Google has finally confirmed that it is working on augmented reality glasses. They believe it could greatly enhance the world around you. The project is called "Project Glass" and was originally reported by the WSJ back in February. This, however, is the first time that Google has confirmed and explained the project.
The video below shows a user looking out a window and seeing a weather forecast, following walking directions, replying to instant messages and engaging in a video conversation. Google is looking to start a conversation regarding what people would like to see implemented in the fledgling project. There is no mention of a release date.
A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We're sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.
Ok, I've seen this thing popping up on various websites, my Facebook feed and everything in-between, but now I'm spreading its wings and posting it on TweakTown myself. This is one of the most amazing videos I've seen, and truly makes you wish you were capable of this stuff as they guys in this video make it seem oh-so-easy.
Swedish magicians, Charlie Caper and Erik Rosales, on behalf of the city of Stockholk, have provided the world with what I would call, the best iPad presentation, ever. The video is just filled to the brim with sleight of hand tricks, cool presentation, and iPads.
The duo used seven new iPads, and do some truly amazing things in the 3 minute and 23 second video. I definitely recommend you watch this, and spread it around - you'll be smiling by the final few seconds. One thing it makes me want to do: live in Stockholm. I never really realised how great it sounded until they were listing off all of the great things the country has done. Well done, guys!
Griffin begins shipping Heli TC Assault helicopter, smartphone-guided and ready for you to begin heli-trolling
Griffin have today started shipping their latest-generation Android- and iOS-guided remote control helicopter, the Helo TC Assault craft. The device is guided by you, and your device, through an app running on your tablet, smartphone or heck, even an iPod touch.
The new version is different to the previous-generation release, where it can actually, wait for it: fire toy missiles from two spring-loaded launchers. YES! While using the app, the user is able to create a virtual joystick on their screen to pilot the helicopter in any direction.
They can also issue the same commands by tilting their device in certain directions. The app also sports the ability to save up to three flight plans for recreating the helicopter's route at a future time - think of it as the future Flight Control, but way better.
The Helo TC is available now, for $60.
I talked about this a few weeks ago, where I was quite excited by the potential of Android-powered Google HUD glasses. It's become more of a reality, where the New York Times reporting that Google are not only working on them, but Google are planning to launch the glasses by the end of this year.
The New York Times cite "several Google employees familiar with the project", where NYT's Nick Bilton reports that the glasses will be powered by Google's Android OS, sport 3G or 4G connectivity, as well as GPS and a few sensors, cost-wise, we'd be looking at "around the price of current smartphones", so between say $250 and $600.
The HUD glasses are also said to sport a low-resolution camera which can monitor your surroundings in real time and then overlay the relevant information, but Google are said to be paying attention to potential privacy concerts, and "wants to ensure that people know if they are being recorded by someone wearing a pair of glasses with a built-in camera".
Every time a new tech product comes out that I want, I make an excuse to how I can justify its purchase. Two Christmas' ago, I got myself some GTX 570s in SLI, just after my birthday last year, a Galaxy S II, and my birthday coming in March (March 12th to be precise, so all of your presents get to me on time) and now there's something I want.
9to5Google reported on this back in December, with some early information:
They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look similar to thick-rimmed glasses that "normal people" wear. However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface. There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses. Additionally, we are not sure of the technology being employed here, but it is likely a transparent LCD or AMOLED display such as the one demonstrated below: In addition, we have heard that this device is not an "Android peripheral" as the NYT stated. According to our source, it communicates directly with the Cloud over IP. Although, the "Google Goggles" could use a phone's Internet connection, through Wi-Fi or a low power Bluetooth 4.0.
Microsoft researchers have unveiled Omnitouch, a new system that uses a Short-Range Depth Camera together with a Pico-Projector and turns any surface area into a navigatable touchscreen. Microsoft, in a joint project with Carnegie Mellon University reveals that the technology works in a similar way to Microsoft's Xbox Kinect, but is "modified to work at short-range" to track finger movements.
In the video below, you can see that the projector superimposes a virtual keyboard image onto a hand, arm, notepad or wall, which a user can tap or drag their fingers and access it like a normal touchscreen device. Of course, in its test stages, it looks completely dorky, but this is some future tech.
It shows a shoulder-based system, with a Kinect sensor sitting on the users shoulder, as well as the Pico-Projector, with the demonstration showing how "you can tap on your hand or drag your interface out to specify the top left and bottom right border," explains researcher Hrvoje Benko.
Munich / San Francisco-based augmented reality solutions firm metaio have developed a nifty feature for attendees of this year's Augmented Reality Event
in Santa Clara, CA, May 17-18. Using their mobile augmented reality browser junaio to navigate the entire conference.
Attendees can download the junaio browser on their Android or iPhone and launch the experience from specifically and strategically placed Latitude, Longitude and Altitude (LLA) markers that will synchronize the indoor AR experience. Generally, AR navigation depends on GPS and geo-locational data to function, but GPS isn't yet precise enough to facilitate indoor navigation (things are just too close together). Metaio's technology however allows for a fairly seamless indoor directions and information (pending that you launch the application correctly).
