through and through

IMG_4130

Graffiti in a tunnel under the Friedensengel that reads, ‘through and through

 

 

Aside from a few glimmers of the sun peaking through, it’s been a very dark late autumn here in Munich. Not that it’s an issue now, because although it’s been particularly wet the last few days, the sun is out in full force today.

All that grey darkness is but a memory today.

Yet, I find myself looking at this graffiti/painting every time I’m walking through the tunnel under the Friedensengel here in Bogenhausen.

Through and through, indeed.

The eagle and the lamb…wonder what that’s about. Any ideas?

Mild as it’s been, enjoying late autumn

 

IMG_4048

Louis the boy dog at Lake Starnberg in Upper Bavaria

It’s been mild, we get it. November was rather warm here in Munich, and there hasn’t been much sunlight. It’s a good time to hole up and read. Or write.

However, when you’ve got dogs, there’s only so long you can stay inside. I’ve tried to convince the hounds to take themselves out, but they seem to appreciate my company. So outside we go.

The above photo was taken at Lake Starnberg a few weeks ago, and what a gorgeous day that was. There’ve been plenty of those lately.

Why am I throwing in a photo of Louis and not much else? Well, a little while ago, I wrote Once you get a taste of The Daily Argus, you can’t get enough. It got plenty of attention, and I even got a nice comment from the people over at The Daily Argus.

Here’s exactly what was said:

Hi Ken! Thanks so much for your kind words about Argus. We’d LOVE to see posts about Ella & Louis. Let us know if you ever come to Austin and we can get the pups together. I’d love to hear about living in Munich, also. We’ve traveled extensively but haven’t been anywhere in Germany yet – Munich is high on our list. Cheers!

Looks like we’ve got new Vizsla friends. If you’ve not yet been there, take a look at The Daily Argus. Good stuff.

I’ll leave you with a nice shot of a snail I got the other day:

IMG_4029

 

The Future of Augmented Reality with Metaio 6

If you had walked around the stands at InsideAR last week here in Munich, you would have likely been astounded at both what was available, and more importantly, what was on the horizon in the world of AR (Augmented Reality). Because the event was hosted by Metaio, its products were firmly center stage during the event, and the major unveiling that took place on the first day was the release of its new platform Metaio 6.

To get an idea of how far we have come in the world of AR, you need only to look at some examples of the technology from several years ago. In this ever-changing field, those few years might seem like an eternity. The best place to start is with Lego Digital Box, which has been featured for years in Lego’s shops. It might be the most accessible way that people not involved in video game development or automobile technology have actually come into contact with Augmented Reality. By holding the box with Lego’s product in it up to the cameras, the Lego Digital Box creates a 3D image of the toy that is inside and places it onto the screen. Here, you can see for yourself:

Compared to what technology is available today, the Lego Digital Box is clearly from an earlier era of technology. The cameras are stationary and simply seeing the 3D version of the toy in your hand on the screen is the whole point of the tool. Fast-forward a few years, and now you have the cameras inside of your mobile devices. Here is a more recent application of AR shown in a video for IKEA:

In this case, you have a photo of a room, and with this technology you can superimpose a 3D image of a piece of furniture into that room. The practical application is that you can see how that piece of furniture looks in your home before ever making the purchase.

But how does it work? How does the camera process the information it is taking in and recreate it on the screen? To comprehend that, you need to know a bit about tracking.

Tracking is how the camera takes in data and computes the spatial relationships to objects in a room. Although there are various sorts of tracking, the important thing to remember here is that the most cutting-edge tracking technology is often a hybrid of different tracking types.

The core of the brand new Metaio 6 platform is its innovative tracking technology, in addition to all of the surrounding features that are included. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all tool. You can pick and choose which sort of tracking best fits the application you need. That available tracking pipeline is part of how this platform will push the envelope of innovation as so many of this company’s products already have in the past.

Where do we go from here?

At this point, it is not standard to have a 3D camera already installed in a mobile phone or a tablet. That time is certainly coming, though, as Augmented Reality is constantly more commonplace. While devices continue to get smaller and the real world applications of these technologies become more obvious, the era before this Augmented Reality explosion is looking more and more old-fashioned. How often can you see the future of an industry at one single event? At InsideAR, we had that very thing. Metaio 6 is that future.

(Originally appeared on MunichNOW. See this piece there at: The Future of Augmented Reality with Metaio 6)

 

Fully upright, I might add (Octoberfest edition)

photo

Getting started early

Sleeping rough in your best Lederhosen? Yes, it’s that time of year in Munich. The Oktoberfest has arrived and shot off with a vengeance. The celebrating is in full swing.

It does look a bit like there are casualties on the hill above the huge Volksfest, as the people who started quite early take a timeout. Perhaps they’ve been going all night. There are plenty of places that’ll cater to those who want such a thing.

I know people who live near where the Oktoberfest takes place, and they often take their holidays during the time just to get away from the insanity.

When I first moved here, I couldn’t understand the locals complaining about it. It’s one of the highlights of the year, right? What some citizens here call the Fifth Season. It brings so much business to the city: not just in the beer tents and on the carnival rides; there are also so many hotels and restaurants and assorted other locales that do bustling business.

A friend who manages a hotel assures me that they make a third of their annual profit during these two weeks every autumn. Because the local media has covered every possible angle about this thing, it’s always a pleasure to see what whimsical out of the ordinary tale that this year’s incarnation brings.

The best from several years ago was the live chicken who was protesting outside of the festival grounds. One of the most traditional to eat with your litre of Bavarian beer is half a broiled chicken. The number of chickens killed each year for this event is staggering to imagine. So, what do some animal rights advocates propose? To bring one very vocal chicken along to make her case in the name of all the chickens going to slaughter.

Wonder what miscellaneous non news will make itself available this time around. I’ll certainly pass it on when I see it.

Oh, and in case you’ve not yet seen this, here I am in my Lederhosen. Fully upright, I might add.

photo-2

more daydreaming

IMG_3711

This sculpture is one I pass regularly as I walk my dogs Ella and Louis along the River Isar. Something about her staring off in the distance pleases me immeasurably.

Recently, I noticed that someone had spray painted some nonsense on her side, and I thought, ‘I’m glad I’ve got multiple photos of her without the new tag.’

At some point she’ll be cleaned up, but in the meantime this is what I’ll remember.

And for those of you nudging me and saying, ‘Hey, what’s that green stuff all around her right eye?’ I’m not sure. I’m trying to ignore it.

 

Don’t Mess with the River Isar

Don’t Mess with the River Isar

Oh man. This is good. There are plenty of things I’ve got to write about, but this Don’t Litter ad is making the rounds – I saw it at the Eldorado Cinema last night – and I think it’s brilliant.

At the end, it says, ‘Zuhause machst du’s ja auch nicht,’ which means, ‘Yeah, you don’t litter at home.’

Ella and Louis (my sister and brother Vizslas) and I spend quite a lot of time on the River Isar that runs through Munich. We completely support any attempts to get people to treat the area better.

Reminds me of the old Don’t Mess with Texas ads I saw growing up that served the same purpose. Yet another Bavaria is the Texas of Germany argument. For good or ill.