Mantis’ Vision on AR

August 12th, 2014

Hi everybody,

I wanted to share this for a while now, finally I get around to do so! The below video is a concept video for next gen mobile devices using AR/VR to present the world to us and create new experiences (okay, enough marketing talk).


But the video is very well made and comes not from a nobody. It’s presented by MV4D.
These guys are part of Google’s project tango and know a thing or two about their field. So, here we go with the cool, motivating clip. It sure works:

The video shows nicely different possible use cases, ranging from a depth keying (to create a sweet video for daddy) to 3D reconstruction by multiple users to also allow a virtual view port (to move around the drummer freely), “classic” augmented try-on of shoes (including the connection to the cloud, allowing to shop later at home) and to create a race track in your living room (by 3D-scanning the room on the fly and defining the race path by walking through the real physical space).

I think all demos are nicely presented focusing on a small but working story including thoughts about usability and forms of interaction and user connection. If I were the business angel, I would sure open my wallet after watching this video. :-) So, let’s hope that their claim is not pointing too far into the future:
COMING SOON to a mobile device near you!

Tech and blog news from Munich, Bavaria

July 25th, 2014

Blog Update

Hi everybody,

as you might notice I’m updating the design! This will happen along the way and take a bit, but I’d like to start today to clean it all up and have a fresh look in the end! I want to be all set up nicely for this year’s ISMAR! Today popping up my new logo. Hope you like it. It’s the good old Penrose triangle, with a twist to it. I think it’s a good match, since it describes an impossible reality. Maybe it is not all impossible in the end – getting augmented reality to support us! :-)

news from metaio

During my vacation, metaio presented two new videos on their blog and website, so I decided to make a all Munich update today! The first one shows their approach towards AR with smart watches, that are getting more popular these days. See the nice marketing demo below:

The second video shows their extension to a virtual reality experience with the support of AR. Why that? Typically a hand-held VR using gyros or compass will only give you three degrees of freedom (being the angles). A full movement cannot be registered accurately by the sensors. Now metaio presents the use of their latest implementation of SLAM (Simultaneous Localization And Mapping) algorithm to allow exactly that: the data retrieved through SLAM are not used to position objects into the scene, but give information on the position (changes) of the user. This way full freedom in movement can be possible! As Peter says: welcome holo deck!

Getting closer: ISMAR 2014

… and once more about Munich! Don’t forget to book your hotels and flights for this year’s ISMAR, happening in Bavaria! Sorry to disappoint: Oktoberfest will only start two weeks later, but I’m sure you will get some decent German beer also in the conference week! :-)

Paranoid time travellers in AR

July 21st, 2014

Hi everybody,

I’m back from my vacation and it’s time to kick off with some summer updates! Guess I missed the biggest world cup party in Munich ever (congratz to the German team!), but that’s okay. I could watch the game in France with some Dutch beer (d’oh). :-)

Quite some news happening to blog about, also steering towards big upcoming events (ISMAR 2014 in Munich, yeah!)… but for today I’d like to stick to a small update on a neat kickstarter pledge I’ve found, entitled “Modern Polaxis – A Modern Augmented Reality Comic”.


Sutu, the creator, wants to create an augmented comic book, that cannot only be augmented with some fun layer but also continues the story through the additional media and reveals the actual nature of it. In short it’s about:

The story is about a paranoid time traveller known as Modern Polaxis. The book will be presented as Polaxis’s private journal. Polaxis writes about his day to day life, but all his secret information, his paranoid delusions and conspiracy theories, he hides away in the Augmented Reality layer.


So, please go and take a look. 16 days to go and I’m really curious how Sutu will combine the two layers (drawn and superimposed via AR CG) into an intriguing story, where it’s not only a gimmick for the pure visual fun. I hope he finds a good way for this cross-media approach to work. Seems he has some decent ideas up his sleeve. Also, I like the protagonist’s look and the overall jagged, punky style. Hope it works out!

See the kickstarter page.

World Cup Fun!

June 23rd, 2014

Hi everybody,

people around the world are watching the soccer world cup again! So, let’s also enjoy a bit of augmentations of the game through some summer AR game fun!


The German team from dobesgames has developed an iOS app, where you can play soccer on your table – AR-style. Good if you don’t have tippkick figurines or anything you can use for a ball. Just put up the green and augment the rest. Either place objects as players or use your bare fingers. This can definitely get you through a boring game or the half time break!


Head kicks for couch potatoes

Sony Ericsson released an AR game 2010, which you can still play (if you find your way through the Chinese page here) online! Try to header away as many footballs as possible!

Fun with food

Pringles also came up with goal shooting fun game using their boxing. Unfortunately, it cannot be found to play online anymore. Maybe try out some wobble head kicking instead. … or just waste your time watching Fuleco dance samba. :-)


Hope you enjoy the games (the matches and the AR games) and have a great summer! I’m off on vacation until end of July. Updates popping in afterwards! Have a great time!


Cartoon Creatures infesting an Animated Reality

May 27th, 2014


I’ve found a pretty cute video by Hombre_McSteez, titled Aug(De)Mented Reality, that I wanted to share, although I have to be careful not to post too many non-high-technical “fake” AR in the future. But with so many extra points in cuteness and effort, it’s worth a look and might inspire you to create some cell stop motion animation AR app toolkit!

Enjoy the odd creature infested cartoon universe!

Sex, Technology, and Obsession

May 22nd, 2014

Finally! A catchy headline! Today, I’d like to motivate you guys to take a look at another kickstarter project. It is a story about sex, technology and obsession! Well, it is a movie in form of a satire. But I like the concept very much and I think we need more cool visionary near-life sci-fi movies and demonstrations to get everybody inspired and get the creativity flowing how our favorite tech stuff could work in everyday life. Maye we can make this another highlight like Keiichi’s Domestic Robocop among others!

