Wednesday 16 December 2009

Washington Post: "Google phone would break industry model"

The advent of the Android-based Google phone "Nexus One"

Google has tested their first mobile phone, "Nexus One," through their employees.

The appearance of an advanced mobile device this year has led to an outpouring of mobile augmented reality applications.

So it is very interesting to hear that Google is going to launch their first mobile phone, "Nexus One."

Here is an interesting news article from the Washington Post about the new Google phone. It compares the policies of iPhone and Google phone to the OS battle between IBM and Apple in the 1980s.

The full detail article is here.
The image from here.

Monday 14 December 2009

Augmented reality games

Since augmented reality technology became widespread, one of the most active industries in using augmented reality technology has been the game industry.

The game industry is less affected by the current technical limitations of augmented reality.

In order to use augmented reality in real life, we need to superimporse virtual objects on the real world with precision. A built-in GPS and digital compass help us determine the correct locations where virtual objects should be placed. However, GPS has a margin of error in location (most built-in GPS units that we use in our smart phones have an average margin of error of 10m ~ few hundred meters ) and you can't use GPS indoors.

On the other hand, the interface in most augmented reality game applications is the situation (or environment) programmed under the scenario that the provider designed.

Here are several augmented reality games:

1. Pac man

2. Invizimals

3. Eye Pet

Thursday 10 December 2009

My 3 favorite mobile augmented reality applications

Since the iPhone 3GS and Android platform mobile phones have appeared, a lot of mobile augmented reality application have launched. These include LBS (Location-Based Service) mobile augmented reality applications, games and so on.

I have tried some of these applications and here are my three favorite mobile augmented reality applications so far. This is only my personal opinion, and I only chose applications which are related to GIS or LBS.

1. Layar
Layar is a platform for mobile augmented reality. The great thing about this platform you can make your own augmented reality application on your Android phone and your iPhone.
In order to do this you need to get a developerID and a developer Key from Layar. I think Layar will help to diffuse the usage of augmented reality in the mobile world.
The video clip is here

2. Acrossair's Nearest tube
Acrossair's Nearest tube is one of the first augmented reality applications on the iPhone. The reason I like this application is that the user interface is very simple and easy. I think that is the most important factor if an application is to become widely used. In addition, this application has showed how we can use augmented reality with GIS (or LBS) in the first stage of mobile augmented reality.
However, producing only directions and distance is not enough for real-life usage. I have used this application only once since I downloaded it several months ago, but it does a great job of showing us what the future can hold when we combine augmented reality with GIS and LBS.
The video clip is here

3.WIKITUDE Drive - AR Navigation
AR Navigation is the best application when it comes to combining GIS with augmented reality. It also features world-wide coverage. In order to improve this application in the future, it could be fused with other technologies. For example, as display technology has improved there have been several attempts to use a car's windshield as a display material. If we can use this transparent display to provide information to a driver, we can have a significantly safer driving environment. And in order to enhance the accuracy of figure information, image recognition and detection technology should be improved.
The video clip is here

Wednesday 9 December 2009

An amazing image recognition technology - Google Goggles

Since I began to study augmented reality, I have recognized that image recognition and image detection are significant technologies that can enhance locating accuracy.
Now Google has introduced an application (a new searching method) called Google Goggles. It recognizes the image of a book's front page, the text of business cards, and even buildings. In the cases of books and buldings, Google Goggles shows further information about those objects. In addition, it directly extracts text from business cards (name, phone number, etc.)

Tuesday 1 December 2009

UrbanDiary on Layar

Another cool video clip made by Fabian Neuhaus who is a Ph.D. student at CASA (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis) at UCL.
This is a part of his research on "Urban Diary - The Spatial Narrative of Everyday Life" Urban Diary focuses on the cycles and rhythms in the urban environment.
In this video he shows people's tracks using Layar which is an augmented reality platform.