Augmented Reality Applications on Smartphones

Not so long ago, augmented reality (AR) was an experimental technology that rarely left the lab and required a high level of technical expertise and knowledge to create new applications.  Now, thanks to advances in smartphone hardware, AR technology is much more available and easily accessible for users and developers alike.

A new state-of-the-art TechWatch report looking at Augmented Reality for Smartphones is now available for comment:
Augmented Reality for Smartphones (PDF).

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Mobile Fuel Cell

This mobile USB charger called Powertrekk uses a fuel-cell cartridge. It was developed by the swedish company myFc. Inside the cartridge is a coiled flexible foil strip, about as thick as a Band-Aid, that contains the exchange membrane and fuel. The system is supposed to replace common batteries and is able to charge smartphones and other devices that are charged via an USB connector. The Polymerelectrolyte-fuel cell is loaded with disposable tanks so called PowerPukks. Less then 2 Euro each they are plugged into the main unit. They contain Natriumsilizid and are according to myFC non poisonous. The cell is activated when the user fills a small built-in tank with water. Unlike other fuel cells, it requires no pumps, increasing efficiency and reducing weight. After activation it is ready to provide you with 1000 mAh at 5 Volts.

The fuel-cell doesn’t charge devices directly. Instead it transfers its power to an internal 1600 mAh accumulator that is then used to charge external devices. The price will be around 200 Euro.

 

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Self Learning Realtime Object Tracking

An impressive video showing off a tracking algorithm resulting from Zdenek Kalal’s phd thesis at the University of Surrey, UK. You can try it yourself by downloading a compiled application to your PC, and read more about it here. Though desktop bound right now, Kalal claims that “implementation for mobile devices is feasible”.

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Dialing with Your Thoughts

A new brain-computer interface developed by researchers at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD) lets users make calls by thinking of the number. The interface uses simple external electrodes placed in a headband. The processing is done on a mobile phone.

In a small scale test 7 out of 10 users where able to dial a given number without errors after the required training.
[ via technologyreview.com]

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3-D Models Created by a Cell Phone

Capturing an object in three dimensions doesn’t require the budget of Avatar. A new cell phone app developed by Microsoft researchers can be sufficient. The software uses overlapping snapshots to build a photo-realistic 3-D model that can be spun around and viewed from any angle.

Another company providing a similar solution is 3Dmedia.

[via technology review]

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Augmented Reality: Mobile as an all-devouring third wave of context

Bruce Sterling published the foreword of his new book “The Insider’s Guide to Mobile” by Raimo van der Klein, CEO of Layar the company developing the augmented reality browser also named layar.
He speaks about 3 years of development of the AR browser.

from the foreword:

Basically now we have entered the third wave of mobile. First was Communication, second was Content and now the third is Context. We are barely scratching the surface of this third wave. Context is restructuring mobile services so, that it utilises contextual datapoints to optimize the service experience for the users. Contextual datapoints are for example location, proximity to objects, proximity to friends, the user’s viewing angle, actual time, your direct surroundings and much more.

[via communities-dominate.blogs.com]

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Word Lens: Augmented Reality App Translates Street Signs Instantly

It’s an augmented-reality, OCR-capable translation app, but that’s a poor description. A better one would be “magic.” World Lens looks at any printed text through the iPhones camera, reads it, translates between Spanish and English. That’s pretty impressive already — it does it in real time — but it also matches the color, font and perspective of the text, and remaps it onto the image. It’s as if the world itself has been translated.

[via wired.com ]

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Augmented Reality Web Browser

Blair MacIntyre, associate professor in Georgia Tech’s College of Computing and member of Tech’s GVU Center, discusses the release of Argon, the first mobile augmented reality browser based on open Web standards.

MacIntyre and his Augmented Environments Lab in the School of Interactive Computing developed Argon to move the Web into the world. It does so by taking video from the phone’s camera and rendering graphical content on top of the video to provide users with an experience that merges space with cyberspace.

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