Archive for December, 2011

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Aurasma lights up Dutch newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’ with augmented reality.

December 24, 2011

As I am running around getting all my last minute Christmas-shopping done I just had to post this fantastic initiative by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf to our blog.

As you might remember we used Aurasma to create an augmented reality experience for the Dutch Effie awards 2011 where we augmented 43 of the best Dutch marketing cases right here in Amsterdam on the Rembrandplein. Now one of the largest Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf has shown great initiative by using mobile augmented reality on the Aurasma platform to enhance almost an entire newspaper.

Not just the front page but also editorial content and more throughout the newspaper just became interactive in this Christmas special. I know the guys at Aurasma are extatic about this and so are we! I will do a full report and video presentation for you all who are outside of the Netherlands after the holidays but for now enjoy these screenshots. And for you all who are in the Netherlands… go and get your Telegraaf because this is really the first sign of a fantastic new development…

If you want to know more: read my Dutch trend prediction about bridging the gap between print and mobile here.

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THINK THERE’S NO HURRY TO PATENT AR INVENTIONS?

December 21, 2011

Think again.

Article by  on Wassom.com

For one thing, the United States recently changed its approach to determining patent priority.  It used to be that even if someone else beat you to the punch in applying to register an invention, you could undo their patent by proving that you invented it first.  No longer, thanks to the America Invents Act that President Obama signed into law on September 16, 2011.  Starting in 2013, it will be the “first to file,” not the “first to invent,” who wins.

That, of course, is the system that Europe and virtually the entire rest of the world already uses.

For another thing, others are already patenting their augmented reality inventions.

The AR industry stood up and took notice a few months ago when Apple filed these AR-related patent applications for the iPad:

U.S. Patent App. 20110164163 (July 7, 2011)

But AR has been in the process of “emerging” for years now–plenty long enough for all sorts of companies and inventors to get their ideas registered.  Here are just a few examples culled from the public patent records:

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

December 21, 2011

In addition to our article on: “is Google Goggles ready for augmented reality” of December 7th. 

Gossip about the goings-on inside Google’s secret ‘Google X’ lab – the ‘blue sky ideas’ department where the company’s engineers come up out-there products – included the idea of ‘wearable computing’.

Until this week, most had assumed that meant hi-tech watches running Google’s Android phone operating system.

Now it seems the search giant may be working on a much more exciting technology – computer glasses with transparent screens that superimpose information on the real world.

Prototype transparent screens have already been demonstrated at technology shows - so the idea of 'wearable' computer glasses is not as out-there as it soundsPrototype transparent screens have already been demonstrated at technology shows – so the idea of ‘wearable’ computer glasses is not as out-there as it sounds

‘They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that normal people wear,’ reported Google specialist Seth Weintraub on 9to5Google, reporting information from an unnamed source at the search giant.

The technology is reported to be an ‘open secret’.

‘However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface.  There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses.’ Weintraub reported that Google had recently employed MIT wearable computing specialist Richard DuVal, whose PhD was entitled The Memory Glasses.Various prototype transparent screens have been demonstrated by companies such as Samsung, so the idea is not as out-there as it sounds.

They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that normal people wear,' reported Seth Weintraub on 9to5GoogleThey are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that normal people wear,’ reported Seth Weintraub on 9to5Google

The glasses will run a version of Google’s Android – which ties in with reports in the New York Times about the company’s ambition to export its popular phone operating system to wearable computers.

In glasses, though, Google’s Android search box – which already uses GPS to find nearby ‘answers’ to searches – could be even more powerful.

Instead of having to look in the mapping application to ‘see’ where things are, the information could simply be layered on top. With Google working on a voice-control system similar to Apple’s Siri, such devices could do away with the need for a touchscreen at all.

