NASA releases augmented reality app for viewing 3D spacecraft models

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Many of you probably know about NASA’s latest venture onto Mars with the little spacecraft that could, Curiosity. Have you ever gotten a bit curious about exactly what that little gadget actually looked like? If you have, you’re in luck, as NASA has released an augmented reality app that will let you view a full 3D rendering of Curiosity or a few other models of spacecraft, with more models said to be added in the future.

The app is as simple as printing out a few markers, then aiming your device camera at those markers to see the 3D model. Best of all, it’s a free application. Hit the download links below to test out the app for yourself.

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Play Store Download Link

Ingress Updates App, Adds Zipcar & Jamba Juice Portals

Ingress, Google’s augmented reality capture-the-flag meets X-Files game, has begun its evolution. The app, updated to version 1.20, has improved rendering, fixed a few bugs and FINALLY allows players to enable/disable email notifications. It’s still in closed beta with a scarce number of access keys, but active players saw portals pop up at Zipcar and Jamba Juice locations this Tuesday.

Portals were originally located at museums, libraries, historic landmarks and other points of interest in Google’s massive database. Players have since been able to submit  portal site submissions to NianticLabs@Google. Tuesday’s round of portal creation, however, marks the first time Google has attempted any form of monetizing the game.

Check out our initial Ingress announcement for a brief recap of the game. Those interested in joining the resistance can still request an invite from Ingress.com. Those leaning toward joining the enlightened should really reconsider.

Source: Ingress on Google+

Hands on with Qualcomm Vuforia Augmented Reality based apps [Video]

Last year I had a chance to see what Qualcomm Vuforia was doing with augmented reality, and I was so impressed that I had to see where things are 12 months later. To refresh your memory, Vuforia was created by Qualcomm for developers that want to utilize augmented reality in their apps. Things are going pretty well as there are over 2,500 apps available (Android and iOS) from developers in 130 countries, and there are over 40,000 registered developers. Last year we saw an app from Sesame Street, and this year they are back with a really cool educational app that I know my son is going to love. They also showed off what can be done for med students and retail catalogs. Check out the video after the break


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Google releases Augmented Reality game called Ingress for those lucky enough to get invited

Back in September, Google Niantic Labs brought us Field Trip and now they have a new augmented reality game called Ingress. For now it’s an invite only, but with Google behind it, it could really bring augmented reality to the next level. We don’t have a lot of information about it, but from the video you can see our freedom is at stake and the “Enlightened” needs help. Certain places attract not only people but events as well, and the mission of 13 Magnis is to monitor the effects of mind hacking.

Players will generate virtual energy that is needed to play the game by picking up units of “XM” which will be collected through their real-world surroundings. It’s kind of like a real-world version of Pac-Man. What do you do with this energy? You will go on missions around the world to “portals” which will be virtually associated with public art, libraries, and other major places. It’s a matter of picking what side you want to play, the “Resistance” or the “Enlightened”, and players can play anywhere in the world.

As I mentioned, it’s an invite only so hit the source link to sign up. We have no idea when it will open up to more people, but we do know that the game will end eventually, most likely a year to a year and half from now. Official trailer video after the break.


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Is your smartphone ready for ‘the mother of all tests’ ?

It was during my trip into London for the Galaxy S III unveiling that I noticed an interesting trend amongst the crowd as they pawed Samsung’s new flagship phone for the first time. What do you think was the first thing most people did; check out the browser, fire up the camera, have a play with S Voice? Some people did, however the most common activity the majority of people indulged in was to download and run a benchmarking application. It seems that a lot of Android enthusiasts are interested in how their new baby measures up against the competition when it’s being put through its paces. It’s long been said that benchmarking applications aren’t actually as accurate as they should be, some are optimised better for a certain version of the OS or even a particular processor. Furthermore to get the full range of results you may find yourself using 2 or 3 different applications. Qualcomm reckons it might just have the answer to this problem.

What is the most stress you can put your phone under at any one time? Well according to Qualcomm it’s running an Augmented Reality (AR) application. AR applications utilise close to all of the major components in the phone all at once including CPU, GPU, DSP, ISP, GPS, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, barometer, microphone and camera. An AR benchmark application “would be as close as one could come to a total test of a smartphone”

We’re potentially at the Dawn of a new era for technology with the fabled Project Glass prototype already in the hands of some Android developers. Qualcomm, it seems, are ready to help us check to see if our devices are up to the job.

