ARE 2011 Kickoffs – AR Madness Ensues

The opening morning of ARE 2011 brought a packed opening press conference with industry leading AR companies making ground breaking announcements.  You can find several of the announcements below:

Dagri – Smart New Publishing Platform Simplifies the creation and visualization of augmented reality for consumers and designers

Layar First to Provide Direct AR Content Publication Through-Third Party Tools

First Public Showing of Volummetric 3D Hub

Metaio – The Big Picture of Augmented Reality

Innovega Breaks the Mobile Media Bottleneck

Imagine That Technologies Introduces Streamline

ingZ inc – Traveller AR brings Augmented Reality to iPad and iTouch as well as iPhone

Immediate following  the press conference AR attendees representing 24 different countries filled the Main Theater at the Santa Clara Center  to witness an opening video montage and Bruce Sterling’s visionary keynote.  The AR inspiring keynote started with a surprise space liberation ambush and new freepace manifesto.  To catch all the action follow the #are2011 twitter stream.

Stay tuned..

A Retrospective of Augmented Reality Event 2010 – Warm up for ARE 2011 in just 2 days!

Montage of highlights from the inaugural Augmented Reality Event in 2010, the largest gathering of augmented reality professionals ever.

A glimpse into the opening of ARE 2011 this coming Tuesday morning at the Santa Clara Convention Center. It will be fun. Double feature.

6 Days to ARE 2011: an Interview with Vernor Vinge – Smart phones and Empowering Aspects of Social Networks & Augmented Reality Still Massively Underhyped

Many of the pioneers in the emerging AR industry who will be speaking at, and attending Augmented Reality Event (ARE 2011), consider “Rainbows End” one of their key inspirations.

Here is an excerpt from an UgoTrade interview with author Vernor Vinge – just 6 days prior to event:

Tish Shute: What is the best and worst, in your view, about the way Augmented Reality is emerging from science fiction into science fact?

Vernor Vinge: Progress that sets the stage: The worldwide market penetration of cellphones in the era 2000-2010 was of a size and speed that would have counted as foolish implausibility even in science-fiction of earlier times. More than half the human race suddenly had access to knowledge and comms. Being in the middle of this firestorm of progress, we can’t really judge ultimate effects, but I expect that smart phones and the empowering aspects of social networks and AR are still massively underhyped. (This is not to say that individual innovation enterprises can’t fail; the treasure is there for those who dare, and ultimately the whole human race can benefit.)

Tish Shute: What do you feel will be the most impactful application of AR in people’s everyday lives?

Vernor: AR apps that let each person/team see those aspects of physical reality that are important for their current activity. Pointing technologies that coordinate with that AR vision. The combination is a revolution of interfaces, and the probable physical disappearance of more and more of the gadgets that twentieth century people associated with high tech.

Read the rest of the interview  at UgoTrade.

Vernor Vinge will be judging the competitors at The Auggies for the best AR demo at ARE 2011. Also, come see him discuss the state of Augmented Reality at the ARE 2011 event wrap up with Bruce Sterling.

Just 6 days left: Register Today for the ARE 2011 event

Interview with Bruce Sterling: Augmented Reality and Transitioning out of the Old-Fashioned "Legacy Internet"

It is just over a week until Augmented Reality Event, and I know there are a lot of people, including me, who are totally psyched to see what unfolds there this year. Bruce Sterling, Vernor Vinge, Blaise Aguera Y Arcas, Jaron Lanier, Will Wright, Marco Tempest and Frank Cooper will join 107 speakers from 76 augmented reality companies on a single stage to tell a momentous story of a technology of our time (see here for more from Bruce Sterling on AR & my previous post).

As Bruce Sterling points out, in the interview below, Augmented Reality is “truly a child of the twenty-teens, a genuine digital native,” and one visible indication that:

..the Internet really could look like a “legacy.” The Legacy Internet as an old-fashioned, dusty, desk-based place best left to archivists and librarians, while the action is out on the streets.”

Interview with Bruce Sterling by Tish Shute and Ori Inbar

Tish Shute: As you so memorably put it, “AR is a technovisionary dream come true – something really rare, and you have to be really patient for those….”

What is best and worst, in your view, about the way Augmented Reality technovisionary dream is coming true and emerging to flourish in the wild?

Bruce Sterling: The best part is that AR is truly happening and is a lot of fun, and the worst part is that it’s happening in a Depression. If AR had broken loose in the dotcom days when cash flew around like soap bubbles, man, that would have been psychedelic.

