Old McDonald Had an Augmented Farm

AgroTech, a Danish institute that provides consultancy and technological services for the agricultural industry, has created a rather interesting conceptual video, showing AR in an unconventional niche. The video below shows a farmer running a farm (milking cows, moving manor) aided by a pair of AR glasses. Though the text bubble are in Danish, you'll probably understand the jist of things

You're probably wondering what's the last bubble says. It's "Remember wedding anniversary tomorrow". So there you have it, a single system that reminds you when to milk your cow and when to buy a gift to your wife. Perfect!

More information over here.

Weekly Linkfest

This is the last linkfest for this year. Though there were many more Christmas spectacles this week, I'm going to keep this linkfest holiday-spirit free (broke my nose, not feeling very festive).
  • Robert Rice on 2010, the first year in the decade of ubiquity - "The point though, is that all of these things calling themselves augmented reality now are just the start. Everyone is getting their feet wet, experimenting, exploring, and beginning to innovate. We can argue about what is or isn’t augmented reality, but it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the continual push for advancing the technology, the industry, and getting people to start using it".
  • On the same theme, Edo Segal writes for Techcrunch about the dawn of ambient streams - "Increasingly, we will be sensing the world with this sixth sense and that will change the way we collectively experience the world. Going back to the point made earlier, the watershed event is when we will be experiencing this “ambient sense" without being in a retrieval mode (i.e. not when we go to the computer or our mobile device"
  • Whisper Deck is a cool voice operated AR interface
  • Jack Benoff of Zugara on what to do in case you are pitched an AR campaign.
  • ReadWriteWeb on the Brightkite's new feature - AR ads.
  • Augmented Planet on Toozla, self-claimed world's first audio AR browser (I believe Gamaray had audio support as well).
  • EyePly wants to augment your sports events.
  • And Tonchidot released its Sekai Camera browser worldwide.
  • It's a couple of weeks old, but I finally got to read it - Wired on AR accelerated by Earthmine's 3d city-maps.
  • Point your sneakers to your webcam in order to feel silly. Which should be on Mashable's 10 awesome uses of AR in marketing list (what, only one car campaign? seriously, where's that GE ad that started the fad?)
  • Denno Coil (AR fans number one anime) gets a mobile AR campaign (via @thomaskcarpente)
This week's video is of a projected AR system coming to us from the University of Magdeburg, Germany. Though we have seen quite a few systems like that over the past years (even one coming out from Microsoft), I don't think we have seen any as slick as that. You can read how it works (magic! infra-red markers) at New Scientist (via Augmented Engineering).

Have a great week!

Augmented Reality in 2010: Ori Inbar's Predictions (Part 10)

Well, if you read this blog you probably don't need me to introduce Ori Inbar. But if you don't already know him, he's the founder of Games Alfresco and a whole lot of other things. Here are his predictions:
  1. Bruce Sterling will secure his position in the history books as THE evangelist of the augmented reality movement
  2. Blair MacIntyre will start a successful AR game company but will still miss the good 'ol days at Georgia Tech (just announced! new company is Aura)
  3. Georg Klein will launch an amazing mobile AR proof of concept that will inject Microsoft into the AR limelight (the product will only get commercial years later)
  4. 10x AR users over 2009 (i.e. ten times more AR users than in 2009)
  5. 10x AR apps over 2009
  6. 10x total AR industry revenue over 2009
  7. 10x total investments in AR start ups over 2009
  8. The center of the AR world (according to Google trends) will shift from East Asia (South Korea) to the West (US and EU)
  9. At least one major chip manufacturer will announce the inclusion of AR capabilities on its chip
  10. In 2008 we predicted that "2009 will be the year where AR breaks from the lab and gets in the hands of consumers". Totally happened! (but very few are really using it...)
2010 will be the year where consumers fall in love with AR - start using it in their daily lives and enjoy it!
Now, if there is someone with a lot of inside information about the industry, that's Ori. So I'll take his predictions very seriously. The prediction about investment should be easy enough to check - we should see at least $50 million in investments in 2010. Let's hope so!

So, that's it folks. Our last predictions post for this series (unless someone will suddenly send me another one). Remember, the poll is open till January 1st, so cast in your votes for what you think is most probable to come true in 2010.

AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion? - Our online poll
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 - Thomas Wrobel's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 4 - Augmented Planet's Lester Madden's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 5 - The Future Digital Life's Thomas Carpenter's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 6 - Noah Zerkin's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 7 - Gene Becker's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 8 - Augmented.org's Toby Kammann's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 9 - A Look Indoors.

Augmented Reality in 2010: A Look Indoors (Part 9)

I was delighted to see that Patched Reality's Patrick O’Shaughnessey answered my call and shared his augmented reality related predictions for 2010 in his company blog. It's Patrick's first prediction that I find most interesting (though all of them are very good). While many of our prior columns in this series had predictions about how AR will change the way we see the outside world, Patrick reminds us there's use for indoors AR:

While AR browsers like Layar and Wikitude will continue to focus their attention on discovering information that is in the world at large, another class of AR applications will emerge that helps people see what could be in the comfort of their own home. We’ll see a lot more applications released by manufacturers that sell products that go in people’s homes. These applications will be more sophisticated than the recent IKEA campaign in Germany, as they will make use of the actual smartphone video stream to make sense of the user’s environment, and also allow people to purchase the products they’ve previewed right within the app.
Products that people will be able to “try before they buy” will run the gamut from furniture, artwork, electronics, window treatments, clothing, and maybe even paint colors. This type of application will be to 2010 what the “hold a marker up to your webcam to see a marketing message” was in 2009. And there will likely be both good and bad executions of the basic concept.
We actually saw the early seeds of indoors AR in 2009 with such offerings as virtual electronics, virtual eyewear, virtual shoes, virtual jewlery, virtual furniture and many more, all can be tried on in the comfort of your own home. Coincidentally, I've recently spotted this demo from 4th Wall Technologies that shows "augmented renovoation". Though the technology is not very exciting, the use of a tablet pc really seems to fit this purpose:

Ironically, accurate registration and image recognition may not be the main issue preventing AR from coming indoors. After a conversation with a friend it became apparent to me, that scanning items in order to create a 3d representation is a real roadblock for retailers on the route to selling via AR,

Joins us tomorrow for the final installation in our series, when Ori Inbar shares his predictions for 2010. Don't forget to take part in our predictions-poll if you haven't done so yet.
AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion? - Our online poll
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 - Thomas Wrobel's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 4 - Augmented Planet's Lester Madden's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 5 - The Future Digital Life's Thomas Carpenter's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 6 - Noah Zerkin's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 7 - Gene Becker's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 8 - Augmented.org's Toby Kammann's predictions.

Merry Weekly Linkfest

Two important events are coming this week -
  1. The conclusion of our little project, collecting augmented reality predictions for the new year.
  2. Christmas
Although the former event is much more important, for some strange reason, I was swamped this week with links relating to the latter. A short list of holiday related AR application that caught my eye since my last post "it's the season to be augmented":
Oh right, there were other news this week. Augmented Planet published their results for the first AR people-choice awards. Wikitude won the browsers category, but which participitant won the Chumby? Layar had to withdraw Layar 3.0 from the appstore. Thomas Carpenter has a listing of the worst AR uses this year. A good use is to encourage people to donate blood, like they do in Japan. Total Immersion created Avatar related AR apps for McDonalds and Coke. Wallpaper magazine fancies an AR edition. And another week, another car gets an AR campaign (though it's technically from June).

The weekly video shows Total Immersion's implementation of a haunted house in Japan. Thomas wrote a full post about it, while I just tweeted that it looks really scarry:

Have a great week and merry augmented Christmas, if that concerns you!

Head Mounted Display Fetishism

Take a nice girl. Make her don various head mounted displays. There, you've just invented a new fetish. Did I say the girl speaks only Japanese?

Filmed at SIGGRAPH Asia 2009 that ended today, the video below shows various AR and VR applications using head mounted displays. The reporter from ASCII magazine slays virtual samurai warriors in a game named Kaidan by Ritsumeikan University, draws with virtual ink on plates and plays with Franz Lasorne's war game.

Head to ASCII to see all five videos it has taken at SIGGRAPH, including weird gadgets, augmented t-shirts (by Julien Pilet), a Micheal Jackson dance room and two more head mounted displays (one with cameras placed on your hands). Via Development Memo For Ourselves.

