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Augmented reality market comes to life

New tools could boost uptake

Augmented reality (AR) could emerge on more devices and business applications with the launch of new AR desktop publishing tools and camera technologies from Metaio.

Since the arrival of powerful computers and smartphones with built-in video capabilities and 3D rendering, companies have started developing mobile applications that use image-recognition technology to bring static images "to life".

Analyst firm Semico recently predicted that the augmented reality market will be worth $600 billion by 2016.

Using a software development kit (SDK) from Metaio 3D-animation can be added to mobile devices and marketing campaigns.

Thomas Alt, CEO of Metaio, said, "We want to connect every real-world object to the internet through our technology."

A new Metaio SDK is powered by the new Augmented Reality Experience Language (AREL), which can be deployed by developers to the mobile Android and Apple iOS environments.

Metaio has integrated two chief camera technologies into its software platform. With Continuous Visual Search (CVS) users need only point the camera of their smartphone at a given image, surface, or even object to discover AR content.

And with Simultaneous Learning and Mapping (SLAM) developers "can augment nearly any real-world environment instantly to gaming and interactive experiences", said Metaio.

There is also a new version of Metaio Creator, a "simplified desktop publishing tool which will allow non-programmers to create and run AR experiences quickly and without a single line of code".

Michael Kuhn, Metaio director of product development, said, "We've created multi-platform tools that nearly anyone can use to create and maintain augmented reality projects."

Metaio's customers include Toyota, Universal Pictures, Volkswagen, Adidas, BMW, Audi, Bosch, and LEGO. The company also develops the freely available mobile augmented reality browser Junaio.

Metaio's technology updates were preceded by news earlier this month that mobile operator O2 would integrate augmented reality (http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/applications/3381709/o2-offer-aurasma-augmented-reality-tech-uk-advertisers/) technology from HP's Aurasma unit into its mobile advertising offerings.


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