AR that is even more of-our-time than “social media.” AR has arisen directly from modern technical factors that just didn’t use to exist. It’s made from shiny new parts, and is truly a child of the twenty-teens, a genuine digital native. It’s a little kid and it has to walk before it can run, but it’s great to see it walking.

Tish Shute: As Jesse Schell pointed out last year at ARE2010, “The whole point of AR is to see things from a different point of view…How can there be a more powerful art form than one that actually changes what you see?” What do you feel will be the most impactful application of AR in people’s everyday lives?

Bruce Sterling: I’m all for impact, but it’s pretty clear that the people who would weep for joy to have Augmented Reality are people whose reality is already damaged. People who need reality augmented as a prosthetic, in other words, so that they can achieve an “everyday life.” This is like the impactful but underappreciated role of the Internet in the lives of people who’ve been shut-in. If you’re laid-up in a hospital bed, a laptop is a revolution in convalescence.

But that kind of “impact” doesn’t sound too exciting or too profitable. My guess would be that the biggest arena for “impactful AR” would be augmenting cityscapes for foreign people who can’t speak the local language, can’t read the signs, and lack time to learn the local reality. Imagine, say, the Brazilian overlay for Moscow. You could show up, read your native Brazilian overlay of that city, do your business, eat, sleep, buy, leave, and scarcely “be in Moscow” at all. Constructed right, the AR Brazilian Moscow might even be a better Moscow — a Moscow that Russians themselves would pay to visit.

Tish Shute: You pointed out last year, in your opening keynote for ARE2010, that less immersive forms of AR have their own merits. We are still not seeing much “head mounted display weirdness” yet, but many other forms of AR are emerging – mobile, webcam, projected video, sonic augmented reality, even sticky light. You noted, practically everything that AR is involved in is a transitional technology. But since you spoke last year at ARE2010, which of these transitional technologies have shown the most promise for AR?

Bruce Sterling: It’s got to be handsets. Smartphones. The stats there are just amazing. The smartphone biz makes the personal computer business look like a Victorian railroad. When I read a guy like Tomi Ahonen, who talks about transitioning out of the old-fashioned “Legacy Internet,” that idea is startling. But AR is one visible indication that the Internet really could look like a “legacy.” The Legacy Internet as an old-fashioned, dusty, desk-based place best left to archivists and librarians, while the action is out on the streets.

Tish Shute: This year we have seen gestural interfaces go mainstream. What are the most interesting directions for gestural interfaces that you have seen emerge in recent months?

Bruce Sterling: To me, the most “interesting” part is seeing people do gestural stuff in public. William Gibson, my fellow author, observes that cellphones have stolen the gestural language of cigarettes. There’s lots of fidgeting, box tapping, ash-swiping, slipping boxes in and out of pockets… People quickly learn to do that without thinking twice, and they forget how weird it looks. It’s “design dissolving in behavior,” as Adam Greenfield puts it.

The gestural hack scene for the Kinect has been amazing. It’s like watching 1950s Beatnik dancing go mainstream.

Tish Shute: You have observed that Augmented Reality is Glocal which not only gives us different flavors of augmented experience but is “a departure from earlier models of tech startups, where you usually have like three hippies in a local garage. Now you’ve got German-American-Korean outfits like Metaio, and Total Immersion has a Russian affiliate. They’re inherently multinational, both inside the company and out.” What flavors of glocalness do you hope/expect to see at Augmented Reality Event this year.

Bruce Sterling: I’d be pretty happy to see some AR input from Brazil, India, and South Africa. I seem to be picking up a lot of followers in my Twitter stream from those locales. If I saw some Augmented Bollywood Reality, that would pretty much make my day.

Ori Inbar: What sessions will you go to at ARE this year? Who do you want to meet at ARE 2011?

Bruce Sterling: I make it my business to hang out with artists, but I’m hoping to drill down more on the technical aspects. For instance, where exactly are the bottlenecks in building animated augments? It looks like we’re about a sneeze away from jamming some crude Hanna-Barbera cartoons into real spaces. But the devil is in the details there.

Ori Inbar: Your commentary about the evolution of the AR industry over the years had significant focus on style. Is the AR industry dressed to kill yet? Any glimpses of promise in that direction?

Bruce Sterling: I’m not “pro-style” in every possible aspect of life, but as an Augmented Reality critic, it’s clear to me that if you claim to “augment” reality, then you should work hard to augment it — struggle to make it better. Otherwise you might as well call yourself “Defaced Reality,” or even “3D Spam.” When I see that kind of crudity and carelessness in AR, I’m gonna call people out on it. I know there will be the AR equivalent of cheesy billboards and gang graffiti, but I never much cared for those, either.

