Archives For augmented reality

Keeping a close eyes on patents, art and culture helps us know where the trends are headed. In this case, Apple has filed for a patent that appears to enable a host of really amazing features in their video calling app, FaceTime…

The patent in point is a new method of creating augmented reality within a live video chat. Augmented reality is basically the ability to overlay graphics onto a screen, and ranges from the simple scores pasted in the corner of your NFL broadcast, up to the cartoon augmented reality of Pokemon Go.

Apple could push things further by displaying alternate–but equally live–backgrounds behind a video caller. It only has to combine the face-on stream of a traditional camera with the stream from a secondary camera that takes in more of participant’s environment to add extra context. You’d be able to see a closeup of your friend’s face within a wider view of the room, café, or park where they were sitting. Conversely, the light field cameras could cut out a video caller’s image and project it onto a different background in true augmented reality style.

So rather than have the scores plastered over your NFL broadcast, your video calling friend’s image could sit there, instead, and you could watch the game on a stream from your computer and overlay your conversation on top of the action. Or, as with Pokemon Go, you could potentially project that cutout over the live viewpoint of an iPhone so it appears that your friend is sitting on the chair opposite you in a café.  It’s a much more personal experience than having your friend encased within the confines of a chat window.

Source: Apple’s Augmented Reality Is Coming to FaceTime, Using Light Field Camera Tech – VC Daily

I’ve been hearing rumors about this for nearly a year, including multiple off-the-record discussions with people in the know.

Apple will be launching an augmented-reality phone this fall, and AR-glasses (if not this fall, in 2018).

Imagine Google Glass + Microsoft Hololens + Snap Spectacles, at an affordable price point and with functionality within the iOS ecosystem.

At SXSW earlier this month, my friend Robert Scoble told me, “It’s insane we’re at the biggest interactive conference in the world, and nobody is talking about Apple. A year from today, this is all anyone will be talking about.

Brands who aren’t experimenting with AR today will be behind when Apple goes all-in with AR later this year. The time to start is today!

Apple is working on several AR products, including digital spectacles that could connect wirelessly to an iPhone and beam content—movies, maps and more—to the wearer. While the glasses are a ways off, AR features could show up in the iPhone sooner.

Over time, Munster says, AR devices will replace the iPhone. “It’s something they need to do to continue to grow,” he says, “and defend against the shift in how people use hardware.”

Augmented reality is the less known cousin of virtual reality. VR gets more attention because it completely immerses users in an artificial world and has an obvious attraction for gamers. So far, however, headsets like the Oculus and HoloLens are niche rather than mainstream products. Apple believes AR will be an easier sell because it’s less intrusive. Referring to VR headsets, Cook last year said he thought few people will want to be “enclosed in something.”

Source: Apple’s Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality – Bloomberg

Art, patents and culture — the three best ways to see where things are headed. And the room-tracking lasers on Microsoft Hololens are amazing at mapping a room. To the point that someone could move your keys or wallet, and while your human brain may not notice, Hololens would…

Microsoft envisions uses for augmented reality beyond digital pets and reading messages overlaid onto your environment — namely, finding your lost keys…

The idea here seems to be using augmented reality — via a headset, no doubt — along with a camera built into the device to identify trackable objects, and to point them out to the user whenever necessary. One such item is a wallet — the AR system could identify the wallet in a room, then keep track of its location, pointing the user toward it if needed.

Source: Microsoft patent details using augmented reality to find lost keys – SlashGear

I watch patents like these closely but take them more directionally than literally.

However, the idea of using technology to augment the fallible human brain for something like finding lost keys or a wallet?

Sign me up.

Apple isn’t behind Microsoft and Hololens. They are just being Apple. Moving slowly and deliberately toward something huge. And there’s a reason Tim Cook has brought up mixed reality in every major interview recently.

Here’s some tech news that backs this up…

Apple on Tuesday was granted a patent detailing an augmented reality mapping system that harnesses iPhone hardware to overlay visual enhancements onto live video, lending credence to recent rumors suggesting the company plans to implement an iOS-based AR strategy in the near future.

