Metaio Brings Augmented Reality to the Smartwatch
Leading augmented reality software developer, Metaio, is bringing its visual search capabilities to the smartwatch. It’s object recognition software transforms the smartwatch camera from a nice-to-have feature to a must-have tool. 
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Metaio’s solution uses photos taken by a user to match up results in its object library. When a match exists the app takes action like providing the user with glanceable information about the object. In a recent video posted on its YouTube channel, Metaio shows the app in action on a Galaxy Gear smartwatch where pictures of advertisements in a paper come to life on the watch and snapshots of items eaten at breakfast are added to a food journal.
For Metaio, the smartwatch offers a way for users to quickly and conveniently discover more about the world around them. They state in the video description:

“There exist millions of objects in our environment that can be scanned by a smart device, but it is not always convenient for users to be constantly removing their smart phones from pockets or purses. Placing object recognition capabilities on the wrist allows for convenient access to visual search and augmented reality applications that already exist today”. 

Metaio Brings Augmented Reality to the Smartwatch

Leading augmented reality software developer, Metaio, is bringing its visual search capabilities to the smartwatch. It’s object recognition software transforms the smartwatch camera from a nice-to-have feature to a must-have tool. 

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Sephora Pilots Augmented Reality Mirrors in Milan
Cosmetics giant, Sephora, is testing out an augmented reality mirror in its Milan location. The mirror lets shoppers see how they would look in different shades of eye makeup without having to lift a brush. Users see the makeup applied to their face in real-time and in 3D helping them choose the right shade to purchase.
[[MORE]]Sephora is using technology from virtual makeover provider ModiFace. ModiFace is the top creator of beauty and photo editing apps with over 35.4M downloads to date. The mirror tracks the users facial features and applies the makeup in real-time using the video feed from the camera. 
Shoppers choose from a series of colors by touching the one they want to try in the palette on the mirror. Once applied they can move their head from side to side to see the makeup from different angles.
Augmented reality mirrors are slowly making their way into retail to make the shopping experience more interactive for the user. They also equip retailers like Sephora with a tool that lets them show much more inventory than what can physically be stocked in a store. 
Watch the mirror in action here.

Sephora Pilots Augmented Reality Mirrors in Milan

Cosmetics giant, Sephora, is testing out an augmented reality mirror in its Milan location. The mirror lets shoppers see how they would look in different shades of eye makeup without having to lift a brush. Users see the makeup applied to their face in real-time and in 3D helping them choose the right shade to purchase.

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Meta One Starts Shipping to Backers in July
One of the more powerful set of of smart glasses set to hit the faces of developers this year is Meta One. Meta successfully funded its Kickstarter campaign for its pair of augmented reality glasses nearly a year ago with almost $200,000 raised in June of 2013. The company is gearing up to ship its first developer units this July according to a recent report from Engadget.
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The Meta One aims to merge the digital world with the physical one using augmented reality. The device sports a camera, motion sensors from SoftKinetic and advanced optics from Epson.  As the device watches your hand movements, it allows you to interact with digital objects as if they were physical ones. Some of the examples Meta have used in its marketing videos are designing objects in 3D as if you were sculpting them with your hands, and moving through screens in Minority Report style.
Engadget reported that the developer units seemed in good shape from its sneak peek of the product albeit much less refined and much heavier than the consumer product will be. The Meta Pro, which is the consumer version, is expected to look like a pair of sleek aviator glasses, but these retail for over $3500. Those who backed the project back in June of 2013 purchased a pair of Meta One developer glasses for just around $500, which is a third of the price of Google Glass which retails for $1500. 
Meta One joins the Epson Moverio BT-200 in a new strain of smart glasses which offer augmented reality versus heads-up displays like Recon Jet and Google Glass which excel at providing information at eye-level. This use of augmented reality has the potential to be a game changer, evolving our relationship with technology completely as it jumps off the screen and into our everyday lives. 

