ISMAR 2009: Make the Best Augmented Reality App in Flash and Win a Prize!

ISMAR 2009 proudly announces the first Flash AR Contest sponsored by ARToolWorks. The contest is opened to anyone and is part of the inaugural Arts, Interactive Media and Humanities program for ISMAR 2009.

The best FLARToolKit submission wins $1000 USD.
(we know you’re in it just for the money)

Contest rules:

1. Develop a desktop-based AR application using FLARToolKit that can be run from a desktop PC (using no additional input devices other than a Camera, Keyboard,  and Mouse).

2. Should be relevant for any subject of Arts, interactive Media or Humanities at ISMAR 2009

3. Submit as a zip file and its originality, style and potentially will be judged by a panel of experts during ISMAR 2009.

4. All the applications will be demonstrated on the ISMAR 2009 website and will be made available during ISMAR 2009 for the attendees.

5. The winner will be announced and awarded at the ISMAR 2009 dinner.

6. At the end of the competition, a selected range of applications will be made available on the ARToolWorks website

Start working – competition entries are due by 5pm PST, Friday October 9th!

For more details http://ismar-society.org/ismar2009/fac.php


Open Letter to Apple: Let us Augment Reality with the iPhone!

A letter sent to Apple Developer Relations.

Dear Apple,

We are a collection of augmented reality (AR) enthusiasts and professionals (from business and academia), who have been working on a multitude of AR apps for the iPhone. These apps are poised to change the way people interact with the real world.

But here is the rub: we are currently unable to publish these apps on the app store because the iPhone SDK lacks public APIs for manipulating live video.

We are asking Apple to provide a public API to access live video in real time, on the iPhone.
We will be happy to offer additional technical details.

The impact of augmented reality (AR) on our lives could be as significant as the introduction of the PC.
In 10 years, we believe augmented reality will change the way everyone experiences travel, design, training, personal productivity, health care, entertainment, games, art, and advertising (videos).

Looking back just a few years, AR pioneers had to hack a slew of components into ridiculously large backpacks and HUDs, and be confined to rigged environments. Nowadays, it comes in friendly, affordable packages and the iPhone is one of the first devices to have it all – except for a public API.

The battle to determine the winning device has already begun; a public API to access live video will give the iPhone a lucrative ticket to compete.
We believe Apple has a window of opportunity of about 3 months before developers start looking elsewhere. If Apple decides to publish the API in that time frame – in the next 10 years, everyone might be using the iPhone as the preferred device to interact with the real world.

Here is how augmented reality could open up new opportunities for the iPhone this year:

Arf (Georgia Tech)

a virtual pet you take anywhere

ARghhhh (Georgia Tech)

first person table-top action game

Sekai Camera (Tonchidot)

AirTag the real world

Kweekies (int13)

a portal to creatures in a parallel world

Layar (SPRXmobile)

Browse the world with an AR browserDetails

Artoolkit for the iPhone (Artoolworks)

the most popular AR kit now on the iPhone

StudierStube ES (Imagination, Graz TU)

the only AR engine designed for mobile devices, now on iPhoneDetails

PTAM on the iPhone (Oxford University)

next generation AR tracking with no markers or images

Wikitude (Mobilizy)

a travel guide that “tells you what you see”

Virtual Santa (Metaio)

interactive Christmas application using the augmented reality

Augmented Reality Sightseeing (Fraunhofer IGD)

Historic photographs overlaid on your field of view while strolling in a street

These are apps that are practically ready to go. There is a whole bunch of apps and games that are just waiting for the API to be available.

…And Apple, we know you can’t share your plans…so please surprise us soon!

Many many thanks for your consideration -
Sincerely,

Signed:
Michael Gervautz – Managing Director Imagination GesmbH
Robert Rice – CEO Neogence
Georg Klein – PhD PTAM creator from Oxford University
Stephane Cocquereaumont –  President & Lead Developer Int13 (Kweekies)
Maarten Lens-FitzGerald – Founder & Partner SPRXmobile, developer of Layar
Ori Inbar – Author of GamesAlfresco.com and CEO and founder – Ogmento (formerly Pookatak Games)
Philippe Breuss – Lead developer, Mobilizy
Philip R. Lamb – CTO, Artoolworks
Noora Guldemond – Metaio
Takahito Iguchi – CEO, Tonchidot
Blair MacIntyre – Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Bruno Uzzan – CEO, Total Immersion
Michael Zoellner
Fraunhofer IGD
Andrea Carignano – CEO,  Seac02

If you are developing an AR app for the iPhone and wish to join this effort – just let us know.

Special Message from Mark Billinghurst: Introducing FLARManager – Can Building AR Apps in Flash Be Easier?

July 1st 2009  Press Release

ARToolworks Releases Commercial License for FLARManager

ARToolworks is very pleased to announce that it is able to offer commercial licenses for the popular FLARManager software. FLARManager is a software framework developed by Eric Socolofsky that makes building FLARToolKit Flash based Augmented Reality applications easier.

FLARManager decouples the marker-tracking functionality from Papervision3D, and provides a more robust event-based system for managing marker addition, update, and removal. It supports detection and management of multiple patterns, and multiple markers of a given pattern.

Most importantly, FLARManager sits on top of FLARToolKit and makes it much faster and easier to develop flash based AR applications, typically half the time or less of developing a straight FLARToolKit application.

Philip Lamb, CTO of ARToolworks, says “We are delighted to be able to provide commercial license for this outstanding tool. This will enable FLARToolKit developers to build Flash AR applications quicker than ever before, and is the perfect compliment to our existing product line.”