Toby Kammann: Augmented Reality in 2010 (Part 8)

Today we are lucky to have Tobias D. Kammann shares his predictions with us. Toby is not a stranger to augmented reality, and is involved in the field since 2002. Currently he is a lead AR developer at RTT (which we mentioned just the other day) and the man behind augmented.org one of the first blogs about augmented reality and still one of the best.

Toby was generous enough to write a post full of predictions. Therefore, for sake of readability, I chose not to put his words in "blockquote", and just paste them below. I know it's long, but it's well worth the read. Many of his predictions are original and if only half of them come true, we are going to have a very exciting year.

...was definitely the year of AR awareness for the public. Lots of people heard the first time of the term and had their first experience with the technology on fairs, shop windows or with smartphone fun. So many magazines interviewing us, the AR community, and so many agencies hacking their own presentations.

Technology-wise I'm a bit pessimistic on AR handheld device development and HMD/HUD news for the public to be frank. I'm expecting a HMD to hit the market late 2010 and some early adopters running around with it in the tube, but it won't be a landslide e.g. as the iphone-in-everyones-pocket in the US.

My two most probable predictions for 2010 (not judging) were already taken by rouli (Augmented Playboy and Apple patenting AR) - but anyway, just for the fun I'll collect some more ideas:

Interaction changing
With project Natal's release the term AR will get another push forward as the Wii had with input when it came out. Natal games combining the camera with the motion capturing system will gain popularity and will become the default way of having fun in your living room. As an outcome more and more researchers and companies will focus on easy interaction paradigms. People will start getting annoyed with joysticks or things to grab. They will expect gesture waving interaction instead of multitouch. If you don't offer gesture interaction as an agency you are not cool anymore. Architecture AR Projections and Digital City Art will expand much much more and people will expect an easy interaction, too. If you can only LOOK at augmented city installations agencies will get bad criticism. It has to be interactive - even in this huge scale.

Google's goggle and their own device will push the community forward and people will extend the location GPS based services through image recognition features due to faster hardware. Google's NDK and 4x faster CPUs will not only drain the battery but also offer speed-ups for mobile AR apps. Waiting periods will be reduced and more and more people will choose a smartphone over an old candybar. People will forget to caption their images, to remember names or to memorize bus schedules. Everybody will have his nomenclature in his or her pocket to work as a personal assistant (PA). A battle will start among life-supporting PA information providers and social ostracism will occur when your peer group uses GoogleAR-PA over AppleAR-PA... Companies will exploit this target group idea ruthlessly.

Social Implications
A big social discussion will be triggered when google launches their HMD device connected to Android. People will form strikes and rallies against technology addiction. A huge discussion splits the community for people claiming that google misuses the user's HMD cameras to track the whole world in real-time. If you don't opt-out, your vision will be part of the whole google community and will be used for a pedestrianStreetView add-on and image search. Plus, the first AR-PA-addiction-self-help group will be founded. People complain in Jerry Springer and others about their loved ones not remembering friend's names nor dates nor streetnames without their augmentations. At least one church will start a witch hunt against AR technology being evil.

Mass Competence
Another mobile AR app will gain the popularity as big as facebook's and draw people into the system. Finally all big mobile AR apps will support a common interface and the social connectivity will be the only interesting thing for the crowd. You will hardly see anyone go "WOW" in 2010 over a tweet floating above your friend. The masses will become AR pros and ask the same questions that -so far- only we were asking. It won't be enough to show low-poly 3D in your view.

Moving PictARs
Realism will gain a level of detail that makes movie makers cry. As an antidote Warner decides to start a new way of film making by letting people in real-time experience a movie like blair witch project with AR systems. A new genre arises and a silly term will get coined, like "Moving PictARs". The social experience will yield in different outcomes of a storyline, giving headaches to movie critics writing their reports.

OK, that's my quick overview. I'm definitely hoping for fast 3D feature tracking on a outdoor/global scale and for real-time lighting to be quick enough for a 100% convincing integration of AR. For me the most important issue is the output device, where we unfortunately have a long road to go before we have Denn? Coil... Damnit! "

[editor note: wow!]

AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion? - Our online poll
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 - Thomas Wrobel's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 4 - Augmented Planet's Lester Madden's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 5 - The Future Digital Life's Thomas Carpenter's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 6 - Noah Zerkin's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 7 - Gene Becker's predictions.