Meta One Starts Shipping to Backers in July

One of the more powerful set of of smart glasses set to hit the faces of developers this year is Meta One. Meta successfully funded its Kickstarter campaign for its pair of augmented reality glasses nearly a year ago with almost $200,000 raised in June of 2013. The company is gearing up to ship its first developer units this July according to a recent report from Engadget.

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Thermal Touch Can Turn Anything Into a Touchscreen
Augmented reality leaders, Metaio, are developing a new technology that makes the physical world into one giant touchscreen. Coined “Thermal Touch”, the technology uses thermal imaging to register the heat signature from a users’ touch on a surface and then layers in an augmented reality experience to allow the user to interact with digital content. The technology is designed to provide a better and more natural user experience with smart glasses. 
[[MORE]]Metaio’s Thermal Touch prototype currently uses a infrared and standard camera and a tablet PC but the vision is that eventually these components will come together in a pair of smart glasses which can utilize the software.
“Everyone is talking about wearable computing eyewear like Google Glass,” said Metaio CTO Peter Meier, “but no one is talking about the best way to actually use those devices. We need natural, convenient interface to navigate the technology of tomorrow, and that’s why we developed ‘Thermal Touch’.”
Thermal Touch introduces a new way to interact with wearables, one where the physical and digital coincide and users are able to engage with digital content in the same way they would every day objects in the real world. 
“Imagine pushing directions to your device simply by touching a static map in a shopping mall, building complex or airport; children could bring play to new levels and launch digital content directly from their toys; design professionals could visualize their digital and 3-D creations on their real world counterparts,” Metaio explains on its blog.
Right now Thermal Touch is just a prototype built for the Augmented Reality World Expo which takes place this week in Santa Clara. Metaio has expressed that this technology is still five years away from being ready for the prime time. 
Can’t wait five years? Check out Thermal Touch in action in this short spot from Metaio here. 

Thermal Touch Can Turn Anything Into a Touchscreen

Augmented reality leaders, Metaio, are developing a new technology that makes the physical world into one giant touchscreen. Coined “Thermal Touch”, the technology uses thermal imaging to register the heat signature from a users’ touch on a surface and then layers in an augmented reality experience to allow the user to interact with digital content. The technology is designed to provide a better and more natural user experience with smart glasses. 

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Augmented and Virtual Reality Market Worth $1.06 Billion by 2018
A new report on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) shows that this space is expected to grow over 15% from 2013 to 2018 reaching over $1 billion dollars by 2018. And this is just for dedicated AR/VR systems.
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The report, by leading global market research and consulting company MarketsandMarkets, describes augmented reality as a thriving technology which has shown growth so far using mobile phone technology, cameras and GPS. It estimates that by 2015, AR will widely be used in the education field for advanced learning and teaching. 
Among the major drivers the report cites for growth are the advancements in technology, such as wearables, internet connectivity and an increased demand for AR/VR applications in the medical field.
North America and Europe are marked as geographic market leaders in the AR/VR space with some of the major companies to watch include Total Immersion (France), Qualcomm (US), Metaio (Germany), Vuzix (US), Layar (The Netherlands) and Wikitude (Germany).

Augmented and Virtual Reality Market Worth $1.06 Billion by 2018

A new report on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) shows that this space is expected to grow over 15% from 2013 to 2018 reaching over $1 billion dollars by 2018. And this is just for dedicated AR/VR systems.