Source: Apple patents augmented reality mapping system for iPhone

Not only did I get to hang out with a number of cool folks from Magic Leap (the mysterious augmented reality/mixed reality/hologram visor maker) at Future of Storytelling last week, we now see they have  applied for a patent on “Virtual or augmented reality headsets having adjustable interpupillary distance.”

 

 

It’s way sleeker than Microsoft Hololens, although won’t have an onboard computer, so can be.

Source: Magic Leap Says Dev Milestones Met, Patent Shows Sleek Form Factor

Google says this isn’t for consumer release, but they are hot on the heels of Microsoft’s Hololens and Magic Leap in augmented reality/mixed reality visors….

“Google’s invention focuses on a system for providing a virtual reality (VR) space or headset that has the ability to interact with an Android smartphone for game play and other needed controls. The mobile computing device can be configured to execute a VR application, and provide content for display on the screen of the VR headset in the VR space.”

“The VR headset can further include a position detection device configured to determine a position of the mobile computing device. The position detection device can be a camera.”

Source: Google is working on a mixed reality headset, a new patent reveals

(cross-posted from space150’s blog)

Dating back to 2010 and our Forever 21 AR Billboard in Times Square, we’ve been excited about the prospect of augmented reality (AR) for space150 clients. At that time, we had to hack together military facial recognition software to bridge the physical-to-digital divide. But today, PokemonGo has helped bring AR utility to the masses — unlocking the digital layer on the physical world through a lens like your phone.

THE VISORS ARE COMING

The first generation of augmented reality (AR) visors is coming to a face near you. Although not quite ready for mainstream applications, we’re starting to see some entertaining experiences drop for AR consumers.

For example, this is a short video we made this week using HoloFriends new app, The Floor is Lava and our Microsoft Hololens.

It’s a reimaginging of a game we all played as kids:

Last week, our spaceLab team spent time with the Meta 2 team and some hands-on workshop time with Lorraine Bardeen, who leads strategy and partnerships for Microsoft HoloLens at the Future of Storytelling Summit.

Our discussions with these technology leaders focused less on the limitations of the technology today (limited field of view, cost, battery life vs. tethers) and more on the possibilities of storytelling using mixed reality tools like AR visors.

Imagine mapping your living room by simply looking around, then watching as your walls are painted, furniture is reupholstered, spiders crawl out of your windows, and a hologram police chief sits on your own couch and briefs you on a murder case you need to solve. This already exists.

AR visors and holograms offer yet another tool for immersive storytelling in our toolbox for brands. What will you make?

Interested in discussing how AR could work for your brand? Hit me up -> spacelab (at) space150 (dot) com.

I did three interviews about Pokemon Go this summer, and in each interview I talked at-length about the “Black Swan” moment that was occurring with augmented reality’s (AR) rapid adoption and awareness.

None of those quotes made it into the coverage, which honestly kind of bummed me out.

However, we’re already seeing Pokemon Go’s impact on the acceptance and excitement about a digital layer atop the real world (aka mixed reality) become rationalized in hindsight — as if this was an expected adoption by the mainstream.

So it’s no surprise that Tim Cook — maker of the super computer in each of our pockets that can pull that digital layer atop the world wherever we go — is bullish for AR and what’s next.

PREDICTION: We’re going to see publishers and brands start building AR layers into their mobile apps yet in 2016. Then in 2017 this trend is going to be so overblown and undervalued (although hitting even more of the mainstream than Pokemon) that there will be a constriction of use with occasionaly sparks of genius utility and creativity. By Q3 2017 — a year from today — a handful of perfectly placed solutions will finally demonstrate the full breadth (and limits) of AR in marketing, utility and culture.

…..

Augmented reality — games and applications that impose digital imagery over real-life video — has exploded onto the consumer tech scene in recent months, most notably with this summer’s hit mobile video game Pokémon Go, which overlays the game’s characters onto images taken in real time from the camera on the player’s phone.

It stands in contrast to virtual reality, which often employs a special headset and only digital imagery, which does not depend on the environment around the user. Virtual reality has been championed by news companies like ABC News and The New York Times, who have used it to tell immersive stories in ways not available in traditional media.

