Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Where2.0 and WhereCamp 2010


After deciding to skip Where2.0 and go straight to WhereCamp for 2010, I have to eat my words from twitter describing Where2.0 as, "low signal to noise ratio, unless you count product launches as signal."  Since saying that, the Where2.0 program has proven me wrong and is probably one of the best conference schedules I've seen in a while. 

I'm really excited by the Where2.0 program and I'm having a tough time deciding which session to attend.  I'm happy that all the location based product launches occurred at SXSW, leaving Where2.0 more technically focused this year. Let the marriage of location and real time analytics begin.

That said, I'm also speaking at Where2.0, not once but 3 times.  I'm on two augmented reality panels and an Ignite talk.

Convene and lead a panel on requirements and specifications for an open software stack for augmented reality, based on the assumption that AR is both a discrete medium, and it is the intersection of many media, including web, CAD, mapping, games, virtual worlds... Read more.
This panel will discuss shared augmented realities, considering some of the essential possibilities and challenges inherent in this new class of social augmented experiences. The format is presentation and discussion of a small set of scenarios (defined in advance, with audience input) describing likely future forms of shared augmented realities at differing scales of social engagement. Read more.  
Tish Shute also has more detailed information on our panel session on her blog
Times are hard and your angel funder just told you that your non-profit open source org needs to feed itself. Great, but it also means change, in terms of process, organization, culture and people's expectations. The talk is about achieving a balance between profitability and the open source mission.
Since its start in 2007, WhereCamp has taken off with events happening Portland, Denver, Montreal, London, Quebec, and Africa as well as one in the Bay Area following Where2.0.  Google is once again hosting WhereCamp for 2010 and over 240 people have signed up for the event.  There are mentions of kites, cameras, and computers on twitter and Scoble has favorited WhereCamp.  Tish Shute and I are planning a session on the ARWave project which uses the Wave Federation Protocol to deliver augmented reality experiences. There will be camping on the Google grounds promising late night hacking sessions and geo-shenanigans.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Open Source AR Toolkit Roundup (Part 2)

Since the last post on augmented reality toolkits in December, more open source AR projects have been announced.  Without further ado here's a new roundup of AR code to play with.

Locatory is based on the Gamaray open source release and developed at the Open University of the Netherlands.  The project is hosted on Google Code and can be downloaded here.

Mixare is another augmented reality engine for the Android platform. Mixare is a platform to build on and uses json as a data source, lots of good documentation at and the code and documentation hosted on Google and available for download.  Mixare based apps are already available in the Android Market Place.

augmentthis! is a server and Android app that let's users upload KML and display them on their Android device.  The server portion is available on Google code. The app is available on the Android Market, and the augmenthis! upload  service is on Google app spot with some additional documentation. 

SLARToolKit brings the venerable ARToolkit code base to Microsoft's SilverLight technology. SLARToolkit can be downloaded from Microsofts open source project hosting site Codeplex.

SLARToolkit - Silverlight Augmented Reality 3D projection sample from Rene Schulte on Vimeo.

Symbian gets its own augmented reality engine with OpenMAR. Source and community for OpenMAR is at their website.

One of the more exciting demos making the rounds around the AR community is the Parrot AR Drone, a quadri-copter controlled by an iPhone.  AR Drone has an open API and SDKs for multiple plaforms available on their site.  

While the following are not complete augmented reality applications, service API and SDKs that support AR applications are also becoming more common place.

Kooaba for both the iPhone and Android platforms provides mobile image search. While not open source, Kooaba provides a free query API and a commercial data upload API. Integrating image search into AR applications is a first step away from static AR content into fully interactive applicaitons.

SNAP or Sensor Networking Application Platform is an Android toolkit developed by Ericsson Labs that provides a uniform API for accessing sensors on Android devices. Interestingly, they choose to use the Open Geospatial Consortium SensorML specification to encode sensor information, can you say "Internet of things?"