Valentine’s Weekly Linkfest

You can’t find a date using augmented reality yet (?), but you can sure do other things with it:

This week’s video is a must see. Being in German, I can’t tell you much about it, but it seems to be a concept design for in car head up display done as a university assignment. It looks very realistic and compelling – I can’t wait to have such a display in my car:

Have an excellent week!

Weekly Linkfest

On this edition of the weekly linkfest, face detection, bug squishing and Hollywood stars.

This week’s video comes to us from Youtube user bittman25, or as his friends call him Danny. The clip is called “If Minority Report Was Our Twisted Reality”. It’s not a masterpiece, but has a nice twist at the end:

That’s it, have a nice week!

Weekly Linkfest

As expected, this linkfest is full of ARE2010 stuff:

This week’s video is not from ARE2010, but cool nonetheless. EXMAR is a conceptual periscope-like device that attaches to your mobile phone and lets you see an augmented view of your surrounding without pointing directly at anything. It’s great for minimizing hand strain, looking behind you and admittedly for perverts. Created by students at Korea’s KAIST institute, the related paper was submitted to ISMAR10 but is not available online as far as I can tell

Have a great week, see you back on the 20th (unless my flight will be canceled again).

The Future of AR Browsers

Swiss augmented reality company kooaba and ETH Zurich have joined forces to create a rather impressive augmented reality browser prototype, which I’ll refer to as the Koo (since it lacks any official name). Unlike existing browsers out there, the Koo doesn’t rely on GPS and compass readings to decide what’s in front of it, but rather on image recognition techniques.

The object (be it a book or a whole building) is identified on kooaba’s servers and is tracked live on the phone itself. And it doesn’t require a custom made mobile phone to work, any modern phone that allows access to its live video stream should suffice (literally, the Nexus One). The result looks amazing, though we should be careful to judge according to a demo video:

Head over to kooaba’s site to read more about the Koo and to see another video of it in work.

Weekly Linkfest

It will be a challenge cramming all of this week’s links into seven bullet points and a video, but I’ll try my best:

This weeks video shows the work coming from the University of Ulster. At first, those may look like very simple games – and they are, for a very good reason. Intended to aid in upper-limb stroke rehabilitation, these let patients practice some of the finer movements such as reach, grasp, manipulation and release of objects. You can read more about it here.

Have a grand week!

Kooaba Now Offers Image Recognition API

The Swiss Kooaba just keeps on innovating. In January Kooaba was behind the first daily newspaper that was fully augmented. Now it is the first (as far as I can tell) that offers a public, free (though limited) to their image recognition capabilities.

Using the api, one can send up to 50 daily image queries to Kooaba’s servers that cover “close to ten million” movie poster, books and cd covers. They were even nice enough to provide sample code in several programming languages to get you started writing your own application. So basically, you can make your own SnapTell (or a simple Google Goggles clone).

You can find more details about it over at Kooaba’s blog. It’s an interesting move, but I fear that in the long run it won’t suffice to fend off Google. Google has the largest image database, and I would like to see Kooaba open up their “image uploading api” (the one that lets you enter new images to the database) in order to compete with them.

Augmented Reality at the Mobile World Congress

Next week, February 15-18th, will be the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  There will be a variety of AR related events during the MWC.

AR Showcase

Christine Perey has organized an AR Showcase on Wednesday, February 17th from 5:00-7:00, so AR companies can demonstrate their services and products to customers.  Designers will also have a chance to compare and contrast their products versus the competition.  The following companies have confirmed their attendance:

You can find the Showcase in the northeast corner of the courtyard.  Announcements for the AR showcase can be tweeted to #arshow (changed for length.)

The Mobile AR Summit is an invitation only event.  If you’re interested in joining, please contact Christine Perey at    More information can be found here.

Other Related Events

Navteq Challenge
Sunday, 14.2.2010
Poble Espanyol, City Hall.
Wikitude Drive is an Augmented Reality navigation system. They are one of the 10 finalists at this years Navteq Challenge.
Mobile Premier Award in Innovation
Monday, 15.2., 2010 15:00 to 20:00
Petit Palau of Palau de la Musica
Mobilizy is with Wikitude one of the 20 finalists of the “Mobile Premier Award in Innovation”.
Martin Lechner, CTO Mobilizy, will present.

AR Summit

Wednesday, 17.2. 13:00 to 19:00
Location: to be announced.
Mobilizy CTO Martin Lechner presents a position paper “ARML an Augmented Reality Standard”. ARML is currently being reviewed by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). At 17:00 there will be a Wikitude Showcase presentation.

We won’t be able to attend – so if you’re there – keep us updated about your experience.

Augmented Reality, Newspapers’ Last Best Hope?

We all know the future looks quite bleak for newspapers and journals. Many publications have already fallen victims to the predatory internet with its free, easily accessible and real time reports. Some have speculated that newspapers must either over-specialize or abandon their offline presence in order to survive the coming decade.

However, there’s another option – forming a merger between an online and an offline presence, via augmented reality. We’ve already seen Esquire toying with such a concept, but now a daily newspaper in Switzerland has made a giant leap ahead.

Since this Wednesday, every page of the Swiss Blick newspaper can be scanned using Kooaba, an iPhone/Android application. Once scanned and identified, the user can see additional information about the articles or ads visible in the page, add them to her online library, and share with friends. Remember, this is not a single issue being augmented, but rather every issue from now on will have this extra layer of information.

Follow the link to see a video of Blick being augmented, but since that video can’t be embeded, here’s another one, showcasing Kooaba’s technology:

More information here.

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!