Augmented Reality On iPad 2

Personally, I find tablet devices boring (not that I will object getting one). They simply pale in comparison to some of Mac Funamizu’s creations. But, as the iPad2 is all the rage right now, here are a few augmented reality demos running on it, making it a little bit cooler.

If you have a video of your AR app running on the iPad2, shoot me an email or leave a comment.

String on an iPad 2:

Metaio’s Junaio on an iPad 2:

Total Immersion’s Magic Mirror on an iPad 2 (first covered by Thomas):

USATODAY 360 Stadium Tour from Junaio

** Cool experience with the smartphone and seeing into another location.  Would love to be able to walk around or zoom in.  Next step is to offer a live feed from various locations of the Superbowl during the game.  Maybe next year.

Steelers and Packers Magically Come to Life in USA TODAY

Super Bowl Coverage to Include Augmented Reality

SAN FRANCISCO, MUNICH, (February 3rd, 2011) – When the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers meet on Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, to go head to head at this year’s Super Bowl, fans will be able to enrich their experience with augmented reality tidbits, courtesy of USA TODAY and junaio, the most advanced Augmented Reality browser. For smartphone users, the Friday, February 4th edition of USA TODAY will include a 360 degree tour of the Dallas Cowboys stadium, presented by Jerry Jones, stadium and Cowboys owner, along with interior and exterior highlights. The Monday, February 7th edition will give readers a 3D view of the “Play of the Game” in an animated sequence and an option to receive player stats. Pepsi and Papa John’s are sponsoring the two augmented reality experiences.

The new Cowboys Stadium, opened in May 2009, is the largest domed stadium in the world and a marvel of architecture and technology. How suiting of USA TODAY to employ the leading edge technology of Augmented Reality to allow the Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones to introduce his impressive sports palace to football fans nationwide. All that is required is to download the free app junaio from Apple’s iPhone App Store or the Android Market Place.

With the junaio channel “USATODAY 360 Stadium Tour”, the viewer finds himself right in the middle of the Cowboys Stadium enjoying a 360 degree view as he moves the camera around his own position. Clicking on the screen lets the user jump to where the players enter the stadium, down into the locker rooms or to view some of the famous murals of contemporary art decorating the interior of this fabulous stadium.

For people reading about the game in USA TODAY’s Monday February 7th edition, junaio’s image recognition technology brings to life the Super Bowl “Play of the Game” in the junaio channel “USATODAY SuperBowl Key Play”. This is presented not as a video, but as a 3D animation, created within hours of the game, whereby the viewer’s camera angle is determined by the smartphone’s position relative to the newspaper picture so that every player’s move can be studied from different angles.

“This cooperation between USA TODAY and junaio”, says Peter Meier, the developer of junaio, “is another great example of our vision of the ‘Augmented City’ and how augmented reality is able to bring additional value to everyday life. Just as junaio lets the viewer look inside the Cowboys Stadium, it can also assist buyers, looking for office space on the real estate market, to get a first glimpse of a vacant office by simply clicking on the building. And the second example of the 3D game play animation demonstrates how print editorials and even news can be augmented with digital displays, thereby enriching the reader’s experience.”

For details of the experience visit http://biggame3d.usatoday.com

About junaio®
junaio is the world’s most advanced mobile Augmented Reality browser and growing daily with interesting content relevant to a viewer’s location or triggered through images and objects the camera is pointing at. The unmatched ease of use, great choice of content and superior features make junaio everybody’s daily companion, an instant source of information about places, events, bargains or objects in the world around us. Features are:  location based services using onboard GPS and compass, highly accurate positioning, even inside buildings or exhibition sites, object recognition and natural feature tracking useful for scaling and integrating graphic overlays or 3D models into the real world. Two-way interaction between the user and the displayed AR overlays allow gaming and other virtual experiences. And of course the full range of multimedia displays, including text, image, sound, video. junaio was created by metaio GmbH, the worldwide leader in Augmented Reality.

Dragons Invade Your Home With Metaio

Robert Scoble, the interviewer of the geek-stars and employee of Rackspace, recorded this video at Metaio in Munich.  The gang at Metaio shows off a virtual dragon clinging to a building and talks about their AR browser Junaio.  If the only thing you want to know about is dragons invading your home, fast forward to 3:15 in the video to get your fix.

