Archive for the ‘Augmented Reality Future talk’ Category


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.


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


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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Sergey Brin shows why augmented reality is THE Social Media tool of tomorrow with Google Glass.

June 28, 2012

We all know that Sergey Brin loves extreme sports and it is great to see that this particular hobby of his inspires Google to take huge steps in developing their consumer augmented reality Glass product. In one of the most impressive live on stage presentations yet he got a whole team of his buddies to demonstrate Googles’ augmented reality vision in a way to show that AR is not for tech minds only.

One of Google’s big plans for Glass was to help users capture and share the world as they see it, but that’s clearly not all. As we’ve seen in the concept video, it’s also about facilitating communication and putting more information — think navigation information, or a user’s current speed. The possibilities are certainly “incredible,” but why is Google showing it off? According to Brin, it was because of three things — Google thought it was amazing (it is), it’s very visually striking, and because they wanted to appeal to the developer community. As such, U.S. based developers will be able to pre-order a beta build only at I/O, for the low, low price of $1500.


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.


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?


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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Junaio goes outdoors with super accurate augmented reality.

February 4, 2012

Click on the image to view the video.

We always get a lot of requests from engineering companies, real estate agents etc. to realistically augment buildings, apartments offices etc. Of course this is possible but not yet with the current publicly available techniques. So it would always be a high tech, high prized demo model. BUT NOW Junaio is showing us that super accurate 3D feature tracking for public use is on the way. Of course we’ve already seen the progression of this techniques from the Junaio lab a few years back, to the Augmented City demo last year. But now they can project this onto real buildings and other large scale 3D environments.

Needles to say that this again is a super strong breakthrough for the public lightweight augmented reality features that truly helps to transform Augmented Reality to Augmented Media. I’m going to make sure that TAB Worldmedia is going to be one of the first  creation agencies for augmented content that will produce a mobile tool for you to use.


Vivian Rosenthal talks about the social commercial approach of GoldRun.

January 31, 2012

I really like it when our peers in the Augmented Reality industry freely share their thoughts with the World. Fortunately I have had the pleasure to also chat freely with Vivian last year and I’m truly exited about the commercial approach that she’s taking with GoldRun. Have a look at the interview taken at CES and share your thoughts…

Oh…. and also don’t forget to download the GoldRun app 😉


Sesame street goes interactive with Kinect & augmented reality at CES 2012

January 10, 2012

As of this year TV will take a whole new turn… from one way tv shows that are all about broadcasting to two way interactive tv shows. This demonstration by the Microsoft team was shown today at the largest consumer electronics event of this year CES 2012 in Las Vegas. Just have a look and enjoy what’s coming…




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