The industry’s videos have improved radically in the past year and a half. It used to be all about “look at my grainy, shaky handheld video of my cool new AR hack,” but nowadays the biz has really pulled its socks up.

If AR is about “experience design,” as I think it basically is, then eventually, as a matter of intellectual consistency and professional pride, everything you create will be considered part of “the experience.” That’s the industry’s way forward — that’s what it would do if it was grown-up.

AR people already look better than most similar geeks in the gaming business, and some day, I really do believe that augmentation people will become glamorous. They won’t be supermodels, but they’ll be about as chic as, say, professional set designers. Because AR is set design, in a way; it’s real-time interactive set-design for three-D spaces.

Ori Inbar: In the Layar Launch in 2009 you said “it’s the dawn of AR…”, at ARE 2010, you followed up on the theme saying “it’s 9am in the AR industry.” What time is it now?

Bruce Sterling: I’d be guessing it’s around 9:30 AM, but come on, that’s just a metaphor! ARE we all gonna blow off at 4:30 PM and have a beer, or is AR one of those cruel tech startups where nobody ever gets a personal life?

Ori Inbar: Are you reading any new fictional literature about AR that inspires you? And/or What interesting design fictions for AR have you come across recently?

Bruce Sterling: Well, I’m always interested in creative people who just plain make stuff up. Because that’s why I commonly do myself. The stuff that “inspires” me is usually stuff that I just didn’t expect to see. But when I don’t expect it, that usually means I wasn’t paying enough attention. I plan to pay a lot of attention to AR this year.

I’m not sure it makes a lot of sense to write fiction nowadays “about AR,” because it’s no longer a fictional topic. It’s become like writing fiction “about cinema.” You can write good fiction about someone who works in cinema, but not fiction about cinema itself. AR is not sci-fi “Augmented Reality” any more, it’s become a real-world phenomenon, a new industry of real augmentation.

With that said, I must remark that I sit up straight whenever I see Marco Tempest do stuff. Magicians are all about mystery and wonder. You wouldn’t see a magician, say, using AR to work an assembly line, or re-order library books, or find a pizza joint in Barcelona. And that’s great. Marco is always gonna do something freaky and out-there, and even though he’s a tech magician, it’s never about the tech first. It’s always about his ingenuity in finding new ways to employ new tools in creating a magical experience for his audience.

Marco’s not an entrepreneur, he’s not gonna revolutionize people’s daily lives or invent Web 4.0, but even if AR becomes “old hat” some day, it’s never going to be old hat when he’s doing it. The guy is a pro, and I’m quite the fan.

Magic Projection Live @ TEDxTokyo 2010 from Marco Tempest on Vimeo.

ARE 2011 Taps metaio As Mobile Conference Guide Sponsor

With all the Augmented Reality goodness at ARE – worried about finding your way around the event this year? Thanks to mobile AR browser junaio you won’t miss a single panel, keynote or coffee break!

Augmented Reality technology provider metaio has been chosen by ARE as the conferences’ first official mobile guide. The firm’s AR application junaio will fill the two day event with useful, location-specific information; a demonstration to the world that AR is real and ready to use!

During the conference, attendees will be able to access ARE 2011 content on their iPhone and Android devices to view the locations of sponsors and exhibitors overlaid across the showcase floor. Speaker rooms and session details will be featured as well.

ARE Co-Chair Ori Inbar explains,

Well, when you curate the best of the best in augmented reality for the largest gathering of AR enthusiasts in the world – you might as well empower attendees to navigate the event in an augmented reality fashion (while saving some trees)!

This event will immerse attendees in an augmented world of innovative companies, cutting edge keynote speakers and introduce junaio as the events’ first augmented guidebook. By combining sensor fusion with their LLA-marker-technology, metaio aims to show how the accuracy limitations of indoor GPS navigation can be overcome.

Metaio’s Brendan Scully adds:

We wanted to put something together for everybody at ARE that is context-relevant. Hopefully the channel inspires some good discussion between attendees. How do we make this experience better? Where do we take AR next? Ori puts on an incredible show and we can’t wait to see what’s been built for 2011.

If you would like to participate in the mobile navigation experience download junaio here:

For Android download here.

For iPhone download here.

The Best of the Best in Augmented Reality to Compete for Top Industry Award

Industry icons Bruce Sterling, Vernor Vinge, Will Wright and Jaron Lanier to judge “The Auggies” – at the worldʼs largest AR event.

