Disney Is Devising a 3D Augmented Reality Colouring Book

I don’t know, children today in developed countries have it all in terms of tech, where tablet computers and Smartphone’s are the norm and internet access is available 24/7 to assist with homework, yep, let’s assume it’s for school work and not for social networks. Now, Disney has incorporated augmented reality into a colouring book which allows your child the ability to colour in a character from an art book in 3D.

Below is a video which shows the concept, as you can see, it utilizes an augmented reality app that Disney have developed with the aim of tracking and capturing real-time images from a mobile device camera. It then maps them onto any 3D deformable surface. The end result is a moving 3D character which can be coloured in within real-time.

The app is still very much at the development stage, but it certainly shows the possibilities which could exist within toys of the future.  Below is a screenshot to convey the idea, the user views the 3D character via a phone or tablet camera while using the app, they can then colour in the figure within the 2D colouring book which is then translated onto the character.

This concept is certainly fantastic and shows what could be achieved if you transfer this principle onto a more advanced model. Imagine if this technique was perfected and allowed you to colour in a Star Wars vehicle before it flew around the room or a historical building or landmark.  It will be a while yet before it hits the shops, but when it does, expect children to clamber for it.

A fantastic concept for tech lovers, and imagine working for a company called “Disney Research” certainly eye-catching on a CV.

Thank you disneyresearch for providing us with this information.

Sony’s SmartEyeglass Becomes Available for Pre-Order

Sony’s Google Glass alternative, SmartEyeglass, has finally become available for pre-order. You can reserve a ‘developer’ unit today for $840 in the US, Germany and the UK, before the release date of March 10th.

The glasses utilise augmented reality, in a way very much similar to Google’s Glass – a product currently on hold. There are some differences to Google’s equivalent, such as the fact that it needs to be paired to a smartphone and its terribly bulky appearance (many laughed at ‘Glassholes’, who knows how many will laugh at people like the woman in image the above). It’s also worth mentioning the green user interface – something perhaps not as appetising when compared to Google’s almost fully-featured UI.

Of course, all of these things could change, but considering the current state of Google’s project, who knows what Sony will do with SmartEyeglass.

Source: The Verge

Job Posting Reveals Apple Working on Virtual Reality

One of the best ways to get an idea of what Apple is doing behind the scenes is to check their job boards.

9to5Mac reports on a new posting that reveals that Apple is looking for a software engineer that can “create high performance apps that integrate with Virtual Reality systems for prototyping”. 

They say they need someone to work on the “next generation” of software – a sign that Apple is getting serious about Virtual and Augmented Reality. This certainly isn’t the first peep we’ve had from Apple concerning the world of VR, they’ve been granted a number of patents recently for the technology too.

Whatever Apple is doing with VR, we may never get to see it, because after all, Apple is a company that says no more times than they say yes.

Source: 9to5Mac

Ex-Valve Employees Ship First castAR Glasses

Technical Illusions, the group of people who ran a successful Kickstarter for the castAR Augmented Reality glasses, have started delivering the finished product to their backers.

The device, which managed to raise $1 million on Kickstarter, features projectors, a camera and active shutter glasses that allow you to play hologram-style games projected more or less on to any surface. Think of it like the AR systems you’ve already seen in mobile apps, or like the AR games included with devices like the Nintendo 3DS, but instead of seeing the AR images on a screen, you see them before your eyes in the glasses.

It’s for this reason that the creators of the glasses, ex-Valve employees Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, call them “the most versatile AR and VR system”, alluding to the fact that by combing the AR functionality with the glasses, they also becomes a pretty cool Virtual Reality device as well.

There’s no date for when they’ll be available to everyone, but you can pre-order now at the Technical Illusions website.

Source: Engadget

Everyday Pilots Trialing Fight Pilot Style Augmented Vision Glasses

Augmented reality and VR tech in general is all the rage right now and Aero Glass are looking to innovate in the aviation market by offering heads up display glasses to pilots. This may all sound very familiar, that is because military pilots wear augmented reality heads-up displays, but these are wildly expensive and have never really been suitable for general aviation.

Aero Glass want to offer a lower cost and less intrusive solution that will allow pilots to physically see if another craft is above them or below them, as well as any other obstacles via their Epson Moverio BT-200 smart glasses. They’re fairly similar in concept to that of Google Glass, but feature a full display across both eyes that make them ideal for real-time information over-lays.

“Instead of looking at instruments and doing lots of mental calculations, basically you’re looking outside and you see all these things overlaid on reality,” says Akos Maroy, founder of Aero Glass. “You can select how much information you want overlaid on reality.”

The bonus here is that the whole setup can be implemented for under $1,000 and there are already 200 pilots testing out the new system. It’s currently aimed at experimental pilots and early adopters rather than the commercial aviation market, but it’s still pretty interesting tech.

Thank you Fastcoexist for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Fastoexist.

Samsungs VR Software Leaks, Apps and See-Through Feature Revealed

The rumour that Samsung have been working with Oculus VR to create their own headset seem to be true as the pre-release version of the Samsung VR software founds its way online. The head-mounted display they’re working on will in fact be a holder for a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, which will be held in front of your face to create a display like that of the Oculus Rift, although technically it has more in common with Google Cardboard.

The software included the downloads for apps called VR Panorama and VR Cinema, no doubt for viewing of 3D images and videos on your device, which will complement some of the 3D apps already available on the Android market place for Google Cardboard. Gear VR will have a touchpad and a back button on its surface, allowing you a level of control since your phones touch screen will be inaccessible.

One of the cooler features, and something that is lacking on Oculus Rift is a pass-through mode. This will allow you to switch from VR to a view of the world around you, this will be achieved by using the camera on the back of your phone, which will then feed the video to the screen. The real view could add some interesting augmented reality features to the setup.

It’s a bit of a gimmick and likely won’t work as well as a dedicated Oculus setup, but since Oculus requires you to be sat at your desk and the Gear VR mobile, they’ll both have different roles in the VR market.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch.

Ex Valve Employees Augmented Tech “castAR” Heads to Kickstarter

All aboard the VR tech train, best get on now or risk being left behind! Ok jokes aside, it does feel like everyone but myself is creating a VR tech these days, Oculus Rift might be the poster boy for the format at the moment, but there are already solution on the market that rival it, with many more on the way.

Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson were fired from Valve, and the castAR tech they were working on was put aside for a while. Now they’ve reached an agreement with Valve CEO Gabe Newell that allows them to continue the project full time, a deal where only the consumer can benefit as without this deal, it would never see the light of day.

Instead of custom build goggles like Oculus Rift, this setup is a hybrid, you can clip it onto traditional glasses and it will project a hologram-like image in your field of vision. It then also combines features such as eye tracking to allow extra levels of interaction.

The Kickstarter is pretty fresh, but at time of writing it has already gained over half of its $400,000 target.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Kickstarter.