypes of these glasses to employees but that is simply NOT TRUE. These are exactly the rumors that we don’t want to jump on. the pictures that you see on the web are merely designs of what it could look like. If you want to read the original post from Google about this you can find it here.

Check out this video that their team posted:

Earlier articles we wrote about this subject:

Google ‘to unveil’ hi-tech Google Glasses that put a screen of information over the world?

Is Google Goggles ready for augmented reality?

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Can augmented reality bridge the gap between traditional media and mobile?

March 17, 2012

Just last week another Dutch newspaper (Wegener) has declared that they are going to stop publishing one of their newspapers. People tend to turn to mobile media for their daily news instead of their trusted traditional media. However… it is not said that traditional media will lose their right of existence in future but the mobile threat is there.

In my view publishers of traditional media can do two things to save their business:
1. Revisite their business model, kill the traditional media and turn to mobile.
2. Find a way to let both media co-exist and use mobile as a second screen to the traditional media.

There are several news media that are already advancing on this part. Take CNN as an example, but for TV news the threat is less urgent then for printed media. Mobile augmented reality could be one of the tools that can help bridge the gap between traditional media and the mobile second screen because it allows people to functionally use their mobile-device to almost fiscally interact with the traditional media. Dutch newspaper de Telegraaf is already experimenting with redactional content by using augmented realty as a tool to enhance their news. (ref. article 24/12/2011)

Dutch magazine Linda took their first step by experimenting with augmented reality to enhance a full edition of their magazine.

(Video is in Dutch)

Also the German publishing industry is taking augmented reality as a new commercial tool very seriously. For example magazine “Welt der Wunder” (World of Wonders) is using augmented reality to enhance their commercial ads. And yes I know… enhancing ads is one thing, enhancing editorial content is another but it is a start.

View this youtube video.

There are more initiatives out there so I am very curious to learn about them and start an overview including your thoughts on this subject. The augmented reality platforms that are used in the examples I am using above are.

Telegraaf: Aurasma

Linda: Layar

Welt der Wunder: Metaio/Junaio

Please feel free to share them with us below in the comments, via email or on Quora.

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What’s next for Augmented Reality: the MWC keynote by Eric Schmidt

March 1, 2012

An excellent keynote speech on the second day of Mobile World Congress by Eric Schmidt is now up on YouTube. Below an interpretation what this all means for the development of Augmented Media and a few notes I took which may help you as a viewing guide.

In general, Schmidt didn’t refer too much to our area of interest which is all about Augmented Media in a mobile setting. Nevertheless his keynote is very relevant for the mobile future.

It is all about ubiquity and better performance at the tech side, and openness and willingness to cooperate at the governmental side and regulatory side.

As a matter of fact, performance will double roughly every year and half, a fairly autonomous process according to Moore’s law – this is where the Google engineers are working on to make it happen, especially where it concerns improvements which will be visible to end users.

For Augmented Reality applications this means that we will see the more than welcome improvement in responsiveness and accuracy. A sneak preview exists today: the continuous scanning mode in Google Goggles is in fact a sandbox application of Point and Know, a strong viual approach to search and discovery which will dramatically change the way we will interact with our environment in the future.

Imagine what real-time visual discovery can mean for illiterate people for instance, or to enable the so often cited “Terminator View” to overlay products and locations with background information. New Input/Ouput devices will definitely accelerate this development further (apparently it was too early for an official announcement of the highly anticipated Google Glasses right now).

With all this in mind it is really important to see that Google takes responsibility to make this kind of mobile distributed computing power really universally accessible and conquer the digital divide by working on other means of distributed connectivity besides our traditional cellular networks (using peer-to-peer, mesh networks for example).

Eric shortly mentions connected sensors but doesn’t go in much detail. In fact this very interesting area is slightly under exposed on the whole MWC event this year. We will write a separate post on this subject later.