Gene Becker: Augmented Reality in 2010 (Part 7)

Oops, I've lost count, and yesterday's predictions by Noah Zerkin were part 6 of our ongoing series. Which means today is part 7, and I'm delighted to say we have Gene Becker with us today. Gene is a veteran in the field of ubiquitus computing and the founder of Lightning Laboratories a consulting company focusing on AR, ubicomp and social media. He also writes at The Connected World and on Twitter. Again, Gene sent me his predictions just days before Google Goggles became public.
  • Mobile AR will get a popularity boost when Groundspeak supports virtual AR caches in its Geocaching iPhone app.
  • The most active category of mobile AR apps will be multiplayer real-world games (MMARGs???) and at least one major global brand campaign will be built around an AR-based ARG (remember Halo 2 and ilovebees?).
  • Commercial AR will continue to be dominated by startups and small companies. The giant companies will make a lot of noise and attend lots of conferences, but won't really ship anything interesting. However, one of the biggies (Nokia or Google) may well acquire a mobile AR startup with leading market presence or IP position.
  • 2010 will be a great year for AR-based art, with the highlight being an extravagant audio & graphic AR piece by Banksy overlaid on the city of Bristol, England.
  • Open AR services that allow user-generated augments will struggle with a plague of spARm, porn, and abuse of corporate brands.
  • The first legal dispute over physical/virtual property rights will arise due to an offensive AR posting above a commercial location. The courts will struggle to comprehend.
  • We will finally stop worrying about whether an app is "really AR", and embrace location & context-aware audio, physical hyperlinks, GPS+compass local search etc as all part of our big happy connected world AR family.
  • There won't be any AR sunglasses, sorry kids.
I for one am really waiting for the Banksy's AR piece, and will be here to cover live the first AR related legal dispute. What are you looking for in the coming year?

AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion? - Our online poll
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 - Thomas Wrobel's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 4 - Augmented Planet's Lester Madden's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 5 - The Future Digital Life's Thomas Carpenter's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 6 - Noah Zerkin's predictions.

Noah Zerkin: Augmented Reality in 2010 (Part 6)

Noah Zerkin is best known as the inventor and developer of the Zerkin Glove, a low cost glove for interacting with virtual object in an augmented environment. In his spare time he also the author of Augmentation where he shares his views on the coming AR revolution, and works for the stealthy Integrated Realities.

Since it's a long one, I took the liberty drop a prediction concerning Google's intentions. Noah sent me his predictions just days before Goggles became public, and obviously that changes everything. Though I must say that Noah was right pointing out the Google will develop its own mobile application rather than buying an existing browser maker.

I feel a little shaky on this limb, but I'm going to wager that we will finally have see-through HUD glasses on the consumer market. I don't know what their quality will be like, but I think we'll be able to buy something. I'm hoping that having seen that recent seven hundred million figure, investors will make the connection that AR won't be staying on cell phone screens indefinitely, and will show a little love to Lumus. Vuzix going public will also be a big step. Nokia, Sony, Apple, Konica Minolta, Canon, and Microvision are all putting R&D into display glasses. Microvision will be focused on their military contract with Lockheed for a while, and has already said that we can expect a product on the market in 2011. I doubt that that will be a consumer product, and will probably just be when their ULTRA-Vis research leads to a mass-produced fieldable military product.

I expect that we'll see some step towards a more precise civilian positioning system in the US. I can't speak to specifics, but AR is the first real consumer application where the lack of precision positioning presents a serious implementation problem. Up until now it's really been about navigation or setting general local context, where there really wasn't a good justification for investing in super-precise positioning. It may end up be something that relies on local infrastructure. I don't necessarily see it being in consumer hands in 2010, but I think that there will be increasing awareness that this is something that we'll need.

If we do see display glasses, I expect there'll be some sort of wristband or wristband-and-thimble inertial interface device released shortly thereafter. Hell, I'll be looking for ways to use the eZ430-Chronos with my rig as soon as that thing ships. It needn't be a 1-to-1 device, but perhaps just something for gesture interpretation. We all seem to have gotten the hang of moving an on-screen cursor without looking at our hand, so once we're wearing our monitor, I think we'll want to do the same for the mouse.

