Weekly Linkfest – The Justin Bieber Edition

This linkfest has nothing to do with Justin Bieber, and everything to do with augmented reality news bites from the last week. I’m just checking if the mere inclusion of Mr. Bieber in the title will generate more hits.

This week’s video is a promotion video for Sekai Camera. Tonchidot, the company behind this veteran AR browser recently got a $5M from Japan’s telecom giant KDDI (though some claim that KDDI actually bought Tonchidot). And if that’s not enough, Tonchidot announced the creation of social AR game. The future looks bright for those guys:

Have a great (and cool) week!

Weekly Linkfest

This is the last linkfest for this year. Though there were many more Christmas spectacles this week, I’m going to keep this linkfest holiday-spirit free (broke my nose, not feeling very festive).

  • Robert Rice on 2010, the first year in the decade of ubiquity – “The point though, is that all of these things calling themselves augmented reality now are just the start. Everyone is getting their feet wet, experimenting, exploring, and beginning to innovate. We can argue about what is or isn’t augmented reality, but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the continual push for advancing the technology, the industry, and getting people to start using it“.
  • On the same theme, Edo Segal writes for Techcrunch about the dawn of ambient streams – “Increasingly, we will be sensing the world with this sixth sense and that will change the way we collectively experience the world. Going back to the point made earlier, the watershed event is when we will be experiencing this “ambient sense” without being in a retrieval mode (i.e. not when we go to the computer or our mobile device
  • Whisper Deck is a cool voice operated AR interface
  • Jack Benoff of Zugara on what to do in case you are pitched an AR campaign.
  • ReadWriteWeb on the Brightkite’s new feature – AR ads.
  • Augmented Planet on Toozla, self-claimed world’s first audio AR browser (I believe Gamaray had audio support as well).
  • EyePly wants to augment your sports events.
  • And Tonchidot released its Sekai Camera browser worldwide.
  • It’s a couple of weeks old, but I finally got to read it – Wired on AR accelerated by Earthmine’s 3d city-maps.
  • Point your sneakers to your webcam in order to feel silly. Which should be on Mashable’s 10 awesome uses of AR in marketing list (what, only one car campaign? seriously, where’s that GE ad that started the fad?)
  • Denno Coil (AR fans number one anime) gets a mobile AR campaign (via @thomaskcarpente)

This week’s video is of a projected AR system coming to us from the University of Magdeburg, Germany. Though we have seen quite a few systems like that over the past years (even one coming out from Microsoft), I don’t think we have seen any as slick as that. You can read how it works (magic! infra-red markers) at New Scientist (via Augmented Engineering).

Have a great week!

Weekly Linkfest

Yes, the moment you were all waiting for, it’s time for another weekly linkfest -

Google Goggles Galore:

  • Google Goggles review at Augmented Planet. Nice overview, and a good video showing some of Goggles capabilities.
  • Google Goggles is the real thing, or so claims Blake Callens of Zugara. Nice video showing it identifying a dart board.
  • The Enkin guys announce that they were acquired by Google and hint about their involvement in Goggles. (I’m just a bit skeptic).

And in other mobile browsers news:

And finally:

This week’s video is of Ogmento’s Brian Selzer evangelistic talk at the Humanity+ conference “Reinventing Reality with AR” . Though most of his examples should be familiar to this blog’s patrons, he is a really good talker, and I’ve enjoyed the whole 15 minutes of his presentation (via GigantiCo):

[Games Alfresco readers, go to Gigantico to see the clip if it doesn't work for you]

Have a nice week!

Weekly Linkfest

It’s time again for the weekly linkfest. Let’s see what else happened this week in the world of augmented reality:

In the realm of mobile browsers:

  • SREngine has a new video out showing its slick user interface.
  • Hong Kong’s Leisure Guide – yet another AR browser (YAARB™)
  • Metaio announces the coming release of Junaio, but doesn’t give much information about what Junaio really is.

And in other news:

  • Total Immersion now enters the world of soccer trading cards, at least in Italy.
  • You can get pregnant without the morning sickness via the wonders of Flash based AR.
  • The Virtec project is a thesis project using AR to teach about Aztec culture by means of a book and a head mounted display.

This week’s video revisits one of this blog’s reoccurring themes, the Transformers (previously here and here). This application comes with the Transformers coming DVD, or as this trailer puts it “Prepare for Augmented Reality! An exclusive 3D Holographic Experience!”:

Have a nice week!

Weekly Linkfest

Actually, it was a relatively quiet week in the ARSphere. Here are some links to news bits that I haven’t had the time to cover over here:

In the mobile AR front:

  • Kooaba is an iPhone application that much like Snaptell (or Nokia’s “Point and Find”) lets you take a picture of a product and get information about it. Now they venture into the realm of AR browsers, but since they fail to show their image-based browser working on a real iPhone, I’ll remain skeptic for now.
  • Cyborg is an AR application that helps you find the cheapest gas station around. Yes, they could do that with a simple map, but that’s like having a web 2.0 site without rounded corners.
  • And if you live in Hong Kong, forget about gas prices, just use this application to find the nearest train.

And in other news:

This week video comes from Techcrunch’s favorite Tonchidot, makers of the Sekai Camera. Apparently their application was finally submitted to the iPhone’s appstore, and we may soon compare it to other AR browsers. The next video is indeed in Japanese, but starting from 0:45 you can easily understand what’s going on, even if you are not a native Japanese speaker. It certainly has some Japanese flair to it:

Have a nice week!

Updates from the Frontline

Continuing my coverage of the augmented reality browser wars, here are the latest news (well, some of them are a few days old, excuse me for procrastinating a bit):

AcrossAir is not satisfied with letting you find the closest subway station in London (where it’s called The Tube), it also has its sights on the NY subway system:

If you remember correctly, Mobilizy, makers of Wikitude, claimed AcrossAir’s application demo is nothing but a mock-up. Seems real to me.
Anyway, Mobilizy is working hard to remind people that Wikitude augmented the world way before SPRXMobile’s Layar. Moreover, one of their tweets suggests that Layar was based on Wikitude’s technology. Indeed, SPRXMobile did cooperate with Mobilizy once, when creating their ATM finder, but it doesn’t prove that Layar is Wikitude in disguise.
Mobilizy also released this video demoing their Wikitude API, and did not miss the opportunity to include some sarcastic remark towards its end:

And in the Eastern front, TechCrunch reports on the almost final version of Tonchidot’s Sekai Camera. Compared this video -

With what we have been promised a year ago:

Well, at least they still have something to aspire to.

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.

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