Munich-based Augmented Reality Solutions firm metaio GmbH and Vuzix of Rochester, NY have announced a development and marketing partnership to collaborate on identifying and delivering improved and enhanced solutions for their customers. Roman Hasenbeck, Director of Business Development for metaio San Francisco, commented:
Our company has provided AR software for over 8 years and Vuzix is the first company to deliver a complete line of AR-enabled Video Eyewear, which includes both digital and optical see-through glasses that are high resolution and easy to wear. These are essential features for our customers. We believe that with Vuzix, we will finally be able to satisfy the needs of our many customers and partners for a hands-free solution.
If you're new to the Augmented Reality industry you probably don't realize the significance of this last statement. AR exists chiefly on two different platforms at the moment: web-contained and mobile. You may have seen examples and use cases in marketing promotions, such as those by Hallmark or Home Depot, that launch from the webcam of your desktop or laptop. Otherwise, AR lives in your phone, in the form of reality browsers like Layar or metaio's junaio application. Take a moment and consider the Yelp application's "monocle" function, and imagine you could perceive something like that through your sunglasses. That is the kind of thing that Vuzix wants to do. Together, metaio and Vuzix hope to address common AR implementations in advertising, entertainment, on-site and factory floor training and education, and pretty much anything else!
AR is one of those technologies that is solely limited by hardware- after that, the sky might not even be a limit. Who knows what the future holds, whether its interactive heads-up-displays that integrate your social networks, intuitive advertising, facial recognition, Minority Report-style interfaces- who knows? With a company like Vuzix and its kick-ass cutting edge hands-free hardware combining with metaio's already-demonstrated and effective natural feature tracking software, we can expect to see all sorts of cool stuff. Below is an example of what the technology of both companies can do when put together- a 3D, hands free instructional interface for installing a car speaker:
With this kind of technology, any complicated task can become a DIY. Crazy, right? Press release to follow.
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK-- (April 12, 2011) - Vuzix Corporation (TSX-V:VZX, OTC:BB:VUZI FWB: V7X) ("Vuzix" or, the "Company"), today announced that it has formed a marketing and development partnership with metaio, the leader in the field of professional Augmented Reality (AR) software systems, to deliver head mounted display (HMD) solutions for their customers. The two companies will work together to identify and deliver customer solutions that require both metaio's AR software capability and Vuzix's line of AR enabled Video Eyewear.
Paul Travers, President of Vuzix, commented, "Both metaio and Vuzix are leaders in and at the forefront of AR markets with highly complementary offerings. With Vuzix providing its award winning Video Eyewear products and engineering services and metaio providing its leading software platforms and software engineering capability, we believe that together we can better address this rapidly emerging market need."
metaio and Vuzix have identified a number of common customers that require integrated hands-free HMD solutions for applications such as marketing and advertising, assembly, maintenance, on-site and on the factory floor problem solving, training and education and entertainment. On a non-exclusive basis, the two companies will work with each other to assist customers in developing and delivering such solutions.
Added Roman Hasenbeck, Director Business Development, metaio Inc., "Our company has provided AR software for over 8 years and Vuzix is the first company to deliver a complete line of AR-enabled Video Eyewear, which includes both digital and optical see-through glasses that are high resolution and easy to wear. These are essential features for our customers. We believe that with Vuzix, we will finally be able to satisfy the needs of our many customers and partners for a hands-free solution."
As part of the new relationship each will become members of the respective company's Premier Developer Partner network. metaio's Unifeye® software suite is compatible with Vuzix's most recent software development kit (SDK) and being a part of each other's partnernetwork will entitle each company to previews and advance release product to ensure seamless integration on future releases. Vuzix will also attend metaio's InsideAR 2011 Fair to be held September 26 to 27, 2011 in Munich, Germany.
About Vuzix Corporation
Vuzix is a leading supplier of Video Eyewear products in the defense, consumer and media & entertainment markets. The Company's products, personal display devices that offer users a portable high quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, thermal sighting systems, tactical wearable displays and Virtual and Augmented Reality. With its origins in defense research and development for next generation display solutions, Vuzix holds over 51 patents in the Video Eyewear field. The Company has won 9 Consumer Electronics Show Innovations Awards, the Retail Vision Best New Product and several wireless technology innovation awards, among others. Founded in 1997, Vuzi is a public company (TSX-V: VZX - News, OTC: BB: VUZI, FWB: V7X) with offices in Rochester, NY, Oxford, UK and Tokyo, Japan. For more information visit: http://www.vuzix.com
As the world-wide leader in Augmented Reality technology, metaio develops software products for visual interactive solutions between the real and the virtual world. Based on the software platform Unifeye, 3D-animations can be integrated seamlessly into live-video streams respectively into pictures of the user's real environment. Founded in February 2003, metaio currently employs 70+ people at three different locations. The company is headquartered in Munich with the subsidiaries metaio Inc. located in San Francisco USA and metaio Asia in Seoul. metaio has been working with more than 450 renowned customers from different industries and geographical locations. Among them: BMW, Daimler, Siemens, Toyota, Peugeot, EADS, Bertelsmann, KUKA, LEGO, MINI, Popular Science, Focus Features and Volkswagen.