The junaio "channel" will be providing up-to-date information regarding the various sessions and speakers, as well as giving remote information about sponsors and organizations on the expo floor. Isn't AR neat?
Cranberry Zero, a poster for IHEARTCHAOS, has taken it upon himself (literally) to be an anchor for the Nintendo 3DS suite of augmented reality games and experiences. Really literally- the dude went and tattooed the '?' design from the AR marker onto his forearm!
What goes through someone's head before he or she actually makes a decision like this? Well, Cranberry Zero solved that riddle for us:
Last week I finally snagged a Nintendo 3DS and after playing the augmented reality games, the first thing I thought was "Oh s***, that AR card would make a killer tattoo." And so this weekend, I got the 3DS AR tattoo and it's f***ing awesome.
The Mii photo came out pretty well, but it couldn't have been easy to take. The 3DS isn't exactly a one-handed device, as further proven by the following video:
Not the most easily accessible augmented reality experience. Also- how are you going to play the game if your one free hand is holding the 3DS? There's also this:
Sorry that it's jittery...the way I was having to hold my arm and hold the 3DS and look through the viewfinder of the camera meant that my arm was at a slight angle and the 3DS was trying to place it on a flat plane.
Earlier this week, NYC-based GPS interactive augmented reality game startup GoldRun raised $1.1 Million this week in angel funding. GoldRun was fortunate enough (literally) to have participants like Ed Mathias of The Carlyle Group, financier Jon Ledecky, Founding Partner of United Talent Agency Jeremy Zimmer, Former Chairman and CEO of Sunglass Hut Jim Hauslein, and CEO of Venturehouse Group Mark Ein (Mathias and Zimmer will join the board of directors). GoldRun is looking to use the funding to develop new features for both users and clients to offer more AR interactions within their application. They will also invest in supporting sales and deployment activities in both the US and other, international markets. Even more exciting, we'll see GoldRun hosted gaming sometime in the near future.
For those of you unfamiliar with the application, GoldRun uses geo-data to run augmented reality experiences on the iPhone , and they recently launched a campaign with a sentimentally confused billboard near the Holland Tunnel in New York City, which we reported earlier this week. Founder and CEO Vivian Rosenthal commented:
GoldRun allows for a new form of...
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...
London based creative communications agency Dentsu has announced their collectible interactive line of toys they call Suwappu. These adorable eastern-influenced and strangely bipedal incarnations of woodland creatures derive their names from their ability to "swap" (which is what Suwappu translates to) out their lower halves with each other, which Dentsu call "pants".
So we've got cute animal toys that switch pants- what about the AR? The fine folks at Dentsu have used the flat fronts of these cute things to utilize augmented reality natural feature tracking to use the toys in interactive mobile AR experiences. The swapping of the pants (I love writing that) changes the environment around the character while the top part controls the dialogue. Check out this video:
I gotta love the random Kanye tweet. As entertaining as the video is, it's kind of unclear what the actual experience will entail. Tish Shute, New Media advocate and journalist, wrote in her blog that she's trying to get them to Santa Clara, CA for this year's Augmented Reality Event (at which I will be present...
Billboards are a tough sell for augmented reality- they're expensive real estate, they're constantly exposed to a variety of external conditions that wreak havoc on natural feature tracking algorithms and sdk's, and outside of urban environments they're generally only seen while moving past them at 65-80 mph. So how does one utilize a billboard for an AR experience? Tack it to a place in an urban environment where there are always a @#$%load of slow-moving vehicles present. Cue bustling New York City's Holland Tunnel, where readers familiar with the area will immediately summon memories of exhaust stench, honking horns, and that dreadful summer day mid-way through a heatwave when your AC on your Nissan Stanza craps the bed.
To express your inevitable sentiment, rather than raging and yelling at your car and fellow commuters, why not just take your iPhone, point it at the billboard, and snap a picture to post to your Facebook wall that says "I am feeling (ANGRY FACE)"? New York-based GPS augmented reality app GoldRun partnered up with Tronic Studio and outdoor marketing firm ADstruc to bring us the first billboard with feelings. The billboard is part of the latter's "Billboards For Everyone" campaign, which brings together local design talent to create...
The University of South Australia brings us quite a nifty gadget / design tool as part of their Wearable Computer Laboratory. In a paper and accompanying video published by Ewald T. A. Maas, Michael R. Marner, Ross T. Smith, and Bruce H. Thomas, they introduce "Quimo", a free form spatial Augmented Reality interface. Short for "quick mock-up", the substance is a white malleable material that the user can sculpt and reform to their heart's content, all with their bare hands. It retains its shape once you sculpt it and doesn't harden later, so you can always go back and sculpt different things. It's like Play-Doh for Augmented Reality.