Featured Project

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Augmented Reality and Empress of Ireland

MSi3D and CIMMI recently worked together to develop an iPad app which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Empress of Ireland’s shipwreck.  MSi3D used a 3D imaging sonar system, called the Echoscope, to take three-dimensional data of the wreck. CIMMI then used this data to develop the augmented reality app.

See the video on Vimeo.

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Northwest Ontario campaign features AR

Northwest Ontario contracted the services of Augmented Marketing and Gem Webb Tourism Marketing to engage users with an interactive campaign.

The campaign consists of an Augmented Reality enabled postcard that was deployed to strategic outfitters in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). These entry points have a banner stand and custom made “rustic” postcard holders that inform and educate users to download the “Northwest Ontario” app on the Android and Apple app stores.

The Northwest Ontario app allows users to watch a video right on the card, as well as interact with virtual buttons that are floating right on the card. These buttons will take users to various spots on the Northwest Ontario website which was also mobile optimized for this project. The links consist of items such as: Places to hunt, places to fish, and places to stay.

Other aspects of the app allow users to take a picture of themselves holding a virtual “Muskie” | watch video of real world reaction, as well as play a fishing game that ties in with Facebook.

See how it works on YouTube.

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GVX Head-Mounted Video Game Console

Richmond Hill-based game technology company Sulon Technologies has announced their revolutionary new product, GVX, a head-mounted gaming console that offers avid gamers the freedom to play anywhere, whether indoors or outdoors. Sulon’s proprietary technology involves applying advanced Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technology to create the most realistic and immersive gaming experience available, enabling players to have a Star Trek ‘holodeck’ experience in their own living space and bringing to life traditional table top games in 3D on any flat surface.

The GVX system introduces the concept of Xtreme Reality (XR) defined as the one-to-one integration of the real world and the virtual world with the ability to scale the whole spectrum of AR to full VR. XR blurs the lines between the real and virtual worlds to actually place the player into their game by adapting their entire physical environment into the game world. Unlike any other device available, GVX applies AR and VR to transform any space (even outdoors!) into a completely new game environment in real-time.

XR games on GVX are classified as Active or Surface gaming. Active games are adrenaline inducing and interactive, where the system conducts an accurate and rapid scan of the player’s entire environment to adapt it into the game world using sophisticated SLAM algorithms. GVX is also completely wireless with all devices communicating via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, giving users complete freedom of movement. With Active gaming, space limitations are not an issue as the system is able to generate new graphics and scenarios to the same space multiple times during one gaming session, allowing for an endless number of new gaming experiences.

Active and Surface gaming is not mutually exclusive and can be combined to create innovative gaming experiences.  GVX also features a removable component (the GVX Player) that offers players a variety of gaming options. The GVX player can be used on its own to play existing mobile games from the Google Play store as well as connect to a HDTV and a Bluetooth controller for those who enjoy traditional gaming on their television. These gaming options on the GVX Player can be combined with the XR experience on GVX (i.e. Active and Surface gaming) to create a multitude of unique one-of-a-kind gaming experiences.

GVX is also a consumer-friendly gaming device that eliminates many of the problems associated with adopting AR and VR technology. Surface games (AR application) on GVX are hassle-free and do not require physical markers. VR gaming on GVX is safe and does not induce motion sickness.

Surface games are a creative throwback to traditional gaming where games are augmented in 3D onto any flat surface. Players can watch their cities actively grow, wage virtual wars against other players around the world or enjoy a tabletop game with friends and family.

GVX developer kits are available for pre-order on the Sulon Technologies website. For more information, visit www.sulontechnologies.com.

Click here to see the video: watch?v=pJwGoHSkeWw

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TWNKLS

Auggie Winner for Best AR Enterprise Solution

TWNKLS  is a full-service Augmented Reality agency with a focus on creation, development, production and implementation of (mobile) AR applications. One of TWNKLS clients is Otolift, a company that produces stair lifts for elderly and disabled people.  The stair lifts are sold worldwide through a dealer network. Sales representatives of Otolift make use of an Apple iPad in their sales process, with the app they show their customers what the stairlift looks like in their own home.

