Posts Tagged ‘ Augmented reality ’

Apple wants us to SEE augmented reality .. cool

When I read the article in Engadget about Apple contemplating to make a pair of glasses that would well be a device to repel women. I admit it it is ugly at first sight.  This is what they have to say about it.

Essentially an iPhone dock that sits on your face like a pair of glasses, “Head-Mounted Display Apparatus for Retaining a Portable Electronic Device with Display” details a headset that contains a stereo display and either a camera or a window for your phone’s camera. Also included in the patent application is a microphone, speaker, batteries, and an accelerometer for detecting the user’s head movements. Something like this would be great for augmented reality applications — and something like this would make ever getting a date that much more difficult.

At first sight it does look horrible, it is however a first step that innovation and companies are taking towards Wearable Electronics and Augmented Reality devices as a consumer electronic device.

4 - CLIP MECHANISM +

For people who are more interested in the technical nitty gritties you can head out here. Well I am excited about this, cos one of my most read posts of all time is actually Nokia Mixed Reality, where Nokia demoed a device that did the same; this means that you guys are also interested in this. Check out the video below again:

Well I know that this is not something that people will buy immediately, but will definitely pick up like the mobiles, or the smartphones, or at least I hope. Heres wishing luck to Apple 🙂

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Augmented Reality Apps that I want to see today !

and How long it might take in reality.

[tweetmeme] Everyone remembers the movie Terminator 2, where Arnold gazes around his surrounding to find a lot of information about his environment which he uses to make appropriate decisions. The viewer is told about this awesome gadget when we are allowed to view through his eyes per say. Augmented Reality is demoed sort of for the first time, commercially.

Engineers, designers and futurists have been trying to make it a reality along with making demos of how it is going to look like. Based on what we have been seeing in the past few months, it is clear that it is possible and the feasibility and working details need to be worked out. Various smartphones have started offering clunky AR apps that show you things like restaurant reviews when you point your camera at a store’s facade. But with all the crazy technology already on today’s market, we’re saying that’s not enough! Here are some applications we want to see today.

1. Augmented Reality Gaming :

The experience of gaming is to take an awesome overhauling through Augmented Reality, there are a few demos available on YouTube. With the advent of the Playstation EyeToy as well as Microsoft Project Natal the gaming industry is reaching a point where they are not only happy to embrace the technology but also make it awesome.

I Want to have awesome gaming experience like first player shooter games to be available now. But seriously I think this can be made completely available after the invention of good AR spectacles or the contact lens (See below)

2. Augmented Reality Windscreen for the Car

Yes I did write about how GM is working its way forward to getting this feature enabled in our cars. But having this instead of a normal screen is so much more cooler, getting all the information that you would need while driving around is a great feeling along with making life so much more simpler.

Driving around to not only not loose your way, but be guided to emergency services when you are lost for direction is also an advantage of Augmented Reality.

GM / Siemens already have prototypes available, so this might be available in the next 2 years on a large scale.

3. Door Peepholes with embedded AR

Augmented Reality in doors can enable to have a look at the person on the door, making it safer to check on the person. When someone knocks on our door, we want to know not only if they look like a murderer, but also their name and age. This could be possible using a facial recognition camera built into the peephole. While we’re at it, why not a quick popup of our visitor’s Facebook profile or their most recent tweet? In an AR world, ain’t nobody taking us by surprise!

We already have Business cards which make use of Facial Recognition for identifying people. This needs to get extended. Lets hope that this happens soon and the product can be available in two years tops.

4. Augmented Reality Maps

Be it the Pandora of Avatar, or just Lakshya from Bollywood, 3D maps are cool. Not to mention the fact that in the age of combat preperation and planning they provide an added advantage to be able to see the actual scene where you would be able to go. Add to it, Google Maps, Sketchup and the Google Map Builder. You have all the information available to make a 3D map of most of the  places.

This technology will not only help combat, but will be able to provide support in terms of relief as well as interesting addition to the classroom as well. I would say this should be available now, as the technology allows it to be possible.

I guess I will do more of these applications in the part 2 of this post. Look out for it 🙂

Pimp up your car with the new AR Windshield

I love technology, Augmented Reality is a favorite technology of the future and like a lot of people around the world I am insistent that it is going to be as big as technology can get. Companies are slowly realizing the potential of this platform as not just a great marketing and advertising tool, or a toy, but a definitive tool to help bridge the virtual and real world. Proof of the above statement is now car manufacturers are looking at making the technology available through Heads Up Displays on the windshield. Yes you read that right, AR is coming soon to a car near you. Well beofe we see what is available, lets see what it can look like ?

General Motors has been working with several universities to develop a working next-generation heads-up display that turns an ordinary windshield into an augmented reality information dashboard. Such a system can improve safety and advance knowledge behind the wheel, visually identifying important objects in physical space like road signs and the edges of the road you’re on in conditions of poor visibility. It can even bring GPS functions right into the dashboard by outlining the exact building you’re going to.

