Posts Tagged ‘AR’

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Major trend for 2012: Point and Know

December 13, 2011

EFFIE - AR-poster - case by TAB Worldmedia2012 will be about instant visual information gratification. That is what researchers from Trendwatching are predicting. And what we are talking about on this blog.

While the article focuses on the ubiquity of QR codes for instant product discovery we take this still a step further, as we predict that 2012 will see an entire new class of Augmented Reality applications, integrated in existing native Apps, focusing on instant visual object recognition and enhancement.

We are seeing a few examples of these apps emerging right now, mostly for vertical markets like enhanced printed magazines (including advertising) or TV shows. In the generic space, Google Goggles is going in a much more visual driven direction, making smart use of the increasing capabilities of current mobile devices.

The relevance of this trend lies in the fact that common people will get acquainted with the idea that they can reveal extra information, entertainment, anything by just looking at an image through their phones. This also means that they will come to expect that every product – beginning with the major brands – will tell something about itself through visual recognition powered by Augmented Reality.

No longer is this feature an exclusive experience for geeks and avant-garde users, who are willing to take a side step and dive into technical steps to get extra info. Scanning a QR code is still such an activity which can be cut out of the process using visual recognition and virtual object superposition.

This also means that the whole process from seeing an image or object and getting more information about it stays entirely in the realm of the right hemisphere of the brain, without requiring a side step to the analytical activities which reside in the left hemisphere of the brain.

In other words: don’t make me think, skip to the results straight away. Augmented Reality applications deliver on this promise.

Read all about trend Point  & Know at trendwatching.com

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Google Goggles enters Advertising Image Recognition space

January 10, 2011

Just a few moments ago, Google announced the expected update for their image recognition playground app, called Goggles, for Android.

The new 1.3 version app now links existing print ads in major US newspapers and magazines back to August 2010 to not only their official campaign URL but also related web search results. This goes beyond the experiment announced back in November, when only a small range of print ads was Goggles-enabled and no web results were shown.

This is pretty significant as it shows how fast Google is able to move forward and claim a relatively new space where some highly specialized niche players were dominating the market. Services like Kooaba come to mind, which focuses on linking print media to online campaigns.

We are curious as always how this will evolve and if and when Google is going to extend this service internationally.

If you’re running Android go download Goggles from the Android Market and start experimenting.

A fair warning though if you love playing Sudoku, as this version of Goggles is a real spoiler of the game, see the video below and judge for yourself!

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Finally safe driving with augmented reality navigation, Wikitude Drive.

December 27, 2010

Congratulations to Andy Gstoll, Andi Hauser and Martin Herdina for launching Wikitude Drive! As you probably know we are augmented reality fanatics so every new product or service that comes to market we have to see for ourselves! Well… it’s not a big secret that Wikitude has been working on Wikitude Drive and so we are very happy that they have launched it in the Android market. Now we just hope that Amsterdam is on their roadmap ;).

Wikitude drive is the worlds first fully functional mobile AR navigation system with global coverage (for Android 2.1 and above). It is a light weight turn-by-turn navigation system that uses Augmented Reality. Wikitude Drive launched in Austria, Germany and Switzerland!! All other countries, please stay tuned!

The system works by attaching your mobile phone on top of your dash board looking at the road. The application then overlays video captured through the camera with driving instructions. This allows users to literally drive through their phone, watching the road even while they are looking at directions.

Wikitude Drive distinguishes itself from other navigation systems in two ways: First, due to the overlaying of the route onto the live video stream of the surroundings, the driver can easily recognize and follow the suggested route. Instead of looking at an abstract map you are looking at the real world. The navigation system leads the driver through unfamiliar territory in a natural, real and easy way.

Secondly, Wikitude Drive solves a key problem that all other navigation systems have. These systems require the driver to take his eyes off the road in order to look at the abstract navigation map. Just by looking at the map screen for one second when driving at 100 km/h (62 mph), the driver is actually “blind” for 28 meters (92 ft). Think about how much can happen in those precious meters. Since Wikitude Drive provides you with driving directions on top of the live video stream, you still see what is happening in front of you when looking at the display of your mobile AR navigation system.

In some driving conditions however, for example when driving in the dark, a traditional map is in fact advantageous. With just one tap on the cell phone’s touch screen, you can switch between the Augmented Reality view and the traditional 3D map-view. To give you additional navigational directions, voice commands are provided as well.

Navigational data comes from Navteq, a global supplier of mapping and routing information. A future version of Wikitude Drive will integrate with Wikitude World Browser to offer millions of Points of Interests to leverage the full power of the Internet and user generated content.

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Take a virtual roadtrip with Google Streetview

November 14, 2010

Google Streetview is one of the best features that Google has been working on. The impact of this Free service on the development of the location based marketing industry is enormous. 

