German augmented reality firm Metaio showcased some updates to their core technologies today at this year’s ISMAR conference in Basel, Switzerland. The company is documenting this update with out-takes from some highly technical white papers and also, thankfully, with a few video demonstrations (for the algorithm-ly challenged out there – like me).
The basic gist of this update to their core augmented reality capability is that the company have been able to create AR technology advancements on 3 fronts:
- Gravity awareness
- Ability to recognize 3D objects
- Occlusion of virtual objects (e.g. when real objects in the viewing space pass in front of a virtual object, that virtual object becomes invisible or occluded, as a real object would)
No big deal right? We have seen gravity and occlusion effects in video games for years? And the Microsoft demo we posted last week easily and elegantly demonstrates gravity and occlusion with regard to augmented virtual objects. The reason I find significance in this update from Metaio is that the kind of tracking they have been able to create is being done in real time, in variable lighting and multiple environments. They are able to provide this gravity-sensitive AR image tracking outside of a single, closed or completely controlled space which increases the potential for use in the real world.
There is some pretty serious math involved, so check out the white papers when they eventually post at metaio.com for more detail. If you are like me, just watch the videos and smile at the shiny objects.
I was able to see a preview of the occlusion capability while at the insideAR conference in Munich in September, so check out my own companion video to see how they are using the Kinect to map depths and occlude virtual objects.
For more info see the official press release