According to Technology Review, to turn the entire windshield into a display, GM used a special type of glass coated with red-emitting and blue-emitting phosphors–a clear synthetic material that glows when it is excited by ultraviolet light. The phosphor display is then activated by tiny, ultraviolet lasers bouncing off mirrors bundled near the windshield.  Three cameras mounted on the dashboard track the driver’s head and eyes to determine where she is looking.

The HUD windshield uses night vision, navigation and camera-based sensors to gather data relevant to your surroundings as you drive, and ultraviolet lasers project corresponding images onto the windshield surface. GM says to look for this system being incorporated into its vehicles in the near future.

18 Uses for your Phone Camera as a tool

When the first camera phones were introduced we all said, “Why the heck would I need a camera phone?”. It will never replace my camera because the quality and clarity is really bad with the camera phones. More so now, that a lot of people are looking and slowly upgrading to SLR’s. So where is the need for the camera of the camera phone ? Well in the new technology world, the camera becomes a very handy tool for managing your life. In fact the camera serve a lot of functions making your life all the more easy. I have listed out a few below but then definitely there will be more uses, these few are enough to convince you take your camera phone around everywhere if you don’t already do so. Your camera may be a toy, but there’s no reason it can’t also be a tool.

  1. Manage Business Cards: Scanr.com makes small utilities for mobiles that take advantage of the phone camera for OCR or Optical Character Recognition. This means that you can take a picture of a business card and use scanr.com to recognize the text so you can import them into your contact management software. You don’t really need to stack needless business cards anymore.
  2. Land marking : On the road to an appointment, you pass a brand new office park. Ah! New prospects! Don’t we love those. Take a picture of the directory listing and call the companies located here when you get back to the office. This can be used to snap off pictures of new bars / restaurants at your leisure. This is a great tool to help give people directions through landmarks as well, so now not only are they looking for a place, but they know what it looks like.  If there is a store that says coming soon and you want to remember to go there, take a picture of it to remember.
  3. Remember Parking Locations : One of the pastimes in Dubai everyone will say is mall walking, and getting there and parking your car in the huge multi level, multi zone parking usually leads to people forgetting where they have parked their cars. It leads to more frustration and waste of time. A quick snap of the location would definitely guide you back. This is even applicable at airports or anywhere else where you have large parking locations.
  4. Brainstorming: You just had a terrific brainstorm session with your prospect or your technical expert. The white-board is filled with pictures, bullet points, arrows and diagrams. But how do you capture these thoughts, short of writing everything down? And even when written down, it might not be the exact interpretation of the diagrams. A  picture can save all the trouble, if you get a picture of the whiteboard it might save hours of back and forth emails on the reconfirmation and clarification. This is something we use extensively. This method allows you to “save” a set of ideas, wipe the board clean, then see if you can come up with something better. It removes the fear of losing a past idea, and allows better ones to surface. We store all the images in a shared location on the network which makes it easy for everyone to access.
  5. Use it instead of a printer: If you need to take directions with you, but don’t have a printer, take a picture of the computer screen instead. You can zoom in quite a lot, and will be able to read the directions on the camera’s monitor. Also works for confirmation numbers, email addresses and incriminating online photos of friends and acquaintances.
  6. Remember small details: It has happened to everyone, we want to buy a cartridge for a printer or something like that but when you get to the store you get asked what is the model name for your brand of printer, and you don’t know the exact model number. Well you can snap a picture of the replacement device you need and when you are done with it, you can throw away the device (e.g. the Cartridge)
  7. Mark your property: People usually never return back Mobiles or cameras that they find. However, in case someone that wants to actually is looking for information, you need to be able to give him the information. But How ? Well you can take a picture of your name and address and lock it on your memory card. That way at least you give the information to someone who might be interested in it.
  8. Shopping Lists: Before heading out to buy ingredients for a particular recipe, especially for Indian food, take a picture of the ingredient list. At the store of course you will be able to zoom into the image and check out what you need in terms of you specialist shopping list.  You could also check out your notes on your hand written list as well to ensure that all items are purchased.
  9. Way Finding : Retracing your steps might be difficult if you are at a unknown part of the city, or are venturing out for camping etc. By taking pictures of each different path you take with landmarks and tree signs etc. It will be quite simple to walk / drive back. It is an interesting application, however you will need to get used to taking pictures in both directions so that you know the route on the way back.
  10. In Case of Emergency : Most mobiles allow you to store images in ascending order, have the first picture the one where you have information regarding your blood group etc. Lock the picture so that it does not get completely deleted. However, also make sure that the information is enough for someone to help you and not as much as someone to misuse it in case you lose your phone.
  11. Use it as a mirror : Check your teeth for spinach when you don’t have a mirror Or see how you look in really dark sunglasses. It’s pretty straight forward, click your own picture  either with the forward or the main camera of the camera phone.
  12. Make a Wish list: Ever wonder what is the name of that album at your friends place that you wanted to download .. err buy, or get books that are something that you want to buy for yourself. You can snap a picture of the details and keep it as your wish list of Christmas purchases or good deal buys.
  13. While trying to ‘Fix’ things : Take pictures of each step when you take something apart, so you’ll know how to put it back together later on. That way you won’t end up with those four screws and one unidentified twiddly bit that always seem to be left over after “fixing” something.
  14. Flash light : The flash for most cameras can be used as a focusing flashlight when you are in the dark. Or, if you drop your keys behind the sofa, use the monitor on your camera to help you see into places you can’t quite reach.
  15. Record Phone Numbers : Chances are it’s easier to find your camera in a bag full of stuff than it is to find a blank piece of paper and a pen that actually works. Save yourself some time and snap a picture of that crucial phone number when you’re out apartment hunting, or when you see a flyer you don’t want to forget. (Ps : If you are clever enough you will dial the number directly into the phone lol)
  16. License Plates: Did you ever get the feeling that you weren’t going to make it out of a parking lot unscathed? If a certain combination of carseat+closeparking+exhaust modification sets off your “door ding” alarm, give yourself peace of mind by snapping a shot of your new neighbors. Or maybe you can be a detective and snap off plates of guys driving crazy on the road to blog about, and do a naming and shaming thing.
  17. QR Codes : QR Codes are interesting bar code like codes where you can read about a lot of information, like URL etc. for the mobile phones. QR codes are increasingly used in shopping as well, you can snap a picture of the QR code and make use of the information that it will provide. Check out more about it in an earlier post here.
  18. Augmented Reality: If you click on the tag on the right, you will find many posts on this blog explaining the possibilities. I am sure that a gadget with a camera will become a quintessential tool of tomorrow. Check out the posts here.