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Table Zombies Is One AR Game We Wish Was On Google Glass
A new game by SRG United Solutions called Table Zombies places you inside a helicopter and turns your table into a zombie battlefield. This augmented realty game uses a PDF marker and a mobile device to create the perfect zombie apocalypse gaming experience. 
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The objective of Table Zombies is to shoot the zombies below before they reach your survivor base. You do this by aiming your crossfire at the zombies and hover to shoot.
Augmented reality games using a mobile or tablet can be incredibly immersive but holding an iPad for a prolonged period of time can get incredibly tiring. So we couldn’t help but think how amazing this game would be on Google Glass. 
Glass and other smart glasses like them (like Vuzix’s M100) removes a major barrier for AR. By moving the screen from something we need to hold in our hand to something that is readily available in our field of view hands-free, an AR experience becomes more natural and enjoyable. Or in the case of Table Zombies, we expect can also extend game play. 
Right now a demo of the game is on the Google Play store but the team are raising funds on Kickstarter to complete game development to bring the full version to the masses. The developers have not mentioned a Glass version but we hope they see this so that they can consider putting in on their roadmap.

Table Zombies Is One AR Game We Wish Was On Google Glass

A new game by SRG United Solutions called Table Zombies places you inside a helicopter and turns your table into a zombie battlefield. This augmented realty game uses a PDF marker and a mobile device to create the perfect zombie apocalypse gaming experience. 

Read More

Three Smart Glasses You’ll Want On Your Face Next Year

Google Glass is not the only pair of smart specks coming to the market next year. Early adopters who are looking to see the world in a whole new, digital way will have their pick of a couple of heads-up display (HUD) options. 

1. MetaPro

Meta wants to make everyone’s dream of being Tony Stark from Iron Man a reality. This pair of augmented reality sunglasses bring style and computing power to the table. The MetaPro runs for $3,000 but is 15 times the screen size of Glass and also offers a display for both eyes. MetPro is expected to ship by June 2014.

2. Atheer One

One of the newest smart glasses on the block, the Atheer One is currently raising funds on Indiegogo. Backers can nab these smart specks for as little as $350 (early bird) to $500. Like MetaPro, these glasses offer augmented reality experiences that make you feel like you have “super powers”. It also offers the largest field of view than any other heads-up displays coming to the market with 65 degrees compared to MetaPro at 40 and Glass at 12 degrees. The Atheer One is expected to ship in December of next year. 

3. Recon Jet

The Jet is the first heads-up display for Sports. Whether you are biking, skiing, or snowboarding, Jet will give you access to apps and vitals in your line of sight. The Jet also features an HD camera for you to record your activity and share it instantly with friends and networks. Recon Jet is expected to ship in Spring of 2014 and is going for $599.00. 

Atheer Labs has put together a nifty comparison chart of the smart glasses that will be competing for your face next year. Check it out below or click here to see the image on their Indiegogo page.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Xtreme Reality VR Headset Will Blow Your Mind

Virtual reality is back in a big way.

We first started to see this Lawnmower Man technology revive itself in Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset that just raised $75M dollars. Canadian-based Sulon Technologies is also bringing VR back to life with their head-mounted gaming console Xtreme Reality. And the demo looks pretty slick.

Xtreme Reality wants to blur the lines between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality to create what they call a Mixed Reality. Instead of me telling you about it just watch the video - it’ll blow your mind (especially if you are a gamer).

Sulon Techonlogies just took home the Best Advanced Technology award at the Wearable Tech Expo in LA this month. 

Stars Shine Brighter Through Google Glass with Stardroid

Adam Wilson, co-founder of Orbotix or the team that brought us Sphero - the robotic game for iOS and Android, is now harnessing the sky with Google Glass. Wilson and his team have developed Glassware that uses Google’s Sky Map called Stardroid. The app essentially identifies star constellations as you look up into the sky. 

Wilson says “Some people will say that you can do this exact same thing with your smartphone, and we agree you can. But what fascinates us about this is a constant stream of information about our world, in real time, with little or no effort on our part. We can imagine apps like Google Googles, and other augmented reality apps and games becoming extremely valid in a world where they were just neat to show off on a phone. Nobody holds their phone up looking through the camera as they walk around – it’s just hard to do”.

The app is a little tricky to install but you can find more information here.