Register Today!

SANTA CLARA, CA (April 26, 2011) – The Augmented Reality industry is getting ready to show off a new round of innovation to the technology, media, and marketing communities.  If you ever wondered about the potential of Augmented reality and wanted to check it out up close, you will be excited to know that “The Auggies” returns to the world’s largest augmented reality event, ARE 2011 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. The second annual Auggies competition will take place at the heart of Silicon Valley as the brightest minds in the industry put on a show to impress the industry’s most iconic judges and inspire the audience packed with AR enthusiasts.

The thing I like best about ARE is personally witnessing things that never show up on the Internet. There’s a tension in Augmented Reality, between the global scope of the technology and the local character of the teams that produce it. When you’re in the room with committed, creative people — looking them in the eye, breathing the air they are breathing — that’s what makes it an “event.”

- said Bruce Sterling.

For the Auggies competition, augmented reality teams get 5 minutes each on stage and compete for the coolest live AR demo. The panel of judges provides their unabashed comments, critiques and if they are deemed worthy praise. Winners will be voted by the audience and receive the prestigious “Auggies Award.”

The Auggies is the opportunity for AR developers to unveil their vision of the future, not only in terms of technical progress, but also on how creative you can be with this technology. Winning is truly an important recognition from the AR community and it surely means you’re defying the norm and taking one step further.

- said Ivan Franco of YDreams – the 2010 Auggies winner.

Here is the complete list of competing teams for the Auggie – the industry’s top award.

The competition is still open for additional nominations until May 10th.

The only way to witness the yearly AR battle for the Auggies and participate in the live audience voting is to register for the ARE 2011 event. Event registration is limited and does sell out.

Here is a look back at “The Auggies” competition from ARE 2010. Unplugged, raw video of the demos and the insightful, brutally honest, and entertaining commentary by the judges: Bruce Sterling, Jesse Schell, and Mark Billinghurst.

It feels so…2010.

107 speakers from 76 augmented reality companies on a single stage

Only 23 Days left for the Augmented Reality Event 2011.

Register Today!

30 hours of the latest innovation in augmented reality by top speakers from the following companies:

AR traveler
All Things Digital
The Virtual Magician
Cagefree Consulting
Chart Venture Partners
Columbia University
Franklin Institute
Georgia Tech
Google Goggles
Graz University
Idea Builder Homes
Immersion Optics
Intel capital
Keiichi Matsuda
Lit Studios
Maker Lab
MPR Center
Osage Associates
Parkridge police
Pillsbury Law
Sacred Land Film Project
Tactical Information Systems
Technology Systems, Inc.
Total Immersion
University of Kent, Canterbury
Virtual Public Art Project
Vitamin AR
Quest Visual

Can Augmented Reality Improve Consumer Engagement? Come See Frank Cooper, Chief Consumer Engagement at PepsiCo, and Find out at ARE 2011

The main stage at ARE 2011 will be blessed with science fiction visionaries, ground breaking scientists, mind blowing technologists, and legendary game designers – but so far was missing big brands’ perspective on Augmented Reality (AR).

Until Now.

Meet Frank Cooper, Chief Engagement Officer at PepsiCo, one of the largest and most recognized brands in the world. PepsiCo is a world leader in convenient snacks, foods and beverages with revenues of more than $60 billion and over 285,000 employees.

Frank is a visionary thinker. His claim to fame, among others, is bringing together the entertainment industry and big brands.

In Cooper’s current role at PepsiCo, he has direct oversight of key operational areas across PepsiCo Americas Beverages (PAB) that determine consumer engagement including digital, media, sports, video games and multicultural and entertainment. He has led the development of a new consumer engagement model and created breakthrough marketing programs across the PAB portfolio. Successful videogame marketing promotions, including Pepsi’s Rock Band video contest, Pepsi’s Madden Sweepstakes, Mountain Dew Game Fuel for both World of Warcraft and Halo, and Mountain Dew’s latest successful promotion with Halo: Reach have all happened under Cooper’s guidance.

Or in other words:

“Madison Ave and Hollywood LOVE this guy.”

For the first time at ARE, Frank will tackle the 10 billion dollar question: how can CPG and retail companies leverage AR to nurture a deeper engagement with their customers?

I can’t wait.

Register today!

Sneak Preview of ARE 2011 Schedule – Packed with Augmented Reality Goodness!