Mobile phones with a next-gen Tegra chipset will make OpenCL and CUDA capabilities available in a pocketable package, and perhaps we'll see OpenCV and other vision frameworks being updated to take advantage of them. I know the iPhone's PowerVR GPU core already supports OpenCL, and if Apple ever opens up direct access to the camera framebuffer, maybe we'll see it there, too. Or it may be that Apple really is stifling iPhone AR development because they're working on something in-house. Perhaps they're working on their own machine vision framework for the iPhone SDK. I don't know. Anyhow, I think mobile GPU-accelerated machine vision will be something that we'll probably see in the next year.

I'm obviously a pretty hardware-oriented guy, so those are a few things that jump to mind.

For software, I think we're going to see mainstream mobile AR games. Lots of 'em. I think we're going to see mobile multi-user, multi-device, multi-perspective games. I think we'll see improvements in registration AR registration with the world.

With people like Tim O'Reilly showing huge personal interest AR, it's hard to know what will happen. The possibilities and possible directions for "Augmented Reality: Year Two" (on the public radar) will be exponentially greater as enabling mobile hardware and low-level software become wider-spread and more mature. The path for Year One was easy enough to predict. Bruce Sterling and Robert Rice have both have both called it pretty well so far. But now we're getting to the part where everyone jumps in and unless you're giving your undivided attention, it'll be hard to know who is going to emerge, with what, and when. Regardless, I expect that this will be the year when Apple, Microsoft, and Google's larger AR strategies will begin to coalesce.

Anyhow, I don't know if there's anything unique, insightful, or concrete enough to make it worth making part of your piece. Lot's of qualifiers in there ;-) I also don't know if I'm in a position to make predictions, since I've been out of touch since starting my new job after ISMAR.

What's your opinion? Don't forget to take part in our predictions-poll!

AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion? - Our online poll
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 - Thomas Wrobel's predictions
AR in 2010 Part 4 - Augmented Planet's Lester Madden's predictions.
AR in 2010 Part 5 - The Future Digital Life's Thomas Carpenter's predictions

Weekly Linkfest

Yes, the moment you were all waiting for, it's time for another weekly linkfest -

Google Goggles Galore:
  • Google Goggles review at Augmented Planet. Nice overview, and a good video showing some of Goggles capabilities.
  • Google Goggles is the real thing, or so claims Blake Callens of Zugara. Nice video showing it identifying a dart board.
  • The Enkin guys announce that they were acquired by Google and hint about their involvement in Goggles. (I'm just a bit skeptic).

And in other mobile browsers news:
And finally:
This week's video is of Ogmento's Brian Selzer evangelistic talk at the Humanity+ conference "Reinventing Reality with AR" . Though most of his examples should be familiar to this blog's patrons, he is a really good talker, and I've enjoyed the whole 15 minutes of his presentation (via GigantiCo):

[Games Alfresco readers, go to Gigantico to see the clip if it doesn't work for you]

Have a nice week!

Augmented Reality Highlights

What's the common thing between Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah? Each of these holidays use lights to brighten the dark days of winter, whether they are electric or candle lights.
What's the common thing between the following two videos? They both show augmented reality under extreme light conditions. They are also cool, so check them out.

First is this demo, showing a very realistic response to shining a real light on an augmented tire. Presented by Ludwig Fuchs, CEO of RTT, at NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference a few months ago -

Just across the border from the German RTT is the Austrian Imagination, which uploaded the next video to Youtube. Showing robust markerless tracking in low light conditions, it's really quite amazing. Near the end of the video I've lost track of the image, but their algorithm (working on a mobile phone, probably an Asus one), kept on going:

Pretty nifty, isn't it?

Tom Carpenter: Augmented Reality in 2010 (Part 5)

Thomas Carpenter and I have started blogging about augmented reality roughly at the same time, at the start of 2009. Since then Thomas has made The Future Digital Life one of the prime sources for augmented reality news. Moreover, as an aspiring science fiction author and a manager at Toyota, he usually has a unique point of view on the budding AR industry. Here are his predictions for 2010 (sadly, he decided to keep it professional so there are no snarky remarks):
  • Apple's tablet will take AR to the next level with object recognition and a wider screen to view the world.
  • There will NOT be any AR related IPOs.
  • A company will come out with an expensive (>$2000) see-through HMD late in the year.
  • Console gaming will start talking about AR more actively (but few games released)
Lester Madden has taken the time to write a full post over Augmented Planet elaborating on his predictions I've posted yesterday. Here's a short excerpt:
My comment about a Layar/Wikitude merge was purely speculative but having seen Google’s announcement about Goggles I do wonder if the market is big enough for 3 main browsers to continue to exist. ...
Personally I would not have wanted to have woken up to the news that Google with their R&D budget to rival a small country had released a beta augmented reality browser, not only that but a beta that appears to do so much. Google compete for fun, there are not many companies that pull off the feat of becoming a serious player in the mobile space almost overnight, If Google decide they want to own the augmented reality browser space how do you compete with that?
And Chris Grayson has also posted his predictions for 2010 over at GigantiCo. Some of his predictions are quite bold:
Before the year is out, a translucent AR tablet device will be available on the consumer market. The concept as shown at left is of the Red Dot Award winning design of Mac Funamizu. With transparent OLED perfected by multiple vendors and begging for a consumer application, I expect to see this form factor show up on the market quite soon.
So what do you think? Will we have see-through HMD or tablets by the end of 2010? Will Wikitude and Layar join forces to fight off Google? Share your opinion in the comments, on your own blog or Twitter (use the #AR2010 tag).

Previously in the series:
AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion? - Our online poll
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 - Thomas Wrobel's predictions
AR in 2010 Part 4 - Augmented Planet's Lester Madden's predictions.
The predictions for 2010 will come back on Monday, with Noah Zerkin's predictions.

Lester Madden: Augmented Reality in 2010 (Part 4)

Lester Madden is the editor and publisher of Augmented Planet, a rising star in the skies of augmented reality blogging. He also doesn't lack any experience, as a former manager at Symbian, Nokia and Skype.
Following are his predictions for 2010, some of them are very interesting. Are 3d browsers really a fad or opening new avenues for mobile augmented reality? Would Wikitude and Layar unite? Tell us what you think, and don't forget to check out our survey.
This is what I think will happen in 2010, feel free to use any of them.
  • 3D browsers will be a fad (Junaio/Layar 3D)
  • Augmented GPS will arrive (eg TomTom's with cameras)
  • By the end of the year I think we'll see some early form of face recognition on the iPhone/Android. It wont be perfect but it will arrive.
  • I see either Layar buying Wikitude or Wikitude buying Layar
    • either way I don't see their being 2 main browsers at the end of 2010, we'll be down to one (sooner or later VCs will want to see some money being made). VC's are investing a lot of cash in Layar and they will want to see where that money is going, Layar will need to get some layers that bring value to the platform or risk disappearing. Layar is a bit like Skype, they have a great product but are not getting any decent content created with their API.
  • Despite what Layar say, I don't see them releasing a Symbian version of their app. Too much effort for no reward (no distribution channel)
  • I think consumers will get tried of the current 'throw data in the camera view and call it augmented reality' applications we have today. We'll continue to to see hype and everyone who owns POIs will continue produce so called AR apps but I think we are reaching the top of the curve and consumer will want more. Once Apple open up the api marker based games will be the next wonder

AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion?
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.
AR in 2010 Part 3 - Thomas Wrobel Predictions

Thomas Wrobel: Augmented Reality in 2010 (Part 3)

Thomas Wrobel is our first "outside expert" to share his predictions for augmented reality in 2010 over this blog. Thomas is a regular commenter on Games Alfresco (under his own name and under the username Darkflame), the man behind Rateoholic, one of the driving forces behind the AR Wave initiative, and a swell guy in general.

* Google will move into AR space. Probably a simple expansion of google maps to have street view on mobile devices with a transparent rather then preset views. Expect googlemap pins hovering in your view space in the not too distant future.

* First use of image based outdoor positioning to give sub-meter position accuracy demonstrated. The race to map cityscapes start.

* A merging or two or more AR firms.

* Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft *all* show of specific first party new AR applications. (DSi,PSP and Natal based most likely)

* A half decent AR dedicated HMD will finally come out, even if its not consumer level.

* The first cross-browser cross-platform AR content will start to appear.

* AR technology will become a persistent element in at least one major western tv show and will be presented in a fairly realistic manor.

* Many sites catalogues AR specific apps and games will start. Possibly even category searches appearing on app shops specifically for them.