The Zombies Are Coming: Sphero + AR Will Change the Way You Play

Robots are slowing making their way into our home. We are still yet to see the Jetson’s Rosie the Robot but things like Roomba, the vacuum robot and Scooba, the mop robot, have become quite common for many people.

Outside of cleaning, another area robots are seeing success are in toys and games. Zoomer, the robotic pup and Furby are great examples of these. 

Sphero is not just a toy, its a robotic gaming system powered by iOS and Android. Sphero’s mission is to change the way you play. 

Sphero 2.0 is a robotic ball that rolls at speeds of up to 7 feet per second and pairs to your device via Bluetooth with a range of up to 100 feet. Powered by induction charging and an internal smart robot, Sphero 2.0 also glows in millions of colors and is pet proof, and waterproof. 

The main difference between the original Sphero and the 2.0 version is the distance it can roll and the range of Bluetooth connectivity as the original could only roll 3 feet with a range of over 50 feet for Bluetooth.

The ball itself is awesome but the best thing about Sphero are the games that it has to play. Many of them use augmented reality. Take for example Sphero’s The Rolling Dead where you use your ball to defeat Zombies that you can see crawling around your floor though your smartphone. There are about 30 games available for Sphero so far. 

The 2.0 is retailing at $129.99 and comes with a “nubby” cover for free. 

castAR - Augmented & Virtual Reality Glasses

This has been an exciting year for augmented reality & virtual reality. Google glass, Oculus Rift, and now a new contender castAR. castAR, which has just achieved its success in Kickstarter, is said to feature most of what we techies dream of: holograms with augmented reality and virtual reality world. While it’s still pretty much in early stage, it does give a glimpse into how promising the future of gaming and storytelling could be. My only worry would be that the increasing number of different players could mean fragmentation for the new virtual reality.
Technical Illusions | castAR

castAR - Augmented & Virtual Reality Glasses

This has been an exciting year for augmented reality & virtual reality. Google glass, Oculus Rift, and now a new contender castAR. castAR, which has just achieved its success in Kickstarter, is said to feature most of what we techies dream of: holograms with augmented reality and virtual reality world. While it’s still pretty much in early stage, it does give a glimpse into how promising the future of gaming and storytelling could be. My only worry would be that the increasing number of different players could mean fragmentation for the new virtual reality.

Technical Illusions | castAR

Steve Mann on Wearables and Sousveillance: TedXToronto Talk

TedXToronto has just released their first batch of talks from this year’s event. One of them was of Steve Mann, father of AR and wearable tech, who talked about his experience with his digital eyepiece which he has been wearing a version of since 1978. 

Dr. Mann also spoke extensively about his idea of sousveillance, the opposite of surveillance, where people start to record their experiences to counteract the inbalance today where the only record of activity exists with authorities.

As Dr. Mann is one of the very few people, perhaps the only, who has worn wearable technology for more than a decade - this talk is very timely and relevant as the general public embark our baby steps into this space.

Source: TedXToronto

The Godfather of Wearable Tech - INTERVIEW

Steve Mann, the father of AR and Wearable Tech, sits down with Alan Jones for a conversation on his smart glasses, being a Cyborg and the concept of sousveillance. 

Steve talks about how he was inspired to invent and wear a digital eyeglass called EyeTap. He also explains how this wearable device creates difficulty with authority which inspired him to look at the difference between surveillance (authorities looking over us) and sousveillance (people looking at authority from below). 

He also demoes his water-based musical instrument the Hydraulophone.

Steve Mann is also the inventor of HDR which is being used in many devices to improve picture taking quality - including the iPhone.

New Aesthetic, Research & Ideas

Augmented reality, not quite living up to my sci-fi vision of it but getting there. Could recreate this as a motion/film piece as some strange new vision enabling the digital and real worlds to merge seamlessly-or maybe not so seamlessly, its sometimes more interesting when things go badly wrong or glitch.

Read more about it here…

http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2013/09/augmented-reality-wikitude-optinvent-headmounted-ar-display/