The second annual Augmented Reality Event (ARE 2011) is unveiling a sneak preview of the schedule for the world’s largest event – focused exclusively on advancing the augmented reality industry.
ARE 2011 will take place in May 17th-18th at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California, and is surely a must-attend event for the Augmented Reality (AR) community, and anyone interested to learn about AR.
Join Bruce Sterling (“the prophet” of AR) on the main stage, with Vernor Vinge (author of “Rainbows End” and “The Coming Technological Singularity”), and Will Wright (Legendary game designer of SimCity, The Sims, and Spore). Also returning from last year’s event, Blaise  Aguera Y Arcas (a leader in Microsoft’s mobile strategy), to top his Ted talk demonstrating innovations in Bing Maps and Augmented Reality. And if that’s not enough magic – Marco Tempest, the world’s most notable AR magician will stun the audience with a live augmented magic show.


The 2 day event will feature more than 33 hours of talks running the gamut of AR essentials in 3 tracks: Business, Technology and Production:
a) Business – For executives of established and start-up AR companies, as well as mobile hardware companies – in search of business models and promising verticals for AR;  a venue to form partnerships, learn about latest innovations, and most importantly speak with clients.

b) Technology – For Developers, programmers and technologists seeking the latest and greatest engines and tools for AR; learn from case studies and post mortems delivered by experienced developers from the leading companies in the space.

c) Production – For Producers, designers, project managers (in gaming companies, agencies, marketers, brands, and artists) hungry for proven techniques to leverage augmented reality to advance your brand, attract and keep your customers, and build successful campaigns and products that will delight users.

For a complete list of confirmed speakers checkout the website at: ARE 2011 Speakers

If you are an AR Enthusiast – you will feel like a kid in a candy store at are2011.

Not convinced yet? Check out these special activities:
1) “Startup Launch pad” – Five AR startups present their business models and products in front of an expert panel: VCs, Entrepreneurs, and industry luminaries – hosted by a major industry powerhouse. Winner receives: “ARE Best startup prize” (to be announced.) Submit your proposal here under track: “Startup Launch Pad”.

2) “The Auggies” – Teams get 5 minutes each to present on stage and compete for the coolest live AR demo. An extraordinary trio of judges: Bruce Sterling, Vernor Vinge, and Will Wright, will comment on the demos – American Idol-style. Winners will be determined by the audience and receive the prestigious “Auggies Award.” Submit your proposal here under the “Auggies” track.

3) ARt Gala – A display of AR art projects and live performance art by the world’s top AR artists featuring: Helen Papagiannis, Amir Baradaran, Sander Veenhof and more to be announced. And to make sure all your senses are stimulated – drinks and food are on the house – courtesy of our sponsors.

4) ARE Press Conference – If you are planning to announce a new product or service – secure your spot in the press conference that will kick off the event. Submit your proposal here and add: “Press Conference” in the title.

5) Exhibition and Sponsorships – A small number of booths is still available in the exhibition hall ($995 for 10′x10′).Grab them while they last!

Register today for the augmented reality event!

Bruce Sterling Returns to Headline the Second Annual Augmented Reality Event 2011

The prophet is back!

“It’s 9 am in the augmented reality industry…it’s your chance to bake a big pie before you start slicing it up…it’s time for you to get dressed…good luck to you, I’ll be watching you”

These were Bruce Sterling’s words in the opening keynote of the inaugural Augmented Reality Event 2010 – the largest AR industry event ever.

Bruce, which is recognized as one of the fathers of cyberpunk and the prophet of the augmented reality industry, promises to be back this year – stronger and more engaged then ever. This time “I have an agenda” he says.

To whet your appetite: here’s last year’s keynote. Still very cool.

The Augmented Reality Event: Bruce Sterling’s keynote from Ori Inbar on Vimeo.

ARE 2010 was the largest event ever focused on advancing the Augmented Reality industry, with 520 attendees, 90 speakers (Will Wright, Bruce Sterling, Jesse Schell among the keynote speakers), 30 hours of sessions, and one of a kind activities such as the ARt Gala, The Auggies Best AR Demo Award, and AR Startup Launchpad. The event was rated at 4.5 stars (out of 5) by the event attendees.

The event included sponsors and speakers from companies like Qualcomm, Adobe, Google, Microsoft, Nokia and backed by the Augmented Reality (AR) Consortium, ISMAR Committee, and 50 other AR companies.

Media partners included: TechCrunch, O’Reily, GigaOm, RWW, H+, Engage and the leading blogs covering augmented reality.

As the AR industry is about to sky rocket – ARE 2011 is promising to be even bigger and more exciting!

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