@Dr Thomas: I didn't hear, but will have a look today.
@Rick Merritt: talking about image and marker based AR I would say there should be improvement in stability, as often information overlay gets disturbed due to glare, too big distance, etc. But in perspective SLAM or something even more progressive will lead the way.
@Rick - Wiesnbier, and yes. Delicious. But Generally can be trouble for non-Germans, as the constant live-band classic rock, dirndls and general mirth make you forget you're drinking beer that has about twice the alcohol content.
I'm really sorry everyone -- I have to go -- I have a conference call starting up in 1 minute -- but I think we need to keep thsi AR talk going in the future because I honestly believe AR is going to be the biggest thing out there in the not so distant future
@controlfreak- we've been working with a single hospital for about 3 years now on that very project. It's under constant development, and the solution you want is very difficult in real-world application, especially with altitude. Add in compliance regulations and it's a very long-term thing.
In addition to the store mapping concept, couldn't the same technology be used for navigating in hospitals? I can't tell you how many times I have gone to the information desk and they told me to go up to the third floor, make a right , go down the hall, turn left at the fire extinguisher and the lab will be at the end of the hall next to the radiology department. I frequently get lost. Maybe this would be an application where they wouldn't be trying to upsell you something?
@Dr Alt - When on tour in Swizerland and Germany we would be given a lunch allowance for a top price meal. I would find a place that had beer, bread and sausage for about 1/4 the price and pocket the rest of the allowance. Always order the "local" Beer.
@MS423 - with things like Google Shopping Express and Amazon Prime / Fresh, it's a wonder that people still go to stores, really. I, personally, enjoy the experience of shopping. But in times where you are too busy at work or anything else to go to a furniture store, navigate it, and pick out the right thing, it's nice to know you can just order it and will show up in two days at your house.
Is AR an app for the broader tech of embedded vision? I see co-located with AWE next week is the Embedded Vision Summit (http://www.embedded-vision.com/summit/may2014/conference) where Facebook and Google researchers will keynote.
More importantly, I think AR should go towards transforming the process of purchasing things at retail stores. No more checkouts, no more lines- similar to how Apple or Nordstrom Rack does purchasing, but with a computer vision component.
@Rick I expect some breakthrough in tracking technology. Cause only low quality of the most augmented reality solutions by now keeps augmented reality still far from consumers and slows down its popularity.
Maybe not, but if one store offers it and another doesn;t, which store do you think will get the customers? The thing is that while you are following your AR "guide" to the beer ... the store can be popping things up like "look at this amazing sale item"
@duane, @controlfreak: It depends on the store- as online shopping divides the revenue between in-store and at home, big-box retailers want ways of influencing purchasing decisions and engaging with customers. I recently looked at a big-box retailers internal statistical evaluation of their stores and it was astounding how many customers, arriving with the intent of buying something, left without purchasing anything because they couldn't get the right information.
@Max - Are you familure with Acoustic Holography? One one pole it is what makes surrround sound in theater work. Another pole in liquids it can be used for non distructive testing. The microwave version was what I think was the core of the scanners TSA was wanting that can see through clothing. (or replace virtually one's clothing with a different outfit on the monitor device.)
@controlfreak: not just finding a store, but giving me a real-time map of the inventory?
Of course.... I can imagine that when you walk into a store it downloads a "map" into youtr AR system ... then all you hav eto do is say "Where can I find the beer" (your AR systen will recognize your voice) and a dotten line will appear on the floor in front of you...
Controlfreak - I don't think stores want that. They prefer that you have to browse past a lot of other items to get to what you want. I'd like such a system though - especially if I could put my list in and have it map the quickest route.
I am a novice, but do any of you see this being used to improve a shopping experience; not just finding a store, but giving me a real-time map of the inventory? I know the layout of my local supermarket, but when I go to Florida to visit my daughter, a shopping trip in anunfamiliar store makes me feel like a rat in a maze zig-zagging all over the place. I just want to tell a system what I need and have it map out the most effiecient route within the store to complet my list.