Think I have left some out, please add them below as comments.

Try before you buy, online ? Now you can !

[tweetmeme] One of my favorite technologies that I keep writing about is Augmented reality and this is one technology that is definitely going to change a lot of habits among us; And the part of society or business that will be the first to adopt will be able to be on top when the technology comes up for good. Anyway, back to what I want to talk about, I did do a post earlier where I had mentioned how Cisco imagines our future, where we shop using augmented reality. That future is closer than I think it is. As a refresher check out the video below :

Now imagine how this could be happening ? Well, I have the answer. A business in London http://www.glassesdirect.co.uk has come up with an online solution for people to be able to select their glasses and having to try them on before buying them …. all online 🙂 How you ask me?

You can check it out yourself here. I can assure you that you will be surprised at the result. You can see a demo of the same here below :

This reminds of a very famous quote about the future :

“The future is already here, its just not evenly distributed ” – William Gibson

3D Business Cards – More samples

[tweetmeme] My earlier post about Augmented Reality Business cards here and here had generated a bit of a buzz, so I decided to add in all the samples of the types on a single post. Here we go lots of samples of AR Business cards, now getting a bit more creative and fancy.

The Boring User Manuals version 2.0

[tweetmeme] A lot of applications for Augmented Reality are available in the market, in fact a lot of them are available for free and need not be purchased. But just like most new platforms it misses practical usages, at least at this early stage, and new applications are the ones that define how the success of the technology and platform performs.

Most user manuals are not very user friendly. They’re full of poorly written text and confusing diagrams which can really throw off people from reading them. Worse still, the gap between problem and solution is vast because we’re forced to apply a linear format to a specific question. There is no search box in manuals for a specific function.

But here’s an idea: What if instead of leafing through pages or scrolling through an online manual, you could simply see your way through a task? Just slide on a headset, hold your phone in front of you or extreme wear the Augmented Reality Lens and work your way through a bit of customized, augmented-reality education.

That’s what Columbia University computer science professor Steve Feiner and Ph.D. candidate Steve Henderson are trying to do with their Augmented Reality for Maintenance and Repair (ARMAR) project. They’re combining sensors, head-worn displays, and instruction to address the military’s maintenance needs. Take a look at this project video and you’ll quickly see how the same application could extend to all sorts of use cases:

The user can see five kinds of augmented content presented on the see-through head-worn display:

  1. Attention-directing information in the form of 3D and 2D arrows, explaining the location of the next task to perform.
  2. Text instructions describing the task and accompanying notes and warnings.
  3. Registered labels showing the location of each target component and surrounding context.
  4. A close-up view depicting a 3D virtual scene centered on the target at close range and rendered on a 2D screen-fixed panel.
  5. 3D models of tools (e.g. a screwdriver) and task domain components (e.g. fasteners or larger components), if applicable, registered at their current or target locations in the environment.

There are many day-to-day tasks in which consumers currently need to consult written or computer-based instructions. Think of assembling a bicycle or a piece of furniture, making a complex recipe, wiring a home entertainment center, or fixing a balky lawnmower. These are just some examples of tasks in which systems like ARMAR could make the task easier and faster to perform, and make it more likely that it’s performed correctly. Another Video below: