Weekly Augmented Reality Linkfest

This week in the linkfest - computer vision, Easter bunnies and furniture:
  • "Augmented Reality for Smartphones" is a 50 pages-long report that analyzes many popular AR platforms in order to give developers better perspective on what's available in the market today.
  • Computer vision (1): Thomas K. Carpenter warns us against its dangers.
  • Computer vision (2): Raimo van der Klein gives an excellent talk on why computer vision, like biological vision at the time, will start an evolutionary arms race - Birth of the Digital Eye.
  • Computer vision (3): IQ Engines is a cool startup, offering "vision as a service". I've tried their mobile application, and it is amazing at recognizing objects - but also usually slow, because it is still partially based on humans behind the scenes.
  • Fraunhofer presents an eye-tracking microdisplay that delivers Terminator vision (via @Ben_Thomas_Ech).
  • Oh noes! Giant Easter bunnies invade the Earth!
  • Finally, if you ever find yourself confused by IKEA's instructions, there will be an app for that (maybe).
This week's video was featured on Bruce Sterling's Beyond the Beyond, but if you missed it, here's your opportunity. It's in French, and depicts a modern fairy tale, made possible by augmented reality. Luckily you don't need to know French to follow the story, and I find it only adding to the video's allure. (However, I'll be thankful if you can translate the old guy at the end of the video in the comments).

Happy Easter/Passover!

Weekly Augmented Reality Linkfest

It's time again for the weekly linkfest, a collection of augmented reality news stories that I didn't find the time to blog about during the past week:
This week's video comes to us from Nokia Research, showing their indoor navigation solution. Coming from Nokia Research, one of the first bodies to look into mobile AR, this should be considered as no more than a teaser. It's very cool and alluring with its 30cm accuracy, and its "where I put my keys" functionality, but not likely to be adopted anytime soon. Five years from now, Apple/Google will probably come with inferior solution which will be hugely successful. You can read more about the technology on GSM Arena.

Have a great week!

First Eggs Tracking Application Will Augment Your Easter

With Easter just around the corner, we are undoubtedly facing a round of festive augmented reality applications. While last year saw the creation of GPS based applications such as "AR Easter Egg Hunt", this year brings computer-vision based applications, and leading the pack is Irregular Apps' "Talking Augmented Easter Egg".

Using what seems to be a unique algorithm to identify and track eggs, Talking Augmented Easter Egg enables iPhone and iPad users to virtually decorate plain white eggs, poke them until they (again, virtually) break and even talk to them. People may think you are crazy, pulling an egg from the refrigerator, looking at it through your iPhone and then starting to talk to it, so maybe you should let your kids play with this one.

When I tested the application on my iPhone 3GS, it surprisingly worked well. The tracking was a bit jumpy (as you might expect), but it did identify my "test egg", even with a few decoys around (like a white charger). True, it's a gimmick, that will lose its attraction in a few weeks (unless you are an angry bird, using the app to track your stolen eggs), but it's probably make your kids quite happy for those few days.

More details can be found on Irregular Apps' website.

Help Understand Mobile AR Usage, Win 50 Euros

If you are a user of one the mobile AR applications, such as Layar, Junaio, Wikitude, Google Goggles (or any of the many others), and would like to help the (academic) research of augmented reality, boy do Markus Salo and Thomas Olsson have an offer for you.

Noticings Layar

The two researchers from Finland ask you to think about your most satisfying and unsatisfying experiences using AR application, and for your view on the usefulness of such applications and take the following survey. I must say that imho, mobile AR has not yet created a really satisfying moment, and the enjoyable moments it did create, didn't last for long (though, some of the creative things people do with mobile AR are really mind boggling).

Best of all, by participating in this survey, you enter a raffle to win one of 10 Amazon-vouchers, 50 euros of worth each. Considering that AR is still a niche, you have pretty good chances to win it. Even better, Salo has promised to share the results, so we'll can all learn from this survey.

take the survey

Weekly Augmented Reality Linkfest

Wow, what a busy week. I've listed below only a few of this week's AR related news stories, just to protect you from an information overload. I hope to blog about the other stories in the coming days.
This week's video is magnificent in its simplicity. Nothing more than a demo of Qualcomm's AR platform, featuring virtual domino bricks, it made me think what would happen if they'll scale this game. Anyone in the world could place bricks, and anyone could push a brick and start a world-wide chain reaction, but of the playful kind. A simple game that will cross borders and cultures, or maybe I'm a walking cliche?

Have a beautiful week!

Weekly Belated Linkfest

Sorry for not posting the weekly linkfest yesterday; Don't worry though, the links are still fresh:
I love videos done by students to show off their work. This week we are lucky to have Predator, a very impressive video (though I haven't tried it myself) tracking algorithm resulting from Zdenek Kalal's phd thesis at the University of Surrey, UK. You can try it yourself by downloading a compiled application to your pc, and read more about it here. Though desktop bound right now, Kalal claims that "implementation for mobile devices is feasible".

have a great week!