@Thomas : At some point it's just semantic, right?
True :-) Although I like Alan Craig's definition "a medium in which digital information is overlaid on the physical world that is in both spatial and temporal registration with the physical world and that is interactive in real time". Other opinions may vary :-)
@Rick: extremely nascent- this is one of those times we were are likely way ahead of any applied use-case, consumer or enterprise. But in addition to concentrating on improving the core AR tech for today, we have our eyes on 5 years from now. It's also a move on our part to help encourage device manufacturerers and sensor companies that this technology could be useful moving forward.
@Duane, re MF -- I work security, so I am invisible. One year as an attendee I felt I knew 500 to 1000 people at the event, Center of the storm in a way. Almost any direction I look there I see somone I know. (Unless it is the person I am looking for.)
@Duane: If it's not visual, can it still be called augmented reality?
Most certainly- but we tend to refer to AR experiences that don't require real-time rendering as "computer vision", which is really utilizing any of the sensors (including the camera) to access information or trigger actions. Image recognition and visual search is a very good example of this. Also using sensors like GPS (the Nokia example mentioned earlier) is a popular form of Computer Vision.
@Max - I would enjoy that. I'm currently in our San Francisco office, and will be at AWE all next week. Friday would probably work best for me. I think you have our US Marketing director's contact already (Trak). He would be the best person to contact for scheduling.
@Rick: Besides silicon acceleration, what do we need in tech to get to consumer AR?
Content. There needs to be compelling content to bring the consumer back to the experience consistently. But the Catch 22 is that the hardware needs to improve to allow for "Always On" experiences. Then of course we need wearable devices to be more powerful (and quite frankly, more fashionable). So there are a lot of things happening in parallel. For our part, we are trying to improve the software and the algorithms in order to make sure that the experience itself works reliably.
I have a cybermaxx headset from about 15 or so years back. (This is what the sub operator was using in the opening scene of the movie titanic.) I still want to know why this sort of thing fades in and out of fasion.
Coincicentally I just got a newsletter from a headhunter and it was discussing the tech skills most in demand. Here's #1 on the list
1) Augmented reality developer This position may sound space age, but many of today's companies have an urgent need for IT workers with augmented reality skills, mostly due to their part in popular mobile applications.
"Although augmented reality apps run the gamut from interactive map overlays and virtual showrooms to massive multiplayer king of the hill titles and the like, each piece of software hones in on smartphone GPS and camera functionality to create a more immersive experience," explained Digital Trends.
The typical salary for this type of developer is anywhere from $115,000 to $130,000 USD (~$125,000 to $141,000 CAD).
@MeasurementBlues : How do you test augmented reality?
In the technical sense it's similar to other sensory/multimedia-type technologies. From a product or consumer perspective the effectiveness is derived from engagement levels. AR is primarily a communications medium (like print or cinema), although it obviously depends on a lot of sophisticated tech.
Speaking of pinball, One of the most impressive haptic demos was at an atmel sponcered event. A little box with a cellphone display. The marble really felt like it was bumping off the edges and pillars.
@Max - Of course. AR however is essentially powered by the same data. It's really just a platform for managing the bridge between the real world and the physical world. Since there's no real "AR Hub" (yet), the AR would go away as soon as the infrastructure (Internet, Carriers, databases) were no longer available.
I do think there's some possibility in the future for scalable Computer Vision libraries and architecture. Imagine something along the lines of a cloud system where you could store thousands of images, virtual content and other associated content that would automatically tie in to your experience, whatever it was.
If that happens, then yes, that would be a very sore loss for people and companies involved if it were to go away.
@Dr Thomas: if the technological apocalypse arrives, I doubt AR will be what we miss most :)
I agree -- survival will be first and foremost -- but...
We had some big storm shere recently -- on TV the local news was talking abouit possible tornadoes and plotting their courses and saying "Harvest, it will be hitting you at 6:22pm ... Monrovia, it will pass you at 6:24pm ... Hazel Green, watch oiut at 6:32pmmm...."
