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AR Weekly Digest N.48

 1. Pioneer Introduces Revolutionary Augmented Reality SatNav

Pioneer launches NavGate head-up display (HUD) that combines augmented reality with smartphone connectivity to provide the virtual equivalent of a 30-inch display in front of the eyes of a driver. It allows the driver to fully focus on the road at all times throughout their journey.

It features light sensors that automatically adjusts the brightness of the projections by monitoring the amount of light, Turn-By-Turn Directions with guided instructions will display current speed, speed limits, red light and speed cameras alerts, a clock, and estimated time of arrival and distance to your destination.

The Satnav supports various smartphones, which connect to the unit via USB and is compatible with the CoPilot and NNG’s iGO primo smartphone apps that display navigation instructions, points of interest and road hazards.

Girish Janday, product executive at Pioneer, said: “Two essential elements for driving are having a clear view on the road and knowing where you’re going. Pioneer’s NavGate HUD has been designed with both of those ideas in mind, ensuring drivers navigate without losing focus, keeping distractions to a minimum. Its competitive price-point will open up this innovative technology to a broader audience.”

The NavGate is due to go on sale from October for £600.


2. Angela Merkel Chooses Augmented Reality for Her Election Campaign

v2-AN27440339A+Merkel+app+withA ‘Merkelapp’ for smartphones is an Augmented reality app which was lauched by her election team and which appears to make billboard posters of the German chancellor speak directly to voters.

The app automatically recognizes Merkel’s face through a camera when being pointed at a campaign poster with her image and begins playing a video featuring her talking. Merkel appears to speak out of the poster, saying: “Germany is doing well today but we cannot take this for granted. I want us to be successful in the future together.” Merkel’s campaign manager Hermann Groehe said in the interview that he hoped the new app would help mobilize more voters to support her conservatives in what he predicted to be a “tight race”.

Augmented reality in smartphone applications was also used by Obama in his campaign to win a second term in office when exclusive content was revealed after scanning a $5 note.


3. Blippar Brings the British Passport to Life

Blippar has just unveiled an augmented reality passport with the aim of keeping kids entertained and reducing stress for parents during  long-distance flights.

The app is triggered by a British passport. By ‘blipping’ the front page of a passport, a 3D plane will appear and take off from the passport. Users can then navigate  the aircraft through the clouds by turning the passport. Besides the 3D model packing checklists and a language center where you can practice learning a new language (Croatian, Italian, French or Spanish) are also included in the app.

Jess Butcher, CMO of Blippar said: ‘With 14 million UK holidaymakers expected to go abroad this summer, we wanted to create something fun, informative and engaging that any person travelling abroad could use. Kids often get bored at the airport and we wanted parents to be able to concentrate on enjoying their holidays and having fun with their kids instead of being stressed out. By Blipping the front cover of their passport travellers can access a truly interactive travel experience.’


4. A Giant Ferris Wheel with Augmented Reality to be Built in Japan


The Giant Observation Wheel (GOW) or the Nippon Moon, designed by Dutch architectural studio UNStudio, is currently in development in Japan. It is going to be twice as big as the London Eye.

The structure will consist of 32 single and double-decked pods or capsules which will allow for augmented reality views of the city. The Nippon Moon will also come with an app for smartphones and tablets, which will allow users to communicate with the people in other capsules. Guests of the wheel will be able to switch from reality to augmented reality views in the capsule.

dezeen_GOW-Nippon-Moon-by-UNStudio_4“The latest technology is incorporated in the capsules to create integrated augmented reality that creates new levels of engagement – both in terms of the surrounding views and through communication and interaction between users,” said Van Berkel. “Through this, the Nippon Moon becomes not just an observation platform, but a platform for heightened observation and the stimulation of the imagination.”

At the moment, the project is in the design phase, but as soon when it is constructed, a new iconic experience will be coming to a Japanese city.


5. The World’s First Augmented Reality Exercise Gaming Platform

A young start-up GlassFit claims to develop the first augmented reality exercise platform for Google Glass. A collection of exercise games, this platform consists of, allows users to race against themselves, their friends and zombies. What the company proposes is a Motivation and, of course, amusement to start exercising regularly.

Idea shown in the video below is really interesting. Check it out yourself!


6. Vuforia’s “Smart Terrain” Turns Your Living Room into a Game

Last week the Qualcomm showed off a brand new addition to its Vuforia Augmented Reality platform. “Smart Terrain” (this is the name of an addition) brings a living room landscape straight into your mobile game.

Technology allows developers to create apps that can see real world objects, calculated their height/width/depth and then build visuals to interact with them. The app starts by asking you to choose your “play space.” You can do this by tapping the table, and it maps out a 3D grid around those physical objects. After the app identifies the objects and the game begins. Virtual terrain began to grow all over the objects. In the prototype game, you play a character that has to defend a tower from the creatures that are attacking it.

“Smart Terrain”  will be available in the Qualcomm Vuforia SDK in April 2014, but right now you can watch the demo below.


AR applications:

  1. Reality Guitar
  2. Malaysia Escapade
  3. Wild Medicine
  4. Welcome 3D
  5. Realizer
  6. Sudoku AR
  7. Augmented Reality for Sony CommOn
  8. SPEC Clutch AR
  9. Add Ink App
  10. SpectLite
  11. Chateau de Cherbourg
  12. LandslideAR
  13. ScreenCatcher
  14. Waterfall Club
  15. aniface
  16. Thinkr
  17. Smart Subway AR
  18. Engage Mobility

Prepared by:

AR23D Studio
3D Augmented Reality Solutions


AR Weekly Digest N.47

1. McDonald’s Germany Promotes Sustainability with Augmented Reality App

Fast-food giant McDonald’s has been pushing into the mobile space by setting its sights on augmented reality and NFC-based mobile payment. It has recently launched McMission, a new augmented reality application that is meant to promote awareness of environmental issues and sustainability.

