Posts Tagged ‘AR’

Augmented eyes for Augmented Reality

Friday, January 7th, 2011 by Roberto Saracco

As I mentioned in some recent posts, Augmented Reality is moving to the mass market exploiting our smart phones capabilities. However the industry is also moving ahead with specialized devices that can provide more immersive sensation, like AR goggles.

Goggles for Augmented Reality

Goggles for Augmented Reality

Clearly, these sort of devices are not for everyday use but I can imagine that once in a while they can be used to look at that monument with…new eyes. Also, they may find application in education to get more information on a certain specimen. Studies are going on, in this area, to evaluate the effectiveness provided by immersive augmented reality in studying certain topics.

Of course these devices are only as good as the content that is being provided and overlapped onto the real world. To have a seamless experience requires an understanding of the world around the viewer and a precise mapping of the various objects to align the augmented information on the right spot. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in the area of image recognition and rendering but the progress has been amazing in these last two years.

Take a look at Technology Review overview on the new AR devices,

and on the summary of last year progress in this field:

AR to become seamless

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 by Roberto Saracco

Augmented Reality has been created by the military to enhance responsiveness of soldiers, providing them with more information ob the world around them. It then moved to specific industrial area and to surgery.

In the last decade it has started to spread in video games and more recently has leveraged on the features offered by smart phones to hit the mass market. The problem was that the applications available on smart phones were good to create a WOW reaction (because it was something new and surprising) but then there was no practical and seamless use for them.

The situation is rapidly changing and according to the latest report on Augmented Reality published by Forrester, “Mobile Augmented Reality: beyond the Hyphe, a glimpse into the mobile future”

This year there are going to be a number of applications that will change our perception of Augmented Reality, transforming it from a WOW to “I don’t even think about it, I just use it!”.

Look at a sign in New York and get it translation overlapping it

Look at a sign in New York and get it translation overlapping it

Take as an example the App Word Lens, made available last December on the Apple Store.  You point your cell phone to a sign on the road and looking through your cell phone screen you see the same image but with the wording on the sign translated to your language: cool!

What impress me is not the “cool” part but the seamless sensation. After using it for just a few times it gets part of your habit. Unfortunately, so far, it only provides translation between English and Spanish but I see no reason to have a Chinese or Japanese translation available. And the I would run for it!

Augmented Reality Enables Augmented Identity: To Identify People Just by Pointing your Phone

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 by Gianni Fettarappa

The company “The Astonishing Tribe” (TAT), developed an application  called Recognizr that lets users point the mobile phone at a stranger and  automatically know a lot of things about him…
This remarkable way of using face recognition and augmented reality applied to the  social networking world opens new scenarios of digital life, entertainment and  communication.

The head of user experience research at TAT says: “It’s taking  social networking to the next level,” and then “We thought the idea of bridging  the way people used to meet, in the real world, and the new Internet-based ways of  congregating would be really interesting.”

When a user points the camera phone at someone near him the application detects  the face of the stranger and creates a signature for him. If the subject opted in  to the service with a profile and photos then the service sends information about links to his profile on his social networking sites.
For istance, one cases of value about security could be the ability to identify the  face of a known criminal from a crowd.

It is easy to understand the potential for this kind of technology within a few  years, becoming ubiquitous in an individual’s digital life; of course people are  scared about privacy, but I think the privacy issue would not be a problem if the  application allows the person to be “identified”, opting in to the service ;-)

Wired Rates Top 7 AR Apps.

Friday, January 15th, 2010 by Giuseppe Piersantelli

We started dealing with augmented reality applications for mobile devices about one year ago and most of them have been released during the first half of 2009. Nevertheless, in the last few months, we didn’t find any new or disruptive application or concept. It sounds like the developers are still waiting the audinece to widespreadly adopt AR apps in their everyday digital life.

Wired, which helped us a lot to find out the latest cutting edge gadget, service or story, has recently published a short and clear ranking of AR applications with a short description. As we could expect, Yelp wins the first place with its Monocole; but what sounds weird to us is that Layar, the powerful AR platform, is almost in the bottoms of the ranking.

Anyway, this classification can be useful to better understand which are the mainstream AR apps and which platforms they are available for.

Augmented Reality Rises the Bar in Web Search.

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 by Giuseppe Piersantelli

Augmented reality technology and services are reaching their hype and popularity in web search, according to TechCrunch. Reportedly, the search hit for keyword Augmented Reality ha been constantly growing in the last months, while searches on another well known related buzzword (Virtual Reality) are sinking.

Probably Second Life was the last chance for Virtual reality to regain his popularity. But, as far as we know, SL population has left that village, period.

The chart below, published by TechCrunch, effectively shows the las trends in websearch in terms of search volume.

Truth be said, TechCrunch also wrote on of the most comprehensive definition of AR:

These apps show the world around you as seen through your phone’s camera, but in addition to functioning as a viewfinder, your screen also functions as a regular computer screen. With help from the GPS and on-board compass, it can place information or graphics on top of buildings or objects seen through the viewfinder.

Even though the web is crowded with posts, reviews, stories, and comments about Augmented Reality, actually there’re few new applications, services or announcements dealing with AR. During the last Las vegas based Consumer Electronic Show (January 7-10, 2010) only a couple AR-relaed things have been shown to the audience.

One is the flying drone plus iPhone application carried out by Parrot (Blutooth devices and car stereo system, yes). It’s a simulation game application, but it’s cool and, according to the reports, did crwods.



The second one is a pair of visors manufactured by Vuzix, wearable computer equipped glasses which are supposed to enable people to look into the world, bringing mixed and augmented reality content to life.

We came across with visors for portable video player years ago, and honestly it wasn’t a big hit.