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Entries in AR (10)


The View From Above: In Hard Focus Round-up (September 19, 2011)

Augmented Reality + Gesture Recognition = Winning: Aurasma, an Augmented Reality app we’ve mentioned before, has quietly been rolling out a new technology that allows people to manipulate virtual images viewed through the app. While many Augmented Reality companies are working to create increasingly complex advertisements and prompts, build out their AR library of real world objects, or add game components, Aurasma is taking a step further by incorporating another layer of interaction that can bring a Kinect-like experience for users. See the video above, posted by Wired. We love the virtual soccer game.

Immersive Labs makes like ‘Minority Report’ with facial recognition ad technology:  TechCrunch reports that a new startup and alumnus of New York TechStars’ recent class, Immersive Labs, is getting seed funding to pursuit their vision of using facial recognition to tailor digital signage and advertising displays. The technology currently identifies and selects advertisements based on factors such as gender, age, distance and time spent viewing ads, many factors found valuable to online and mobile advertisements. With some positive (yet vague) initial feedback on viewer attention, Immersive Labs hopes to push into markets this fall. 

Augmented Reality app reveals layers of past history: People behind the project ‘What Was Here’ have created an iOS app that draws from online research to reveal the past around you. The project website collects, tags and catalogs photos –from grandma’s trip photos to your most recent mobile uploads – which you can then view in Augmented Reality via the app. As Engadget reports, the project needs contributors, so feel free to upload those dusty prints from the attic.


The View from Above: InHardFocus Round-up (September 2, 2011)

Menswear tries Augmented Reality on for size: Luxury Daily and others are covering the latest industry to get on-board Augmented Reality-based marketing, menswear. British designer Dunhill is rolling out an AR campaign using the Aurasma Lite app, which consumers could use to transtate print advertisements into interactive videos of distinguished, obviously well-dressed men. See video above for a demo.

Cell phone tracking for the right reasons: We’ve covered recent developments with ‘locationgate,’ where companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Google have been caught collecting Wi-Fi and smartphone users’ locations for less than transparent purposes. While certainly the legality of these actions are in question, there are situations where mining location data can actually save lives. As Fast Company describes in a recent article, researcher Linus Bengtsson and his colleagues at Sweden’s Karlinska Intitutet and Columbia University have found a way to capture and translate cell phone activity in order to predict movement of people after disasters. Imagine how useful this could be in applying aid, resources and people after earthquakes, wars or disease outbreaks.

Your favorite photo sharing app hits 200 million photos: Instagram, the company that’s putting warm and fuzzy filters on your memories, has seen explosive growth since it launched 10 months ago. We’re excited to see where this company goes, which as TechCrunch points out, should be on the Android platform for starters. In other news, Gizmodo features Instamap, an app for the iPad that allows people to browse Instagram photos with nifty (and stalkerish) location tagging and search features.


The View From Above: In Hard Focus Round-up (September 1, 2011)

AR brings boardgames to life: A recent Kickstarter project, called the OggBoard, aims to give board game fans a 3D experience with the use of Augmented Reality. If the project is funded, the physical ‘board’ upon which games are played will be simple in design, yet provide physical cues for smartphones to populate AR game content – be it a chess piece, user-created characters for specialty games, or perhaps a battleship. See the video above, via CNET.

Microsoft’s own ‘Locationgate’: We recently covered the discovery that Microsoft, alongside Apple, has been collecting locations of smartphones and other Wi-Fi enable devices, so it comes to no surprise that a recent class action law suit has been filed around Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 tracking of data. TechCrunch reports that a Seattle district court is handling the case, which centers on the idea that WP7 users, regardless of whether or not they opt out of location tracking, have their location and data harvested. While this location tracking is purportedly only for marketing and advertising purposes, the fact that they keeping tabs on people unawares is quite sketchy.

Holograms could make microscopes more accessible in the medical field: UCLA researchers are developing a microscope that trades traditional (and heavy) lens with lightweight hologram technology.  The technology works by shining light on a sensor chip with the object, which then collects in a cloud-based software program that recreates the image. What’s amazing is that this breakthrough could mean the ability to a) carry in microscopes to remote areas (Engadget reports that the new model could be the size of a banana) and b) access and analyze the image remotely via computers, tablets and smartphones.   


The View From Above: In Hard Focus Round-up (August 30, 2011)

Mediating Mediums - The Digital 3d - [Part 3] from Greg Tran on Vimeo.

AR the next step for architecture: A graduate student at Harvard University utilizes Augmented Reality concepts in an architecture project called "Meditating Mediums," which begs the question - why didn't we think of this application before? As the student, Greg Tran, explains, "people looked at painting, walked around sculpture and walked through architecture," and thus the modern digital equivalent would translate to 3D AR and other technologies that have the ability to play with form, space and function all on one plane. See a video of this project above, via The Next Web.

AR applications beyond fun and games: We’ve covered a lot of Augmented Reality applications here on InHardFocus, many of them focused on entertaining or informing the average smartphone user. However, PBS tackles AR’s potential uses beyond consumer engagement, introducing some current and potential applications that could benefit a variety of industries. These applications include tracking food products in assembly lines and processing plants, creating a broad range of educational supplements to real world objects and textbooks, and building and analyzing crime scenes with technologies so far only existing on popular TV shows. Can’t wait to see what it can do for other industries – from security to medicine.

Otoy brings cloud-based animation tools to the masses: VentureBeat covered a new company today, Otoy, which aims to bring high quality special effects, animation and 3D image rendering to those not working with James Cameron’s budget. Beyond opening up the space for more game changers (literally), Otoy’s plan is quite ambitious in terms of moving this process (and all its graphics) to the cloud. Certainly other video game companies are working toward this, so perhaps we may see those video game consoles obsolete in the next few years. 


The View From Above: In Hard Focus Round-up (August 29, 2011)

“Scan the World” with Junaio’s enhanced AR search: Metaio, a company we’ve mentioned before on InHardFocus, recently updated its Janaio Augmented Reality browser with capabilities that better translate real world images (and barcodes) into useful searches for information. In an interview with Fast Company, Mataio’s CEO, Peter Meier, explained the purpose behind Janaio, which will now incorporate both location-based AR sensors as well as barcode scanning capabilities in order to “make a more natural way to browse – a more natural way to receive information about surrounding objects and places.” While certainly there are a lot of current and upcoming applications (see video above), I think this type of recognition technology has a lot to prove before stepping up as an alternative to traditional search engines and tools.  

Spying from your smartphone: Stem’s new iZON camera provides quite a sophisticated way of monitoring (or spying) on your loved ones. The simple, wireless camera allows one to view streaming video, record for later viewing or even send alerts for changes in motion or sound via one’s smartphone. While Engadget mentions Stem’s concern for privacy with its encryption policy, my concern would be around how this video is being stored, not to mention finding decent 3G or wireless in order to check up on the babysitter on date night.

An eye for TechCrunch reported on Friday about a cool new technology that, once developed, could provide some astonishing results for the visually challenged. The Eyeborg project is essentially developing a wireless video camera for the eye socket, which now transmits video to a LCD viewer but could down the road connect to the visual cortex, and thus provide a viable replacement for a normal eye. Very cool.