* The Daily Show will make fun of AR. (and maybe have an interview with a predominant figure in that space)

* At least 5 augmented reality outdoor gaming events will be held. Scratch that. Make it 10.

and, umm, some hosting of AR content on Wave servers ;)

Again, Thomas was asked for his predictions prior to Google's recent moves, so you'll have to excuse him for the first bullet point.
AR in 2010 Part 1 - What's your opinion?
AR in 2010 Part 2 - Crazy predictions that might come true.

Augmented Reality in 2010 (part two)

Let me be the first to share his predictions (don't worry, it only gets better from here on). Following are five outrageous, yet reasonable, predictions about augmented reality for the next twelve months.

Oprah discovers augmented reality
In 2009 she catapulted Twitter to the public eye, and in her last year as day-time host, Oprah Winfrey will do the same for augmented reality. After learning of all the cool features of the latest 4.0 release of Layar, from NY Times columnist David Pogue ("You can actually see where I parked my car with this gadget? That's amazing!") , Oprah give an iPhone preloaded with Layar to everyone in her audience. Augmented reality has become mainstream.

Microsoft buys Wikitude

April 2010. A young engineer at Redmond comes with a brilliant idea on how to push Photosynth forward. So many people are using augmented reality browsers not realizing they are taking an enormous number of geo-tagged photographs. If only those photos were uploaded to one centralized place, they could serve as a great input for Photosynth. And thus Microsoft acquires Wikitude gaining a visual coverage of major cities around the world. Google's Streetview becomes outdated overnight.

Augmented Reality is blamed to incite violence amongst teens
May 2010. Parents across middle America rally together, calling to ban violent AR games from the iTunes appstore. This, following a shooting accident that left two high school kids wounded. The shooter, a teenage boy that no one noticed until the incident, was apparently addicted to the latest augmented shooting game augmented sniper (only $1.99 on the appstore). Soon, many other augmented reality applications find themselves under attack.

Augmented Playboy
February 2010. Playboy, taking a lesson from Esquire, issues a special edition featuring augmented reality markers (shaped like their logo's bunny) that lets you see that month's centerfold actually sitting on your sofa in your very own living room. Using another marker with an image of a hand on it, the user can tickle her. The technology is said to have been acquired from a Japanese company that made a similar product starring a Manga character. The porn industry is not very far behind, and March 2010 marks the release data of the first AR pornographic film (and my readers will excuse me for not going into details).

Apple tries to patent augmented reality
And succeeds in doing so. But no one cares except AR bloggers around the world.

Don't forget to vote on our survey. Together we can predict how 2010 is going to be (and do a far better job than the predictions above)

The fine print - I've tossed a coin before using Layar for the first prediction and Wikitude for the second. No hidden intention was behind choosing those two.
Opera image by
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fecki/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
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Google Newsflash

So, no point of guessing whether Google is to make a major AR move in 2010. It is going to do it in 2009:
Indeed, the Google has awoken.

Augmented Reality in 2010 (part one)

As I've said yesterday, we dedicate this week for predicting AR trends in 2010. Over the last few weeks I've asked AR luminaries for their predictions, and I'm going to post them over here (before getting insulted for not being asked, first check your spam folder).

But more importantly, we are giving you, or beloved readers, a chance to predict the future. Please use the following survey to chose those predictions that you believe will come true in the next year (you can choose more than one).

Hopefully, the wisdom of the crowds will prove itself once more, and we will have a very good sense of what's going to happen. The results will posts on the first week of January, but please don't wait, and vote now:

Moreover, feel free to share your own predictions. You can post them here in the comments section, on your own blog, on Twitter (use the hash tag #AR2010), or even send them to me (rouli.net gmail.com).

Weekly Linkfest

Before the linkfest, let me share some exciting news. Starting from tomorrow, and throughout the week, I'll be posting augmented reality predictions for 2010 from top AR luminaries. But wait, there's more - I'm hoping to harness wisdom of the very smart crowds reading this blog, by putting on a survey were you can vote for your favorite predictions. Hope to see you tomorrow!