I can't imagine not having this data available. But a few years ago you wouldn;t even have known a storm wa scoming until it arrived. Once you get used to information it's hard to live without it -- that will go for AR also
@Rick and of course, Metaio will be showcasing some very cool Automotive AR demonstrations and R&D like Thermal Touch and real-time dynamic occlusion, such as the ability to place objects in the real world with depth and relation to other objects.
@ Duane - You were at Maker Faire? I guess with 40 to 50K attendees one can not see everyone. I did see the pinball trailer, looked for Jeri but never did see her this year. Usually she is hard to miss.
@Rick what do you expect to see at AWE that could move the ball forward on this emerging area?
There's a lot of innovation coming from the Enterprise, and there are some really bright people involved in making wearable devices. The Enimai "Nod", a time-of-flight ring sensor is one of the most innovative things I've seen recently.
@dtrainor: Which implies that augmenting content continually available and compelling.
Well, yes. I think it;s a bit like the Internet. Can you remember the early days. I recall when someone put the Paris metro timetable up on the Internet and we all thought "What an amazingly useful idea" LOL
When full-up AR comes along, people will be out-doing eachother to provide AR content that demands our attention.
@Rick, @Max - you both write for an engineering-centric publication, so I'm wondering what your opinions, insights and observations of AR have been recently- what stands out to you? Where do you see that technology going?
@Rick- that's something that we really can't disclose at this time, but the answer, long-term, is that we've seen a decided increase in the interest of device manufacturers / OEM in computer vision and AR as not only a USP but a worthwhile technology for user.
I think that will be a big market -- both when you are inside a store and when you are simply walking down a road -- using AR to tell you about the types of stores, and about special offers, and suchlike -- but I also think thta AR is going to go far beyond retail
Max - The positive irony is that, had I followed the GPS map (my original plan), I would have ended up in about an hour of traffic to get to expensive parking at Maker Faire. As it was, I navigated by fragments of poor memory and a few road signs. I ended up going the "wrong" way, which took me to free parking, a short five minute walk from the palce.
@MS243: It can come down to whether you consider AR as "always on" or not.
I think once we have true AR then it will be "always on" -- but we may want to jave controls that allow us to control the "level" to which we expose ourselves and to which we accept and reveal information...
Thinking about the DKP senario. I suspect that it might be hard to tell AR from insanity or any other escapist patentable regulated intellectual property. When I was little we were promised better living through chemistry, look where that lead.
I do believe AR is great for rerailers. One local brand, Desigual, have a few shops where customers can use their smartphones (provided with a special app) to explore the features of the products, and the design process behind them. They were featured at the Mobile World Congress.
I was recently driving around in the San Frisco area, of California. I had a brand new Android tablet with moving map for navigation.
This articular tablet was having some issues and stopped navigating at a few critical points. I felt quite helpless. I've been driving around in the same area off and on for decades, and when using a paper map, was always able to maintain some sense of situational awareness.
The GPS-based map has a whole lot more useful information and flexibility, which is why I use it. But, It's a little scary how dependant I've become on it so quickly.
@MS243 - There can be "etiquette" issues to consider for sure. Although these already require consideration with existing imaging technologies. It can come down to whether you consider AR as "always on" or not.
I have a dreadful memory for names and faces -- people come up to me and say hi and I'm desperatly trying to remember where I've met them before -- having an AR system that could remind me this person is my wife would be really handy
I'll start off with the controversy -- what happens if you accidentally photograph the local drug kingpin, and then he want's to do something about it -- at your expense --- there are some definate con's to the technology as well
Our next live online chat will commence on Friday 23 May 2014 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (1:00 p.m. Eastern Time). You'll have to work out your local time from these clues (you can always use this handy-dandy Time Zone Converter).
Your host will be Max Maxfield, and the topic of conversation will be anything and everything to do with Augmented Reality. As always, we will be following our usual practice of leaping from topic to topic with the agility of young, fearless mountain goats, so make sure you're wearing appropriate clothing!
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.