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GDC 2013 - It can't be a Game Developers Conference this year without some cool augmented reality demos now, can it? Well, metaio was at GDC 2013 showing off their quite capable augmented reality technology.
Trace was treated by ex-TweakTown staff member Trak Lord, who showed off some very cool augmented reality Lego demo. As the video above shows, a Nexus 10 is used for the demo, rendering the Lego figure and his four-wheeler in real-time. Trace notes the low polygon count, but Trak says that high-quality models are definitely capable, but it would take a while for consumers to download from the Internet. Trak also noted that this is meant to be a light, accessible experience.
metaio states that they've preloaded models of entire cars or air conditioners using their augmented reality technology.
Google will be sending out invitations over the next few days to people who participated in the #ifihadglass competition. Winners of the #ifihadglass competition will be invited to purchase the Google Glass Explorer Edition package for $1,500. They will then be able to pick their pair up at one of the many events Google is planning.
The dates for when Google Glass will be available for pickup have not been confirmed. Google stresses that the Explorer Program is only open to individuals. Businesses will have to wait until Google comes up with a program specifically designed for connecting with businesses:
We also want to call out that we received great applications from businesses. At the moment, our Explorer Program is only for individuals. However, we are working on connecting with businesses in other ways.
We will probably hear more about Google Glass at Google's I/O event.
Google has made a post on the Project Glass Google+ page to confirm that future versions of Google Glass will come with support for prescription lenses. Google says that Glass will be modular, which will allow frames and lenses to be interchangeable. This will allow prescription lenses to be fitted to Glass.
The Glass design is modular, so you will be able to add frames and lenses that match your prescription. We understand how important this is and we've been working hard on it. We're still perfecting the design for prescription frames. Although the frames won't be ready for the Explorer Edition's release, hang in there -- you can expect to see them later this year.
This is good news for prescription eyeglass wearers around the world. While they may have to wait a bit longer to get a pair of Glass, they will eventually not be left out of the fun. Google expects to launch a pair of Glass that supports prescription lenses before the holiday season.
If you are a poor pool player, you're certainly not alone. A team of students from the University of the Algarve in Portugal have created an augmented reality system that projects a prediction of where the cue ball will go after being hit. While it won't make you the best pool player ever, it will certainly aid in some shots.
The system uses a camera to detect the cue ball's location and the direction the pool cue's direction. The projector then shines lines of light down on to the table to show the predicted path of the ball. The system isn't capable of predicting things such as spin and speed, but it will certainly help with simple shots.
It's akin to what you would likely get on a virtual game of pool. "We developed an algorithm that tracks and analyzes the ball's position. It detects lines that match up with the cue. The computer's connected to the projector too, so it updates right away." Right now, it's more of a research project than anything, but it's easy to see this becoming a stand-alone product that could be used to train billiard players.
The Google Glass project is looking pretty awesome. Who wouldn't want to wear a computer on their face? To demonstrate some of the capabilities that Google Glass should have in its final iteration, Google has release a new video that showcases some of the major features:
In the video, people can be heard controlling the headset via the command "Ok Glass." After those words are said, Glass starts listening for a command such as "take a picture," "start recording," or numerous other examples as seen in the video. Project Glass continues to get more and more awesome every time we see something new.
Unfortunately, you'll have to shell out $1,500 and win a spot to pre-order the device.
Vuzix new augmented reality glasses, the Wrap 1200AR, are similar in many ways to the Wrap 1200VR set. The main difference here is that the new pair of glasses focus on augmented reality (hence the AR as opposed to the VR). They feature two VGA cameras that record stereoscopic video of where you're looking.
This allows them to produce 3D images that have been augmented with the requested augmented reality data. The idea here is that users can see information about exhibits, cities, and other things while walking around. It's not clear who would want these glasses, but if you do, you'll have to shell out $1,499.
Paul Travers, President and CEO, Vuzix Corporation:
We are excited to be shipping these new digital ARglasses, offering a huge 75-inch screen, as seen from 10 feet. New features such as adjustable eye-separation, synchronized camera and display tilt combine for the best digital see-through AR user experience on the market. AR is taking the world by storm and is gaining momentum in many markets. We provide these AR tools to research facilities, universities, game developers and enthusiasts, enabling them to develop affordable and compelling Augmented Reality solutions.
CES 2013 - I want a pair of Google Glasses pretty bad, and this isn't helping - Electrical Lead for the Google Glass project, Russ Mirov, was caught wearing the augmented reality headset at CES 2013.
There's not much news to make of this, other than the picture snapped above, but by the looks of things he'd be looking up high to see the screen itself. They look a bit prototype-y with the metal hanging over the nose, but they are a while from being purchased by consumers.
Dad creates video-capable quadrocopter to watch his son walk to the bus stop, redefines the meaning of hovering parent
If there's anything us parents want to do, it's keep our kids as safe as humanly possible - well, one dad has taken this step in a technologically driven direction for a change.
Paul Wallich would normally walk his son to the bus stop near their house - a 400m journey each and everyday. He did this to make sure his son safely got onto the bus and was on his way to school. 400m isn't a huge distance, but it can be an annoyance during the winter, or when he was super busy.
Wallich decided there had to be a way around this, and to watch his son get escorted to school from the comfort of his warm home. Wallich built a quadrocopter that sports a camera that streams a live feed directly to his PC. This process wasn't too hard, as quadrocopter kits are available at most hobby and electronics specialty shops.
A live video feed of his son walking to the bus stop wasn't a huge feat, either, as Wallich just attached a smartphone to the hovering bodyguard, and used a video chatting application to stream video to his PC. This was the end of the easy part of this journey, the hard part was getting the now video-equipped quadrocopter to track his son's movements during his walk to the bus stop.
The makers behind the Rift head-mounted VR device, Oculus, have just come out and disappointed thousands of people across the world. Oculus' Rift was meant to see the release of a developer kit before Christmas, but now it has been pushed back four months into 2013.
The Rift's developer kit will be released in April, and has been delayed due to an overwhelming response:
We hoped to sell a few hundred kits to game developers and virtual reality enthusiasts around the world. Instead, we were blown away by the overwhelming response from a community of almost 10,000 backers, who raised nearly $2.5 million dollars to help us develop the Oculus Rift.
Obviously thousands of extra developer kits will need to be not only made, but sent out to keen users. There is one particular reason it has been delayed, and that is the internal display. The original Rift was meant to sport a 5.6-inch display, but that display is no longer available which means the team has been forced to switch to a 7-inch display. But, good has come from this - the team have said: "the new display beats the old display in almost every key area including response time, switching time, contrast and color quality."
I'm salivating at the thought of being able to use Google's Project Glass, but it looks like Microsoft have just begun throwing rumors out there that they are too, working on their own augmented reality glasses.
The Redmond-based OS giant applied for a patent back in May of 2011 for the glasses, which means that development for the new technology should be well into its life by now. Microsoft's glasses are unique in the way that instead of using a tiny transparent display, Microsoft's glasses will actually use full eye glass.
Microsoft's product will most likely end up being made more for specific events, rather than everyday use. Their glasses will be capable of displaying text, images and video directly in front of you - ideal for sporting events or a concert. There's not much else known about their glasses, but I'm sure we should hopefully hear more at CES in Las Vegas in January 2013.