And now, as usual, the weekly linkfest:
  • The first AR DevCamp was held yesterday. Thomas Wrobel (can I say our very own Thomas Wrobel?) had an FAQ prepared for the occasion, about the AR wave initiative.
  • On the mobile browsers front - Layar 3.0 is out (also see AugmentedPlanet's review). I should have really dedicated a post for it. In a nutshell, this latest version, and the presented use-cases are really making Layar much more than just a "browser". You can create augmented tours, games, and city scapes which is a huge step over just showing the "closest" x.
  • Augment Pro review of Presselite's Twitter-360, a browser like app that shows you nearby tweets from your friends
  • And AcrossAir is behind "Le Bar Guide" an application created for beer label Stella Artois that lets you find closest bars (serving that beer).
  • Sarnoff presents an augmented reality training system for the US military with virtual baddies. I really want to see a video of that.
  • Augmented reality via Silverlight (Microsoft response to Adobe's Flash).
  • Laboratory4 is offering the joys of a fashion show right in your own home.
  • Pandemica is another fast paced pseudo AR shooting game for the iPhone.

Weekly quote comes from OneZeroThrice's piece "Who Is, and Who Isn't Augmented Reality"(yeah, I gave you the punchline, but you should read the whole article)
if only we, who know the difference between good and crap AR, can be more vocal - if we can start saying what we mean and not be afraid of pissing off the people who make this garbage ... maybe we'll actually save this industry from what happened to Virtual Reality.
And the weekly video is another "augmented" magic trick from Marco Tempest (see the first one here) (via The Future Digital Life):

Have a nice week, and don't forget to come back tomorrow for a peak at 2010.

It's the Season to be Augmented

Looking for a way to send Christmas greeting cards to your friends with an augmented reality twist? There are already three options for doing just that.

Sony Ericsson lets you create a virtual Christmas tree that features pictures of you and your (Facebook) friends that appears once you wave your mobile phone in front of a web camera. Though shown working with a Sony Ericsson phone, it probably works with any mobile phone, as long as its screen is bright enough:

ARWishes, on the other hand, is a web application from Inglobe Technologies (of AR-media fame) that lets you attach holiday related 3d animation to holiday related AR markers and send them as a greeting card to your friends:

ARWishes is not focused solely on Christmas greeting cards, and is set to capture the augmented reality greeting cards market (yeah, I made that up). It already features some new-year and birthday cards, and I guess Kwanzaa and Hanukkah cards are just around the corner.

If you prefer beer over eggnog, maybe sending branded Stella Artois holiday cards is the right choice for you (but you must be over 18 to create them). The best thing about Stella Artois application is that for each card sent, they will protect one tree from being chopped down.

Judging from Halloween, we can expect many more AR applications this coming Christmas. I'm willing to bet someone will create an application the puts a Santa Claus beard around your face, and I'll be here to cover it, when it happens! Oh right, Microsoft and Ubisoft have done just that last year, and Talking Dog Studios have it covered this year:

Many thanks to Development Memo For Ourselves for finding the link to the ARWishes app. Also check out Ori's coverage of 2008 holiday AR greetings.

Watch Out, Google has Awaken

Amazon (SnapTell), Nokia (Point and Find) and many others better watch out, Google is making its play for mobile visual search, as revealed in CNBC's "Inside the Mind of Google". Harnessing technology bought when acquiring the startup Neven Vision back in 2006, Google is developing an android application that will identify locations and items captured in photos taken by the app's users.

Tech lead Hartmut Neven:
Imagine you are on travel in Paris and you visit a museum. If a picture catches your attention you can simply take a photo and send it to the VMS [Visual Mobile Search] service. Within seconds you will receive an audio-visual narrative explaining the image to you. If you happen to be connected to a 3G network the response time would be below a second. After the museum visit you might step outside and see a coffeehouse. Just taking another snapshot from within the VMS client application is all you have to do in order to retrieve travel guide information. In this case location information is available through triangulation or inbuilt GPS it can assist the recognition process. Inside the coffeehouse you study the menu but your French happens to be a bit rusty. Your image based search engine supports you in translating words from the menu so that you have at least an idea of what you can order. (source)

At the moment, the visual mobile search application, internally known as Google Goggles, is going through a long battery of tests:
Back in California, the visual search team anxiously watched by video link as first time users tested the product. After some initial reviews were less than enthusiastic, Google engineers decided the new technology just wasn’t ready for prime time. So team members were dispatched to fix any remaining problems. (source)

So although not an immediate threat to leading Snaptell, we can be sure that Google will not rest till they will create a user friendly product that will use your photos to serve useful information and, naturally, more ads. In the meantime, if Google is looking for enthusiastic beta tester, my email is on the right :)

Read more at eWeek.com and CNBC. Via Steve Rubel.