FLARManager will continue to be freely available under a GPL license from http://www.facebook.com/l/;http://transmote.com/flar/, but ARToolworks has the exclusive rights to sell commercial licenses to those companies that do not want to share the source code of their applications as required by the GPL license.

The developer of FLARManager, Eric Socolofsky, says, “I’m excited to be able to offer FLARManager to both the commercial and experimental community.  FLARManager began as an effort to bring FLARToolkit to a wider audience, and this commercial license will help to expand the reach of augmented reality and new interfaces to the web.”

For a limited time, ARToolworks is selling FLARManager for a reduced price of only $295 USD for a single product license, and also selling a discounted bundle of FLARToolKit and FLARManager licenses together. FLARToolKit is required to use FLARManager.

Please contact sales@artoolworks.com for more details.
——————–

Augmented Reality in Flash Now Commercially Available

Mark Billinghurst just shared with me the good news: ARToolworks announces commercial availability of FLARToolKit. He explains:

Basically it means that companies can now get commercial licenses to FLARToolKit and build flash based Augmented reality websites without having to release their source code as required by the GPL license.

Saqoosha (Tomohiko Koyama) was the first to marry AR with flash as open source – a major step in simplifying AR apps on a PC. Now ARToolworks CTO, Philip Lamb, is taking it to a commercial level.

The code is available at the Spark Project site.

To get your creative juices going, here’s a reminder of the kind of things this baby can deliver:

What are YOU going to create with it?

Wrap up 2008: Your Greatest Augmented Reality Moments

Top 10 AR milestones in 2008 was one of the most popular posts this year. What came out of it was even more gratifying: a multitude of reflections, impressions, and thoughts I received about your own AR moments, including some last minute finds.

Here is an anecdotal collection of your greatest AR moments in 2008:

1. The Most fundamental AR milestone in 2008

Oriel Bergig: During 2008 we have seen some major advances in the field of Augmented Reality. Porting AR technology to mobile devices and especially cellular phones creates an opportunity to reach millions of users. For several years, the biggest AR labs and companies have made huge steps in this direction. In 2008 these efforts have started to show results. Pose estimation has been upgraded with the StbTracker release in the end of 2007. Research focusing on better user experience, and in particular on making mobile AR technology accessible to people with no special training, is being conducted by the best minds of the HitLabNZ. During one of the top covered events of the year, CES2008, Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini demonstrated Total Immersion’s technology enabling mobile AR experiences such as urban guidance. To wrap-up, the 2008 most fundamental milestone would be: AR technology is closing up fast on the mass user market.

Charles Woodward: The greatest milestone? Commercial breakthroughs by Metaio and Total  Immersion.

Thomas Wrobel: Wikitude I think. Seems the first released, useful, AR software. Runner up to the AR Geisha doll

2) The best AR device of the year

Oriel: Since 2008 would most be remembered for its advances in mobile AR technology, the AR device of the year is the mobile phone. Nokia has released the Navigator phone that includes a GPS and an accelerometer, which make a valuable addition. The N95 has been demonstrated as well in many more contexts as a good choice for AR applications.  The next AR device of the year would be the Nokia N97 and of course the iPhone with its huge global success. iPhone feets very well AR applications and a successful attempt to port ARToolKit to iPhone has already been made by ARToolWorks. Appealing applications are next to come but only after the iPhone OS has better support for real time video acquirement.

Charles: Best device? iPhone, and/or Nokia 6210…

Thomas: hmz…tricky. I personally think hardware is still rather lackluster, and I have had little experience with some of the most recently released stuff.
I guess probably the iPhone + G1 devices…while far from ideal, they are at least getting location-aware services, and “barcode scanning” style product information into public hands.

Eric Rice shares what gets him excited about a video comparing between PS2 Eyetoy and PS3 Eye.

3) Best AR Demo

Oriel: The best demo of 2008 is the demo that will be remembered by most people a decade from now. The demo that reached most of the people in the world is most likely Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini keynote talk during CES2008.

Charles: Haunted Book, Cherrer et al at ISMAR2008 – just beatiful!
(click Interaction on the left menu bar and then Haunted House.)

Thomas: LevelHead [by Julian Oliver], I think. Although this pet demo [ARf] is also nice;
(that may be because I want my own desuke though :p)

4) Person of the AR year

Charles: Georg Klein – leads the way in anything he touches [single handedly won ISMAR 2008 tracking competition]

Thomas: There’s been so much development by so many individuals and companies I don’t know one specific person.

5) The most significant AR deal of 2008

Charles: Beijing Olympics fake fireworks. About the viewers of the Olympics openning ceremony:”What they did not realise was that what they were watching was in fact computer graphics, meticulously created over a period of months and inserted into the coverage electronically at exactly the right moment. “

Thomas: Not sure about AR deals as such, but Total Immersion getting offices in the US is a good sign for the company and AR in general.

6) A [Predictable?] disappointment

Gizmondo won’t be coming out this year after all…The Nordik Link has the scoop.

7. Last minute find: A Surprising Simplicity in AR

Anyone can build 3D models with Google’s Sketchup. With the AR Media plugin from Inglobe – anyone can bring it into an augmented reality scene. ArchDaily tried it here.

Thanks for contributors and especially: Charles Woodward, Oriel Bergig, and the always there AR enthusiast: Thomas Wrobel

Bonus: Blair MacIntyre shares his greatest AR moments in 2009 in his blog.

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