For those of us who continually pay attention to the mobile developments Eric Schmidt’s talk does not reveal very new insights, rather confirms a very consistent and directed vision of Google how the connected future will look. Not surprisingly this is very much dominated by bringing the results of all this computing and technology as close to the end user as possible, by going mobile. And the best part is that all of this computing power will become invisible in the process, just like the electricity power grid is an invisible resource, a given which empowers us to focus on our real needs. Very well said, and something to be proud of as a front-runner to make this happen for Augmented Media.

On to the notes…

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Mobile World Congress 2012: Redefining mobile with Augmented Reality

February 21, 2012

With just one week to go to the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona we at TAB Worldmedia have already drawn up our schedules for Monday, planned a “secret” meeting on Tuesday and are still contemplating if we have time to add just a extra day on Wednesday. 

Last year we were approached by GSMA, the company behind the Mobile World Congress, to participate in a creative pitch for the sponsor contract of the MWC 2012 augmented marketing campaign. The campaign theme “Redefining Mobile” immediately caught our attention and put our creative brains to work. The concept that we came up with was to inspire people about what redefining mobile, and especially mobile browsing, could have installed in near future.

We presented a strategic approach to use a mobile website that would launch two types of augmented browsing experiences. However… as we all know at this point augmented reality is not yet integrated in mobile browsers so we asked junaio to team up with us and use their advanced platform to jumpstart the augmented reality experiences from the mobile website, like you would use Flash for interacting with a rich media website.

1. For the first experience we created a multi interactive 360 degree world that allows you to stroll around and explore what the MWC 2012 conference by looking through your smartphone as if it was a virtual lens.

When you open the 360 browser you will find yourself at the entrence right outside the Mobile World Conference area. When looking around you can see the different pavilions and zones that you can attend. For example: App Planet, mPowered Brands, the exhibition area or the Conference hall. When entering the conference hall you will find the speakers on stage and we’ve used our Tweeps Around service to project live Twitter messages from all over the World that use the #MWC2012 and #MWC12 in their messages.

2. For the second experience we’ve collaborated with junaio and their fantastic team to create a fully animated and interactive augmented 3D model of the campaign visual. When visitors point the viewer of their junaio app at the print advertisement that was featured in TIME Magazine or at the conference brochure they will experience the 3D EYE come to life and they can navigate by clicking on the augmented buttons that will appear.

I’ve posted the demo video of the augmented print experience below so you can see it if you don’t have your phone and the print ad ready.

Exclusive Demo Video

Instructions to launch ether or both experiences can be found on the MWC campaign website or on the Mobile MWC campaign website. (m.mobileworldcongress.com)

Credits
As a last word I would like to thank junaio for collaborating with us to create this fantastic augmented experience. With couldn’t have done it without your help. We also like to thank the GSMA team for believing in our concept and especially ^MH for the fantastic job in co-creating this unique experience with us.
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MWC 2012 AR Experience provided by Junaio and Tab Worldmedia.
Read all about the companies and the Mobile World Congress here.
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Augmented Reality for real estate brings back the maquette new-school style.

February 20, 2012

Ever since we started out in creating mobile concepts using mobile augmented reality real estate agencies have been asking us to augment buildings into landscapes to give future buyers the opportunity to fantasize about their investment. Visualizing massive buildings into 3 dimensional landscapes is  a pretty harsh task for the current state of techniques and smartphones. But, things will soon change since the software is getting better and quad core processor smartphones are ramping up for market launch over the coming year.

However, the current state is that everyone with a common smartphone like an iPhone or Android can use augmented reality to visualize their future home in the form of lets call it an “augmented maquette”. We’ve been showing this demonstration model that we made at Metaio’s Inside AR event and to many real estate agents in the time after that with the purpose to further develop the product and I find that we’re almost ready to transform it into a module that can be easily integrated in existing mobile apps of real estate agents.

Have a look at the video of the demonstration model that we made and share your thoughts with us.

TAB Worldmedia

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