Source: Engadget

Amazon Brings Product Scanning & Augmented Reality To Android With “Flow”

Amazon‘s Flow has been available on iOS since November of last year and has finally made its way onto Android. Not unlike Google Goggles, Flow let’s you scan products like DVDs, books, video games, and more, and shows product details, pricing, and a buy button (to purchase from Amazon, of course). The scanning is done by simply pointing your phone’s camera at the product, or scanning the product’s bar code. The Android version of Flow also scans QR codes, a feature currently lacking in the iOS version but expected to come in the future.

Something Flow does on both platforms, however, is provide a live augmented reality view for certain products which displays things like movie trailers and other media using its image recognition technology. Simply point the camera at a DVD cover, for example, and instantly see an overlay popup with movie info and video previews. I guess you can technically call this augmented reality, but it’s not quite as fancy as other AR apps since you’re just looking at a closeup of a single object and seeing related information… something just as easily done by scanning a bar code.

Head on past the break for screenshots and a Play Store download link.


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Google’s Sebastian Thrun And Vic Gundotra Show Off A Little Style And Glass

If you still don’t believe that Google’s Project Glass is real, start believing because you’re only going to see more and more news trickle down the pipeline.  We’ve already seen several of Google’s employees trying them on for size, not to mention Google’s own co-founder Sergey Brin was spotted wearing the highly anticipated augmented reality shades not too long ago. It would seem as though Google intends to have a large majority of their employees try these bad boys on for size before they confidently go public with them.  Recently, Project X guru Sebastian Thrun and Vic Gundotra have been seen wearing a pair.  In addition, Thrun was also able to snatch a photo from the inside looking out.  Check out the photo below and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Google+ 1,2

 

Google X Founder Wears Project Glass During Interview And Takes Picture With Head Gesture

In an interview with Charlie Rose, Google X founder and researcher Sebastian Thrun extolled the virtues of artificial intelligence, higher education, and self-driving cars. A researcher on Project Glass, Google’s wearable augmented reality heads-up display, Thrun said that “the hope [of the project] is to really get things out of your life, not into your life”.

When asked what the glasses could do, Thrun seemed to make a subtle gesture with his head and said he snapped a picture and shared it on Google+. The image he took, seen below, was indeed seen on his Google+ page with the comment “I took this picture during the interview“. His goal is for Project Glass to facilitate interaction between people, citing how “other people can now see through my eyes“.


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Oakley Testing Technology “Comparable With Google’s Project Glass”

 

Google’s Project Glass is no doubt one of the most anticipated gadgets of the year. While it’s a unique and special concept/project, it’s about to get some major competition— and not from Apple either. According to Bloomberg, Oakley is currently developing a technology that can project information directly onto lenses, similar to how Project Glass projects information through a heads-up display. Oakley would be able to create the glasses for use as a standalone product or have them connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth while also featuring voice commands. Oakley is excited about the technology too. CEO Colin Baden highlights this technology would make “make hardware that’s comparable with Google’s Project Glass”. Having this technology would allow Oakley create a wide-range of items and products that can wirelessly connect to the internet like other companies are doing.
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Blippar And The Xperia S Are Teaming Up To Make Your Commute In The UK Easier Via Augmented Reality

Man, if this isn’t going to make the commute quicker, nothing will.  Augmented reality seems to be the craze now-a-days and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down much either.  Sony Mobile Communications intro’d their Xperia S at CES this year and they’re looking to use the popular augmented reality application, Blippar to bring it to life, in the UK anyway.  The popular “Metro” publication is teaming up with Blippar to show you just how effective a brand can come to life.  As seen in the demo, the device is being waved at the page and you can see the core watch, play and listen features pop out at you.  Blippar’s moto seems to be “brings brands to life” and that’s what they’re aiming for here.  The company touts that it’s the first image recognition mobile platformed designed to engage users in a particular brand.

“This is our new favourite Blipp – a brilliant and very cool use of the Blippar platform that really shows off the 3D and tracking capabilities of our technology,” says Jess Butcher, CMO of Blippar. “In competitive markets like the mobile phone industry, brands need to stand out to get consumers’ attention and we think this is one of the most impactful Blipps we’ve worked on.”

The application requires that you have a working Internet connection, so as for now those traveling in the UK via underground stations might be out of luck until Virgin Media promises their implementation of free WiFi to all stations by the time the Olympics arrive this summer.  Check out the cool video demo below and don’t forget to let us know what you think of it in the comments below.

Previous Augmented Reality Coverage:

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source: The Next Web

 

 

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