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 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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. Read more

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

 

 

Marvel And Aurasma Announce Collaboration For Comics Featuring Augmented Reality

 

You may have heard of a little something called Augmented Reality. Since we previewed it at CES this year, we’ve seen various applications and uses for it and heck— even we’ll see it even in sweet HUD glasses among other things. Over at SXSW, Marvel is hooking up with Aurasma to bring some pizzazz to the various comics out there. This collaboration will allow users watch video trailers of comics they see, 3D animation, recaps and other exclusive goodies just by holding their phones up to comics. Yup, this means we’ll be seeing our favorite action heroes spring to life, similar to what a certain toy making giant is already planning too.

To commemorate this partnership, Marvel the free Marvel IR app which will power its augmented reality. Check out the video below to see none other than Iron Man strutting his stuff during an impressive demo of the technology. Anyone else excited yet?

 

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source: Tech Crunch

Google HUD Glasses Are Real And Reported To Be Released By Year’s End

Yes, Leo Laporte, they’re real after all.  What was once thought to be a joke is now a reality thanks to Google.  The company’s HUD Glasses will be launching some time before year’s end and will most likely go for somewhere between $250-$600 bucks.  The New York Times  broke the news earlier today and we’re all finally about to see some of the benefits of augmented reality.  You’ll be able to see all kinds of information around you such as historical facts, tons of POI’s and maybe even deals for respective establishments in the area.  However, I’m not sure if I could justify paying the price of what a general smartphone goes for but we’re sure there are some pretty “all-in” techies that will jump at the chance to snag a pair of these.  The devices will have an integrated camera, motion sensors, GPS and 3G/4G connectivity.  We’re sure it will be running some version or form of Android but not sure exactly how the OS will be integrated.  In any event, who wouldn’t want to read their text messages and emails on the fly across a pair of cool shades without ever having to pull your device out of your pocket?  Yes please.  Anyway, feel free to let us know what you think of them in the comments below.  Do you think this is something you might be willing to fork over some good cheddar for?

source: New York Times
via: Phandroid 

 

 

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Now Available in the Android Market

The 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue didn’t just land on newsstands today, it’s now also available on your pre ICS Android device. For those of you who have a membership to the magazine you probably already know you can access the weekly publications on the app at any time you want. All you need to do is download the free app, sign in, and your on your way to an enriched, sports filled mobile experience. What you may not have known is that the swimsuit issue is also available on your Android device and comes complete with added video, a collection of songs and more. You can also use a printed copy and use the free SI Viewer app that activates the videos by focusing your phones camera on the designated images. Somewhat similar to augmented reality, when your phones camera detects a certain code embedded in the picture, the correlating video fires up instantly. Now you can get more up close and personal with the models during their photo shoot (too bad it’s at the price of watching a bunch of cross promotion with Direct TV), and get a better glimpse at the hotties in real live-action. This ain’t your dads swimsuit issue that you sneaked off with when you were a kid. Read more

Augmented Reality Meets the XAPPR, Coming Soon To Android

Augmented Reality (also known as AR) has turned quite a few heads recently. It involves using your smart device like a “looking glass” to manipulate the world around you.  The technology has been integrated into several apps from the Qualcomm Augmented Reality Competition, and is making its way into many exciting new applications that we could use every day.  For example, there is an app in the works that allows kids to interact with a toy before they buy it.

Now, Augmented Reality has a new shoot-em-up spin for your Android, iPhone or Windows Phone device.  The XAPPR gun, brought to you by MetalCompass, attaches to your phone and transforms it into a virtual killing machine.  More specifically, it allows you to turn and shoot in real life as the image on your cell phone is following your moves.  You can preorder it before its June release on the company’s website for $30, plus $15 shipping in the US.  The XAPPR takes old school Duck Hunt to a whole new level.  It doesn’t get much better than turning your cell phone into a gun, right?

There are several games that have already been developed to be compatible with the XAPPR, like AR Invaders, ATK, AR Wars and Spray’Em.  Apps like ATK are multiplayer and enable you to play against other XAPPR toting comrades, in a cellphone version of laser tag.  However, only AR Invaders is currently available in the Android Market.  The high tech gun is made to work with other apps, so we just have to wait for the developers to jump on board and make more fun games for Android users.

Source: The XAPPR Gun