Weekly Linkfest

It’s Sunday, and here are some links from around the augmented sphere:

Ever played Duplo (the big blocks version of Lego) as a toddler? Worried that your kids will only want to play with things that have touch screens on them? Worry not, legoplatformer.com will turn your old bricks into a mobile augmented reality platform capable of running computer games. On a serious note, that’s one example of the power of Qualcomm’s AR SDK:

ARTags – The Sign of Apps to Come

I hate it when I’m scheduling a post just to find out that someone else (this time Augmented Planet) publish a post about it just a day before my goes up. Luckily ARTags is important enough to deserve two posts within 24 hours.

Coming to us from France, ARTags is an AR drawing application, that apparently makes it very easy to draw nice looking pictures on your mobile phone and add them to your current location. Though it’s quite new, already more than 1500 pictures were drawn using this app all across the world.

But that doesn’t make it special. What makes ARTags special is the fact that it’s a cross platform app. That is, the pictures are visible using Wikitude, Layar and Junaio (though I had a bit of a problem finding the right channel on Wikitude). Instead of creating a new browser application, or integrating within only one of the above three, the folks behind ARTags decided to have a presence in all of them. That’s absolutely the right decision, at least at this stage. I certainly hope that other app developers will follow.

Now, if only someone invented an app to make its user better artists.

More information here.

Three Things We Can Learn From Disney

Last year at ISMAR09, the keynote speech from Mark Mine of the Disney Imagineering group, really intrigued me.   I had been a hardcore Disney hater before that, but Mark’s behinds-the-scenes look at the technology of Disney, specifically how they used augmented reality, softened my stance.

Cue forward almost one year exactly, in a strange twist of fate and of overenthusiastic grandparents, I find myself at Disney for a week.  Since I was going to be at Disney, I decided to check out all the AR attractions that Mark Mine had talked about in his presentation.  I got to see all the applications I wanted to see except one (Magic Sand) and this is what I learned from the experience:

1) True location based gaming can be a blast

The Kim Possible Adventure game in Epcot was my kids favorite event from the Disney properties.  Each player receives a cellphone and then they follow the clues around until they solve the mystery.  The game uses RFID tags to know when the player is in the right location.  This game is as much an alternate reality game as AR, but either could do the job marvelously.  There were about eight total missions in the various countries of Epcot and the kids did all of them.  I did a few with them and then let them do the rest on their own.

Now that markerless AR is becoming more common with products like Junaio Glue and Google Goggles, I’d like to see someone make a few ARGames based on the Kim Possible model.  It was truly a fun experience that the whole family enjoyed.

2) AR needs to be a product not a feature

In the Disney Downtown area, there’s a wonderful LEGO store with amazing statues made of LEGO bricks.  In the back of the store, there’s a LEGO AR Kiosk.  Since Metaio’s LEGO kiosk was one of the first applications of AR a few years ago, I won’t go into the details of what it is.  But what I will talk about is the hour I stood in the back of the store and watched people interact with it.

Quite a number of parents and kids picked up boxes and held them in front of the camera.  They seemed amused for a second and then quickly put them down and moved on.  I asked a few people what they thought of it and they mostly shrugged without saying much.

The problem I see is that most usages of AR currently are add-on features that are cool in themselves, but don’t actually add to the experience of the product.  For AR to be truly memorable it needs to be both conspicuous and integral to the product.

3) Projection based AR is the future of amusement parks

Projection based AR at Disney was everywhere.  From Buzz Lightyear’s talking statue;  to projected skins across landscapes or objects; or full fledged projected realities that came alive when the haptic chair you sat in moved with the reality.  While this one isn’t going to do much for the average AR programmer, as their medium is the cell phone and not an amusement ride, the amusement parks are going to rely on AR more and more for their advanced special effects.  I think my favorite example was the Forbidden Journey ride at the Harry Potter area of Universal.  I honestly cannot tell you exactly what all was AR, or animatronics, or just smoke and mirrors, but it was truly awesome.  It actually felt like you were there in a place that only exists in our collective minds and sprung from JK Rowling.  That makes the far-future of AR both scary and exciting, and I’m glad to be along for the ride.

Highlights from Metaio’s insideAR

So Metaio was nice enough to upload all of insideAR talks online (wish that the organizers of ISMAR10 will follow suit). However, most of us don’t have a day to spend watching all the talks, so here are some of my favorites (note that I’m a tech head, so your mileage may vary) :

Sadly, no videos of Metaio folks drinking excessive amounts of beer in the Oktoberfest, but I keep my hopes high for next year.