The McMission application features four mini-games that focus on renewable energy and efficiency. McDonald’s has a a lot to before it can be considered environmentally friendly, but through such campaigns it informs its customers of different environmental issues awaiting and about the steps are made by McDonalds to limit restaurant’s emissions and lower its impact on the environment.

“With McMission we want to bring our guests closer though playful central aspects of sustainability,” says Philipp Wachholz, director of corporate affairs at McDonald’s Germany.

“We have chosen Augmented Reality as a technology because it brings together the real restaurant experience with fascinating virtual animation.”

The app is now available on Google Play and the iTunes App Store for download.


2. KDDI launches ‘Play screen’ campaign in Japan

Japanese telecommunication company KDDI has launched a campaign to promote the effect of its 4G LTE technology on smartphones. The campaign includes TV, cinema, print, OOH, adds and an app called ODOROKI – a game that can be played on all of the different screen elements of the campaign.

Users choose between two characters, a boy Yanagi and a girl Rina, and help them get to their love despite multiple obstacles. Overall the game allows 432 different story scenarios, at the end of which main characters meet.

“Anything can become a screen; this is a vision and a mission for all who works in the multi-media industry,” said Kentaro Shihaku, creative director/CEO of Glider, the agency behind the campaign.

“What if the city itself becomes a device and functions as a screen? I wanted to illustrate this vision for this campaign under the name Play Screen. Play, here, has a triple meaning of have fun, performance and playing content through different devices,” he said.


3. Augmented Reality Experience at Mall of Emirates

Dubai firm PIxelbug has recently launched an augmented reality campaign at Mall of the Emirates.

Players can see virtual objects visible only to them as they move around their real surroundings with a newly developed waterproof smartphone as a controller. At the end they had to drop the phone into water, which sent their scores to a leaderboard. The player with the highest score each day won a tablet computer.

Dany El Eid, founder and managing partner at pixelbug, said about 300 people played every day for the past week, which is enough to consider campaign sucessful in terms of customer engagement. Unfortunately for those who became hooked on the game, there are no plans to release it. “This isn’t an android app that will be available for the public,” Mr El Eid said.


4. Google Glass Assists Surgery

HT_google_glass_surgery_tk_130829_16x9_992An Ohio surgeon Dr. Christopher Kaeding recently consulted with a colleagues during a knee surgery using Google Glass, a head-mounted computer and camera device.

The procedure was livestreamed to a group of medical students and Dr. Robert Magnussen, an assistant professor of clinical orthopedics at Ohio State, who watched from his office on computers. In this particular operation, Glass’s purpose was to allow Kaeding to join a Google Hangout, Google’s video conferencing service. A camera is attached to the front of the device that offers a point-of-view image and the ability to take both photos and videos while the device is worn.

“To be honest, once we got into the surgery, I often forgot the device was there,” Dr. Kaeding said in a news release. “It just seemed very intuitive and fit seamlessly.”


5. ‘Business Catalog’ from Augment – Salespeople’s Assistant

Business Catalog  from Augment lets businesses synchronize their catalog of 3D models ad then distribute across their team members and customers in the form of offline visualization for $30 per month.

“We work with companies who already use 3D models,” co-founder and CMO Mickaël Jordan said. “We support 3ds Max, Maya or even SketchUp files,” he continued.

According to the press release augment now has a community of over 17,000 registered 3D designers working in industrial design, packaging, character design and merchandising. These designers upload their 3D models for free on the Augment website. By using the Augment app they can visualise their projects in the actual size being integrated in a real environment.

With this business catalog, everybody on the sales team has the same 3D portfolio on their tablets and phones. The content is downloaded to the devices, which means there shouldn’t be worries about connectivity.


6. Google Continue Collecting Patents

Search giant Google has bought patents from Taiwan-based technology manufacturer Foxconn, as it continues to move forward with Google Glass. Assembly giant Foxconn confirmed that it had sold patents on Head Mounted Technology to Google that generate “a virtual image and is superimposed on a real-world view”. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


AR applications:

  1. 4 You by Vox
  2. Noor Islamic Bank Mobile Application
  3. TOT Z more
  4. Gift of Music
  5. Record Rack’s BigShot
  6. Moments in Place
  7. AR Earth Invasion HD
  8. InSight MBFS
  9. Guinness World Records 2014 – Augmented Reality Lite
  10. 3D Trex Dinosaur – Jurassic Dinos Virtual Pet Game Park
  11. Aim AR
  12. Cherry Bug
  13. 123D View
  14. Waterworld AR
  15. Inspyro ActiveLens: WW1
  16. Nissan AR
  17. Bumble Bee Foods
  18. BrandAge AIM
  19. Gambit AR
  20. SunHud
  21. ShowerPump Tablets
  22. RedTree Group
  23. Interactive Periodic Table of Elements by Popar
  24. UniUd
  25. Olmix Breizh Algae Tour
  26. GBA Bandiet
  27. Campus University
  28. Studio Mobile
  29. 3D Monsters – Virtual Monsters Interactive Pets
  30. Travelling app Premium
  31. Curtis GEM IF

Prepared by:

AR23D Studio
3D Augmented Reality Solutions