This one comes from Creative Control and describes itself as A NEAR FUTURE satire about sex, technology, and obsession.


I spoke to Benjamin Dickinson from Brooklyn, NY, one head behind the project, and it seems a very high-class production to me with wits, great DOP work and great actors but with just some missing funding. A good week to go on kickstarter. Why not take a look! The story introduces briefly as In Near-Future Brooklyn, an ad exec uses a new Augmented Reality technology to conduct an affair with his best friend’s girlfriend….sort of. and I very much liked Ben’s quote stating it’s like a Woody Allen film, if it were directed by Stanley Kubrick. Hehe! Can’t wait!

If you are intrigued and would love to see more CGI work from the same guys, be sure to take a look at the cool video done for Microsoft guys on interfaces. Done by Ethan Keller who’s also working on concept designs for this project.


3DXCITE Conference at one glance!

May 19th, 2014


Hi everybody,

we had a great week and a great conference! Two days packed with demos and new solutions presented to the whole visualization world. To quickly wrap up and give a first impression of the show I edited a small (phone-cam’ed – sorry) video of some of the demos, that touch augmented reality. Official material will pop up later, but here you can have a sneak peak!

What I especially liked was the tracked projection mapping demo for a clay model of a car, that uses the Werklicht projector hardware and a tracked wand to draw on the physical model with virtual colors. A great blend of the physical and virtual world! It really brings together 3D guys and hands-on clay model designer!

In the end of the video you will see another cool demo: using metaio’s edge-based tracking with our data sets to give a stable mobile augmented reality solution without the need for markers! Enjoy!

Best greetings,

RTT Excite Conference coming up

May 12th, 2014

Hi guys,

busy days down here. Because once again it is time for our own annual fair! RTT will present once more 3D real-time high-end visualization with many live demos in virtual and augmented reality environments! We do feature some cool AR and projection mapping demos for you! Happening this week in Munich, Germany.


Check out the conference website and see the program for Thursday, May, 15th and Friday, May 16th.

Hope to see you there!


Playstation on the AR move for more realism!

April 28th, 2014


Sony demos their research on lighting & fluid simulation for Playstation Augmented Reality! They show two videos: the first one demonstrates a fluid/liquid simulation, where they pour water from one container to another. Each container is stuck to one marker and moved around by the user’s movements of the physical marker. The demo also features some matching splash sounds and a beautiful rubber duck.

While rendering quality is not impressive and especially the water is far from looking like uptodate Playstation game’s water, it is good to see, that Sony is playing with this topic to enhance the feeling of the two worlds being one. It helps so much if the augmented objects actually react to yourself. Typically this is only the camera position and not more. But we sure need way more input data than the camera pose to have a good immersion and merge of CGI content into your augmented mirror! Holding two markers up might be a bit dusty, but shows nicely the 100% direct interaction possible. Obviously this could be something cooler (or no marker at all using depth sensors, etc.), but holding up a physical piece will help the users. Augmenting a box-shaped object matching the marker dimensions will also make it easier for the user to forget the augmentation and to have a matching haptics feedback. Plain, but I like it.

The second video does not approach a physical behaviour of things and interaction through that, but rather the interaction with real world’s light. Also seen before, but – again – good to see that the good folks at Sony are working on it to bring it to the PS. Aiming for the Asian market Hatsune Miku is featured and the always-liked-but-usually-dead Dinosaurs:


I’m wondering how Sony researchers are calculating the cast shadow. Is it just comparing the center position of the 2D image with some exposure values from before and see the offsets to calculate a virtual light source relative to the center? On a quick glance it looks pretty nice, but you can notice some shadow direction glitches, especially when close to the center and the spot gets in the front of the Dinosaur. Then the system just cannot know the actual camera’s position and tricks around it.

Honestly, I’d like to see way more on this from Sony with depth cams and reconstructed room data in 3D for occlusions and all! With a simple RGB image you just don’t have enough input data. Sony should add more hardware for next generation and also be able to throw all their real-time shaders on it, too. It is time for a really visually stunning and undistinguishable AR integration! If some companies know how to do good looking real-time 3D content – it is gaming companies like Sony!

Can’t wait!

Happy Holidays everyone! Have fun playing!

April 17th, 2014

Hey everyone! Time to drop the keyboard for a while and get out there egg hunting and enjoying some good food offline with your loved ones (if you happen to celebrate Easter).


But if your 21st century children (or yourself) would rather like to play with some digital goods, you could also take a look at the new app by Berlin start-up Toywheel: they kick off a virtual car game, bringing the physical and the digital world together once more:

I like the looks of it and the cute designed elements. Racing games in AR have been done before, but I still like this concept very much (I did implement my own AR-Racinggame with spaceships). It is a winning combination, where shrunk objects (like cars) are still convincing declaring them as toys with a known mini scale. The developers say that it is supposed to be a more open approach where the kids can play freely without the scripted need for winning/racing, giving them back the freedom of playing freely (as it was with matchbox cars all those years). A nice twist. Let’s see how they evolve the concept.

What I still would love to see is the direct manipulation of the track by different (independent) markers: just pick up a marker for a ramp and move it around to change the track. This would give a deeper interaction between real and virtual! Let’s wait for more!

… but what I don’t understand is why the kid is so obsessed with food in the video (prominent donut eating and pizzas…). But it fits to our Easter theme. :-)

Enjoy and happy holidays!