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)


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.


more daydreaming


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.


Shedding the Kummerspeck



Why do I find myself going back again and again to photos of my trip to Seville?

It’s not only that it’s such a beautiful place – I’ve seen my share of those. There’s something about Spain in general and Seville in particular.

So this is a bending, sunlit corridor. At this particular moment, it seemed like the way to approach the blog this evening.

Plenty going on in the world of lahikmajoe presently. For one thing, I’ve got family visiting. That’s often good for a bit of fodder for the old Miscellaneous Blog. After that, or during their visit, the World Cup kicks off.

I could tell you I think Argentina has an easy draw and they’ll waltz through their group, but everyone knows that. Not very optimistic about the chances of the United States team, but every four years the fans get their hopes up. I’d say Germany was an early favourite a year or two ago, but they seem mismanaged of late. We’ll see if they can turn that around. I’ll certainly be cheering them on. I’m always for my adopted homeland. It’s a thing with me.

Otherwise, the weather has turned warm, or warmer, and the mostly beautiful of Munich have begun their annual shedding of Kummerspeck (‘grief bacon’) and clothing of nearly all sorts. I suppose I should talk about those last things at another time – hopefully soon.



a clear picture in a dark cinema

The old man seems to be trying to tell us something.

The old man seems to be trying to tell us something.

The last week was spent watching movies. Mostly.

Of course, Ella and Louis still needed to go out, and I had a day trip to Bamberg on business. That’s to say, life didn’t stop for the Filmfest München, but plenty was put on hold. There are not only plenty of film reviews left to write, but some of the things I’ve neglected are in desperate need of attention.

However, in the midst of rushing from one screening to the next, there was just enough time for daydreaming. The thoughts I come up with in those moments sometimes find their way into something fit for publication, but more often than not I turn here to this blog to leave such ideas.

And what might I have for you in that regard? Well, I’ve been pondering transcendence. There’s that moment that sometimes occurs when listening to music or watching sport when it’s almost as if time stands still. Every once in a while, you get that while watching a movie.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be great film in order to have such a moment, but it doesn’t hurt. Considering how many films I saw in the last week, statistically the likelihood is that I’d have a bit of transcendence.

For me, the most dramatic example came where I least expected it. I’ll be doing a proper review of the rather conventional movie Stuck in Love on another site, and if I remember to do so, I’ll even come back here and link to it. Yet what I want to say about it here may or may not fit in such a format.

One of the main characters, played by Greg Kinnear, is being told by everyone around him that he needs to let go emotionally of his ex wife. He’s still going by her house and looking in the windows – hoping beyond hope that she’ll come to her senses and return to him.

Personally, I didn’t relate to the specificities of the plot, but at the same time I’ve definitely held out for the impossible. Even when those who cared for me warned me about risky decisions I was making, I was hellbent on having it my way.

Whether it turned out well for the guy in the movie is immaterial (it did), but it was that moment where he finally let go of those expectations he’d been clutching onto so desperately that spoke to me. The look on his face when he realised the actions of others were truly beyond his control – that’s when I had one of those cliché aha moments.

Sometimes cinema is a wonderful distraction.

In this case, it provided a clear picture of how easily one can simply let go.