While Pokémon Go and other AR apps are currently available for Apple’s iPhone, Apple itself has not yet produced any of its own AR or VR products.

Source: Exclusive: Why Apple CEO Tim Cook Prefers Augmented Reality Over Virtual Reality – ABC News

Google Glass Explorer Meetup 2014 SXSWThis was my eighth year attending South by Southwest Interactive (SXSW) in Austin, TX, and the expectations were high.

The key theme I took away from SXSW 2013 was “Exponential Thinking, Exponential Opportunities,” and capitalizing on that thinking and opportunity, the main theme I took from SXSW this year was “Quit looking to others for the next big thing. Go make it yourself.

If you followed the media attention on this year’s SXSW closely, you surely noticed there wasn’t a breakout app or innovation this year. The whole “What’s the next Twitter?” expectation has grown tired for many of us longtime attendees, but the notion isn’t as misdirected as one may think.

The opening and closing keynote presentations indirectly addressed that expectation, plus the question of whose responsibility it is to create innovation that impacts society. But there’s a twist to the tone for addressing those questions in 2014.

You see, these kinds of events aren’t about the breakouts and newsmakers…. they are about the community that inevitably designs, builds and launches the breakouts — and the people who become the newsmakers. It’s about the community who comes together, at least once a year, to connect, share, learn and collaborate.

Opening keynote presenter and artist Austin Kleon shared Brian Eno’s concept of Scenius (genius coming from a collaboration of a group, culture or movement; a community that is critical to support all amazing ideas and big thinkers).

Closing keynote presenter and futurist Bruce Sterling told of the need to mature beyond nostalgia for the past. And as I attended sessions, met new people and experienced new interactive milestones between the opening and closing keynotes, I concluded that we should stop looking for the “next Twitter” or “next Foursquare” or “next Zuckerberg” at these events, and go make something ourselves.

Because after all, this is our scenius. This our collaborative community. This community has created great things in the past, and it will again. But only if we put the onus on ourselves.

So in the spirit of the scenius of 2014, I treated the conference differently in a number of ways:

    Lauren Melcher, Lindsi Gish, Amanda Long, Angie Gassett, Steffen Ryan, Nathan Wright, Greg Swan

  • Introduced myself to fellow attendees without mentioning what I did and where I worked, and asked the same of them. It forced us to dig deep into who we are, what we’re creating, and who we want to be.
  • Held a number of “stranger dinners,” where I invited people — those I had just met, people I know from back home I never see, and people I genuinely want to know better — to stop, have dinner, process what they heard in sessions that day, and clear the dishes to have a discussion.
  • Sought out 1:1 time with my coworkers, particularly those I see so rarely from our network, to connect, offer help and seek advice.
  • Made time apart from or in lieu of panels to attend things like the Google Glass Explorer Meetup, SXSXinspiration Meetup, and Facebook’s Politics, Government and Non-Profits Networking Meetup, taking the initiative to meet new people and foster new connections with those attending the conference officially with a badge — as well as those unofficially enjoying the non-conference events on the fringe.
  • Journaled some ideas for never-been-done-before things I want to build in the coming year.

And here are some of the favorite things we discussed as the 2014 “scenius” gathered in Austin this year:

    Greg Swan 3D Printed Bust and Face

  • You can’t fight technology’s progress. And we should work to adapt our society to leverage new technology.
  • White collar, repetitive knowledge workers will be replaced by automation, just as robots replaced blue collar, manufacturing workers.
  • No great artist or filmmaker ever referred to their works as “content.”
  • We can record the biometrics of everyone in the world in the cloud — and still have plenty of storage left for all of human history.
  • The importance of privacy, personal data and abuse from government.
  • The state of curiosity is a measure of intelligence.
  • The future of ethical programming for autonomous experiences.
  • The risk of legislators creating laws about technology they don’t understand.
  • The cultural dissonance of technology that comes from the introduction of new devices.

Pretty great topics, right? Oh, and I also got 3D scanned and printed. That was a first.

Overall, another amazing year. I came back energized and excited for what’s to come in 2014. Let’s go make something!

Full notes (via Twitter) broken out by session/topic after the jump!

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