Google has admitted to an 'experimental' division where out-there ideas are trialled - and allows engineers to spend up to 20 per cent of their time on ideas as wacky as robot workers and talking fridgesGoogle has admitted to an ‘experimental’ division where out-there ideas are trialled – and allows engineers to spend up to 20 per cent of their time on ideas as wacky as robot workers and talking fridges

Google has already admitted to the existence of a secret laboratory – described as ‘Google X’ – where scientists work on wild, out-there ideas. Most Google employees are not even aware the lab exists. ‘Google has always invested in speculative R&D projects – it’s part of our DNA,’ said a spokesperson.

‘While the possibilities are incredibly exciting, the sums involved are very small by comparison to the investments we make in our core businesses. In terms of details, we don’t comment on speculation.’

The lab is reportedly located in Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters – known as ‘the Googleplex’.

Engineers are free to work on projects such as connected fridges that order groceries when they run low – or even tableware that can connect to social networks. Other Google engineers have reportedly researched ideas as far-out as elevators to space.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is reportedly deeply involved in the lab. It’s known, for example, that his business card is simply a piece of silvery metal decorated with the letter X.

Brin, a robot enthusiast, once attended a conference via a robot with a screen showing his face. It’s not unusual for tech companies to have ‘ideas labs’ hidden away from their ordinary workers – at Apple, for instance, Jonathan Ive’s design lab where devices such as iPads are perfected, is guarded as if it was a weapons facility.

Google leadership Larry Page, Sergei Brin and Eric Schmidt in one of the company's fleet of self-driving carsGoogle leadership Larry Page, Sergei Brin and Eric Schmidt in one of the company’s fleet of self-driving cars

Google X, though, is far less conservative than Ive’s design lab.

The lab is reportedly investigating the idea of people ‘working from home’ via robots with screens for ‘faces’ – an idea also being tested by legendary game developer Richard Garriott. It’s not alien to the company – which also has a fleet of self-driving cars that have clocked up more than 100,000 miles on Californian roads so far.

Google is now rumoured to be readying the ‘self drive’ vehicles for sale.

A typical Googler's cubicle. The company is known for attracting high-powered - but often eccentric - 'ideas people'A typical Googler’s cubicle. The company is known for attracting high-powered – but often eccentric – ‘ideas people’

Famously, Google always allowed engineers ’20 per cent time’ – a portion of their working hours devoted to more experimental projects.

While Google ‘culled’ 10 of its less successful experimental projects earlier this year, and also got rid of its ‘Labs’ section, where ordinary users could test experimental products, some thought that the company was focusing on its ‘core’ business, and eliminating its more zany ideas.

But it seems ’20 per cent time’ is alive and well – and living in the Google X lab.
Article by: ROB WAUGH of Dailymail.co.uk

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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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Is Google Goggles ready for augmented reality?

December 7, 2011

Working in mobile augmented reality you just have to keep Google under your microscope. Since 2009 I’ve been reviewing and checking Google Goggles (ref. my review in Androidworld) thoroughly. Google has a mission to be the fastest search engine on the planet and they are using all sensors of the mobile device, semantic web, cloud computing etc. Google Goggles is one of those products that they are working on that is going to be hugely important to content presentation models like augmented reality. Yes you’ve read it right… I just called augmented reality a presentation model… we use location, vision, sound, external sensors, databases etc. to get to relevant information as quickly as we can and present it in augmented reality view.

But… I’m wondering off…. Why I was writing this piece is that Google Goggle has just launched a permanent scan feature… this is so cool because they didn’t have this before.. You had to take a picture of the object that you wanted to recognize but now you can just scan the world to see if they recognize anything in their databases.

Now coming back to my previous point… now when you are using this scanner to get information then Google will presents the information as promised. But now imagine that when you use the scanner and it becomes an option to augment the search content on-top  of the scanned object… That is what I meant with “augmented reality is a presentation model.” My prognosis is that in the near future Google will integrate augmented reality as a content presentation form for adwords. At TAB Worldmedia we believe we have to be ready to service this form of content presentation… this will make mobile search so much more appealing!

Read the following announcement on one of Google’s blogs:

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