Press Release

metaio to Showcase its Core Technologies for an Augmented World at ISMAR 2011

Gravity-Aligned Feature Description (GAFD), mobile 3D tracking and 3D reconstruction of virtual and physical environments will be necessary steps to natural augmentations of the real world

BASEL, SWITZERLAND 27 OCTOBER 2011- metaio, worldwide leader in augmented reality (AR) software solutions and proud Silver Level sponsor of the 10th International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) has developed technologies that provide the foundation for a fully Augmented World. At this year's ISMAR, metaio will present cutting-edge research on Gravity-Aligned Feature Description (GAFD), 3D object recognition and real-time 3D reconstruction of physical objects and environments that will be integral to natural, useful augmentations of the real world. Furthermore, all of the results of this extensive R & D will be made available to the developer ecosystem through metaio's junaio mobile AR browser and the advanced Mobile SDK.

Two months ago, metaio announced its roadmap for the future of AR. Part of that roadmap was the Augmented City demo, a 3D tracking prototype running on a mobile device in which digital and 3D content was seamlessly overlaid onto a model city.

One month ago, metaio announced at the annual insideAR conference that it was a primary initiative to get augmented reality on every smartphone by 2014, and that a crucial step to making this happen was to release a free version of the advanced Mobile Software Development Kit to foster open development.

At this year's ISMAR, metaio is demonstrating technologies that will advance the roadmap even further towards making the digital a truly natural experience. "We want this kind of groundbreaking technology in the hands of the user," said metaio CTO Peter Meier. "These advancements will lead to wonderful new user interfaces, applications, and standout use cases which can only further the progress of the industry as a whole."

Putting together the essential pieces for the future

Taking a closer look, metaio's ISMAR entry, straight from the R & D labs, contains these three fundamental enabling technologies:

  1. The first is combining gravity awareness with camera based vision detection (GAFD). This will tremendously improve the speed and performance of detecting real world objects such as common buildings with dozens or even hundreds of windows. With current recognition technologies it is almost impossible to identify one specific window out of 100 at a given building as they all look the same through the eye of a smartphone camera. If the AR application is however aware of gravity while trying to identify a single window on a building, perhaps to identify a commercial real estate listing, this suddenly becomes a doable task. In addition to enabling virtual promotions for real estate services the gravity awareness in AR can also be used to improve the user experience in rendering virtual content that behaves like real objects; for example virtual accessories like a pair of earrings will move accordingly to how the user turns his or her head.
  2. The second technology metaio is presenting at ISMAR is advanced 3D object recognition that is taking simple 2D image recognition one step further. Well-defined objects like products, devices, or machines can be recognized, almost independent of light conditions or the way they are facing the camera. Not the image but the object itself is recognized-this way a virtual manual scenario for servicing an engine with the help of AR overlays at the right 3D positions becomes doable.
  3. The third ground breaking technology needed to achieve a natural representation of digital content in the Augmented World is being able to understand and "reconstruct" the real world. In order to superimpose virtual content correctly into a real environment one needs to know first what this real environment is made of. This includes the recognition and location of existing objects that would be in the foreground of virtual objects such as a virtual chair that should be only partly visible because there is a table in front of it in the room. At ISMAR 2011 metaio is presenting different techniques to achieve 3D reconstruction and occlusion running at real time on normal consumer hardware.

Mobile 3D tracking soon available in junaio

While the gravity aware AR feature is already supporting various mobile AR experiences, the next extensive update to junaio will be 3D tracking. With this development, junaio will become the first mobile AR browser capable of natural 3D object tracking. In order to showcase the performance of the current 3D tracking implementation metaio is participating in a tracking competition against other researchers at ISMAR 2011 using the actual Junaio 3.0 application. Putting such a significant feature into the hands of the end-user is one of the most crucial steps toward massive adoption of AR and phenomenal future use-cases.

The most advanced tools in the hands of creators and consumers.

Fostering a growing, thriving developer ecosystem is no small part of metaio's roadmap to the Augmented World. That is why all of the research presented at ISMAR this year will soon be available through junaio, the world's most advanced Mobile AR Browser, and the robust metaio Mobile SDK platform for iOS and Android development. "We have made major breakthroughs since we announced the Augmented City," said CEO Thomas Alt. "There is no 'killer' AR app - it is important for us to grow a community of developers who will can expand on all potential AR applications rather than searching for a single use-case. That's why we're making sure that everyone has access to our mobile development platforms."


About Metaio

The worldwide leader in Augmented Reality (AR) research and technology, Metaio develops software products for visually interactive solutions between the real and the virtual world. Based on the Metaio Augmented Reality platform, digital and 3-D content can be integrated seamlessly into the real world through the user’s camera view. Serving over 100,000 developers and powering over 1,000 apps for enterprise, marketing, retail, publishing and industrial cases, over 30 Million consumers use Metaio’s AR software. Learn more at

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