If you were still having doubts about the rivalry between Google and Facebook, after the last weeks they have been for sure deleted, thanks to the news which saw the two giants as main characters of a run to augmented reality.

Less than ten days ago all the main pages of virtual and augmented reality-related online newspapers’ were full with the news about Google’s new patent, that gave new hopes on further development of the seesawing Google Glass project (now Project Aura): big G, in fact, patented a system to superimpose holograms to reality through a headset in a document titled “Lightguide With Multiple In-Coupling Holograms For Head Wearable Display“.

In the patent some diagrams show how the company can merge CGI imagery (Computer Generated Imagery) with its Glass to create a device very similar to Microsoft HoloLens.

Of course, the registration of the patent doesn’t give the certainty of the development and use of this technology, but linking this news with Google’s big investment ($542 millions) in Magic Leap, it’s clear how all this can lead to some kind of future for one of the most waited devices in the augmented reality world.

11232118_10102175618819241_7572979522374295442_nIn the middle of the ferment that this news created among the augmented reality fans, last Wednesday Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook, confirmed that the Team of the famous social network is working to developments linked to this avant-garde technology. During his speech at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, someone asked if Facebook is working on augmented reality, and he answered with an enthusiastic “yes!”.

Facebook isn’t new to avant-garde technologies related to wearables and visors, since it’s the company owner of the famous virtual reality headset Oculus Rift; nevertheless, as Michael Abrash, chief scientist of Oculus VR, said, if virtual reality is at a good point, the way to arrive to augmented reality is a bit longer and complicated.

We are curious about which one of the companies will be the first releasing a working project related to augmented reality: what’s your guess? Let us know 🙂

It’s August, most of us are in holidays and have some more available time than usual: while waiting to finally get in our hands a virtual reality or augmented reality headset, why don’t we try having fun with our smartphone? From videogames to furnishing, to makeup, there are many apps to download for trying augmented reality on your mobile devices, e.g. Experenti’s one, that you can download for free for Android and iOS and test with our example tags.

Now you can also have fun transforming your mobile device in a hologram projector thanks to the video tutorial created by Mrwhosetheboss, that became viral in no time.

The materials needed are pretty common and it’s very easy to build.

You will need:

– graph paper

– pen

– cd case

– tape

– knife

– scissors

– smartphone

Follow the video to:

– draw and cut a trapezoid on the graph paper

– use the shape to draw the trapezoid on the case

– create four of these shapes and tape them together to build a lens

Now you just have to go to the video-demo link in the description of the tutorial, put the lens on your smartphone’s screen and prepare to be surprised!

Do you remember the news we gave some time ago about MINI’s new Augmented Reality goggles? The idea is amazing and it is the new path that the automotive industry is seeming to walk through in the future. As we saw previously, other than being stylish, these new glasses can help the driver have a lot more information: they will always be connected with the car and the eyewear will show relevant data in the driver’s direct field of vision without compromise the actual seeing of the road.

Ok, good idea, and very easy to get for those that already know what they are talking about. But what in the case that someone has never heard of Augmented Reality? How do you explain it to them?

Easy, if you can count on a company as the Paris-based Ill-Studio: them, together with MINI, decided to create a tutorial about this new field, and to do it in the manner that everyone can get it.

We all agree to be living in a real world, right? But what if there is more reality than what the human eye can see? The short documentary “Another reality” gives a pop and fake-old-style lesson on reality and relativity of it, taking us directly to the point: what Augmented Reality is.

Reality is a series of perceptions we all agree to be true, and Augmented Reality is simply a digital layer superimposed over our direct environment creating symbiosis between virtual and analog. Now we can perceive more than our eyes can see. You still don’t get it? Watch the video for examples.

Gartner Says Augmented Reality Will Become an Important Workplace Tool


Although the adoption of augmented reality (AR) in the enterprise is still in its infancy, AR technology has matured to a point where organizations can use it as an internal tool to complement and enhance business processes, workflows and employee training, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that AR facilitates business innovation by enabling real-time decision making through virtual prototyping and visualization of content.

“Augmented reality is the real-time use of information in the form of text, graphics, audio and other virtual enhancements integrated with real-world objects,” said Tuong Huy Nguyen, principal research analyst at Gartner. “AR leverages and optimizes the use of other technologies such as mobility, location, 3D content management and imaging and recognition. It is especially useful in the mobile environment because it enhances the user’s senses via digital instruments to allow faster responses or decision-making.”

Mr. Nguyen said that AR is particularly powerful for:

  • Discovering things in the vicinity — for example, enclosed objects generating heat.
  • Presenting real-world objects of potential special interest — for example, detecting and highlighting objects generating higher than normal levels of radiation.
  • Showing a user where to go or what to do — for example, helping a worker make a repair in a hazardous environment where visibility is low.
  • Providing additional information about an object of interest — for example, distance, size or level of danger.

AR services use various device sensors to identify the users’ surroundings. Current implementations generally fall into one of two categories — location-based or computer vision. Location-based offerings use a device’s motion sensors to provide information based on a user’s location. Computer-vision-based services use facial, object and motion tracking algorithms to identify images and objects. For example, being able to identify a shoe among numerous objects on a table, Google Goggles (imaged-based search), or optical character recognition (OCR).
The business potential for AR has increased through improvements in location services and image recognition. The precision of indoor location services has increased significantly, and this greater accuracy allows businesses to use AR location features for vehicle, campus and in-building navigation and identification. Image recognition capabilities in AR solutions allow user organizations to use these AR capabilities in processes that require staff to visually identify objects and parts and for real-time decision making. For example, firefighters can use AR to find out ambient temperature or a building layout so they know exits, and potentially dangerous areas. These technologies together provide various benefits to using AR as an internal tool.

This includes enhancing current business process, facilitating and optimizing the use of current technologies, and providing business innovation.
Nevertheless, while enterprises have used AR for internal purposes in the past, these have been for specific and limited tasks and enterprises have developed these solutions internally using custom hardware and software. Some companies are experimenting with how they can best use AR as an internal tool. Gartner expects to see moderate adoption of AR for internal purposes over the next five years as the availability of powerful handheld devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and more portable, convenient and affordable head-mounted displays is making internal AR applications more widely available.

“AR is most useful as a tool in industries where workers are either in the field, do not have immediate access to information, or jobs that require one or both hands and the operator’s attention,” said Mr. Nguyen. “As such, the impact on weightless industries is lower because these employees often have constant and direct access to the information they need (such as knowledge workers).”

Mr. Nguyen said that AR provides the highest benefit to efficiency. It has the potential to improve productivity, provide hands-on experience, simplify current processes, increase available information, provide real-time access to data, offer new ways to visualize problems and solutions, and enhance collaboration. IT organizations can use AR to bridge the digital and physical world. AR is an opportunity for IT to provide leadership to enhance the enterprise’s interaction with its internal user base.
AR adoption risks do apply to the current environment, as with other technologies that are new and unproven. However, Gartner believes that these risks will decrease over time as implementations and use cases mature. Prior to deploying an AR solution as an internal tool, enterprises must identify a clear goal or benefit for the deployment, such as improved access to information, or to provide training and assess how the organization can use AR to reach this goal.
More detailed analysis is available in the report “Innovation Insight: Augmented Reality Will Become an Important Workplace Tool.” The report is available on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/doc/2640230.