Offcourse when developing mobile augmented reality solutions and concepts we work a lot with Google services like streetview. For example: a cool additional feature of Tweeps Around 3D, on Layars mobile augmented reality browser, is the free usage of Google Navigation and Google Streetview. When using this feature you can get a realistic impression of the whereabouts of the Tweeps when they posted their geo-tagged messages to Twitter.

Today Google posted this awesome video of a group of people that uses Google Streetview to make a rouadtrip in the US. Enjoy and let your mind take a trip into what this can mean for creative concepts. 

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MIMAQ: Visualizing air quality in augmented reality.

September 12, 2010

This weekend is very important for anyone who cares about our planet and the air that we breath. MIMAQ (short for: Mobile Individual Measurements of Air Quality) will run an advanced sensor tracking project in the city of Leiden. A team of people will ride their bicycles through the city of Leiden measuring the air quality in the city centre before and during the car free Sunday. The goal of this experiment is to find out what the effects are on the air quality when cars are present and when they are not.

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Video premier: Samsung Galaxy TAB field demo AW reader + TweepsAround on Layar

September 1, 2010

As you know we are ecstatic about the new ultimate Samsung Galaxy TAB that we wrote a piece about it a week ago. And now we got the worldpremier with this video of the Samsung Galaxy TAB in the wild! We managed to get our hands on the developers edition of the SG-TAB and it works fantastic. It’s like a huge Samsung Galaxy phone! Running Android 2.2 so we tested the TAB to see if our dreams would come through… and they did!

Ok… enough bla bla… have a look at the vid!

PS: We made this vid also for our friends at Android World, testing their amazingly cool Android Reader!

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AR Brain surgery at your kitchen table

August 9, 2010

This is an update on our previous blogpost about augmented reality brain surgery.. check out this clip!

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Google acquires Metaweb

July 17, 2010

Yesterday, Metaweb announced that it has been acquired by Google.

Now this is very significant news because Google clearly shows that it no longer ignores the whole web 3.0 aka Semantic Web or Linked Open Data movement.

Up till now it seemed that they were not interested in these developments, which started early in this decade. Apart from a minimal exercise with “rich snippets” (normally known as microformats or the official w3c standard RDFa) they largely ignored the parts of the industry which were building on Semweb standards. Now, they get a jump start in this space with Metaweb and it’s flagship product, Freebase.

As you may know, Freebase is a Linked Data index of the web’s knowledge. This model of indexing the web is radically different from Google’s traditional approach; because everything is based on community efforts (DBPedia is a central source) and well defined open standards, there is no “secret sauce” involved – and hence no competitive advantage – which the well kept business secret of Page Rank provided until now. From this perspective, Google has a huge benefit by a dis-organized web of documents and so no incentive to contribute to any Linked Open Data standards.

At one hand this competitive advantage was diminishing because challengers like Bing are catching up with very similar quality web search results. At the other hand the Linked Data web is getting serious traction with the publication and rapid adoption of Facebook’s Open Graph protocol (and continued support form parties such as Yahoo!).

So all in all this is a very logical step for Google to take, and likely something they were planning for already, just waiting for the right time to hit and spend some pocket money.

OK, fine you’ll ask, but what has this to do with Augmented Reality?

Not very much on first sight, but I am convinced that Semantic Web technologies and Social Graph data will soon play a huge role in the evolution of Augmented Reality, see my blog post earlier this year: The Path to the Future of AR is Open.

For now, watch the video below for an excellent explanation about the benefits of Linked Data (Source: Metaweb’s blog).

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Follow the Rabo cyclists in the Tour De France in augmented reality.

July 10, 2010

10201 screen shot 2010 07 08 at 3 56 57 pm original view real content of the Rabo cyclists in the Tour De France in augmented reality

We introduced the Moby augmented reality Layar a couple of days ago and now we already have the first commercial brand working with the new concept. And what a brand it is… Rabosport! The Branded Rabosport Now Layar lets you explore the content around you in augmented  reality. Showing you the latest photo and video Mobypicture postings and Twitter updates of the Rabosport Cycling teams and those of the Press and all Fans, nearest to you. The Layer shows all the location tagged content of the realtime platform Rabosport Now, developed by Mobypicture.

Fans can post content to the Layer by adding #raboploeg to their regular Mobypicture and Twitter postings using any of the over 750 different Mobypicture enabled applications and services.

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Location based AR: the Third Generation

July 5, 2010

Mobile Augmented Reality on consumer devices is not even 2 years old and already at its 3rd generation regarding richness of its content model.

Apart from the very rapid technological improvements this has mostly to do with the creative innovators who adopted the new medium. These innovators constantly look for new ways to enhance the experience by adding new layers of depth and interaction models.

Mobile- or Location Based AR?

Mobile AR is an often used term to set this class of applications apart from the mostly static, marker based AR applications where a webcam attached to a computer is used to link a 3D model t a printed graphical marker. This type of application is certainly less mobile than the application class we call Mobile AR, but the main difference is that the latter uses the observer’s location as a unique trigger rather than visual recognition of a marker.

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