In addition to this visualization and configuration tool TWNKLS has developed a measurement tool. Measuring a staircase becomes a simple task with this solution, because of the direct (visual) feedback the quality of measurement is improved. This new method of measuring is very reliable and accurate and results in a reduced error margin and higher efficiency. The measurement app generates a 3D model with a reconstuction of the staircase. This is used, without further adjustment, in the stair lift production process by the designers of Otolift.

Technology

For the development of this iPad application TWNKLS made use of Unity3D. The tracking is based on ARtoolkit, which has been completed and enriched with TWNKLS own software and algorithms in order to guarantee the quality of the measurement.

Best AR Enterprise Solution Award

At Augmented World Expo 2013 (June 2013, Santa Clara – USA) the best AR productions of the world were awarded with the Auggies, the world’s most prestigious AR award. TWNKLS won the Auggie for Best AR Enterprise Solution.

More Information

  • For more information on TWNKLS, click here
  • For more information on the project, click here
  • To see a video of the Otolift, click here
  • Follow TWNKLS on Twitter

 

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Interactive Learning of the Inner Ear

Anatomical Illustration and Physical Models combined with Augmented Reality

This is a novel augmented reality (AR)-enabled teaching tool demonstrating the complex structure of the human inner ear to medical students. Using a handheld tablet equipped with an integrated camera, digitally-rendered 3D models of this structure can be visually superimposed over illustrations of the cochlea and/or physical models of the petrous temporal bone, thus highlighting the negative space. The anatomy of interest, the inner ear, including the cochlea and semicircular canals are negative spaces within bone containing other structures.  The available resources in student labs are textbook illustrations which lack spatial and structural complexity, models which at times do not display the structures as negative spaces within the bone, and anatomical prosections which are limited by scale and cannot display tiny structures clearly. This brought about an issue to be resolved, what could be developed to help show deep negative forms within a small anatomical structure?  Medical imaging and interactive visualization technology can be used to teach this material in new and improved ways.  By using and collecting raw data with CT scans a 3d digital model of the petrous temporal bone was created. Micrographic references of the inner ear such as the spiral ganglion housed in the cochlea were also used to clarify the structures within the inner to in order to further model the anatomy.

The development of Augmented Reality (AR) technology provides an opportunity to create a digital graphic representation of hidden, or otherwise unavailable information, and incorporate it by means of a digital device with the surrounding environment. By augmenting a physical model of the skeletal anatomy with a superimposed digital model of the internal negative spaces, we are able to facilitate visuo-haptic learning and provide supplementary means of obtaining structural and functional information on this difficult subject matter.

This tool enhances the educational potential of traditional media: models and illustration that have long been the bread and butter of anatomical/medical education. This is a subset of Augmented Reality: Augmented Education.

Andréa Zariwny is completing her Master of Science in the Biomedical Communications program at the University of Toronto.  To learn more and to see the demo videos, click here.

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Using AR Apps to Foster Learning and Engagement of History

Synopsis: 

Learn more about the War of 1812 iPhone apps and how researchers from Brock and McGill University are working towards enhancing the interactive capabilities of mobile location-based AR.

Project Description: 

Location-based augmented reality applications that interact with users by responding to what they are feeling or thinking have the potential to change how we learn about history. Our research involves collecting information about users, which the application can analyze in order to make inferences about their learning and engagement, thereby allowing the augmented reality system to deliver the most suitable content. However, this raises several challenges with respect to how to develop such an application, most notably what information to collect, as well as when and how it should be collected.

The Learning Environments Across Disciplines (LEADS), a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Research Partnership Grant, has funded a research project led by Canadian Research Chairs Kevin Kee and Susanne Lajoie, in collaboration with Eric Poitras, to address these issues in relation to the Niagara 1812 iPhone applications. The applications were developed in collaboration with Thomas Madej, the CEO of Furi Enterprises, and allow users to learn about the War of 1812 by visiting historic sites at Queenston and Niagara-on-the-Lake with the help of their own virtual tour guides.

Researchers will collect data from multiple measures to capture users’ learning and engagement in the context of the guided walking tours. Their findings will guide the development of these applications using sensors and models to decide what content should be delivered, which route should be prioritized, and what the virtual tour guide should say to the users.