New AR Platform Lets Mobile Users Leave, View Messages, Photos, Animations in Physical Locations

--Augmented Reality Round-Up: Tweetmondo's Twitter App, Lionsgate's Lap Dance, Kia's Hamster Game

A Munich-based company called metaio says that it has developed a smartphone-based augmented reality platform called metaio World. According to the company, the platform will allow users to associate their own content--including Twitter messages, photos, and 3D animations--with any real-world location, so that it can be viewed by other users who subsequently happen upon that location. "You now can turn places into your own hotspots," metaio explains on its Web site. "By leaving traces, messages or objects, you can change how you, your friends and everyone else sees the world. Whether you want to guide your friends to your favorite restaurant, point out a yet-unknown sight or add objects on your campus--it is up to you." According to the company, metaio World, which features Facebook integration, will offer support for iPhone, Google Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian S60. A demo video is embedded above, and a longer version of the video is available at: http://www.metaio.com/world/

In other recent AR news:

  • In a posting on its corporate blog, Monday, Tweetmondo, a new start-up (it was founded in May, 2009) which has developed a service that allows Twitter users to discover other users close to them, said that it has been chosen by SPRXmobile to develop augmented reality applications for the latter's Layar platform (note: for more on the Layar platform, see the articles published on itvt.com, June 17th and July 9th, and the interview with SPRXmobile co-founder, Maarten Lens-Fitzgerald, published on itvt.com, July 16th). The company says that it is currently implementing "the first augmented reality Twitter search for Twitter" and that it has five open spots for alpha testers: interested parties, who must own an Android phone, can apply on the company's Web site (tweetmondo.com/contact.php).
  • To promote its upcoming release, "Gamer" (billed as "a high-concept action thriller set in a near future when gaming and entertainment have evolved into a terrifying new hybrid"), Lionsgate has launched an age-restricted site (societyargirls.com) that invites users to print out an icon which, when detected through a Webcam, triggers an augmented reality lap dance from a scantily clad woman.
  • Kia Motors America announced Tuesday that it is offering an augmented reality game through the promotional Facebook page for its new Kia Soul model (facebook.com/kiasoul). Dubbed "Go Hamster Go!" and featuring the animated hamsters that starred in a recent Kia advertising campaign for the Soul, the game is billed as an "interactive application [that] places any Facebook user with a Webcam-enabled computer into the game, allowing them to race against the clock in an augmented reality experience with the Soul ad campaign hamsters. Using facial recognition technology," the company says, "the player controls the competition with his or her face using a virtual magnet that 'connects' to his or her forehead. The object of the game is to grab a hamster with the magnet as it comes off of a conveyer belt and place it into a Soul as an onscreen clock ticks down. Each hamster wears a colored t-shirt mirroring a Soul paint color (Java, Alien Green, Molten, etc.), and when the player successfully drops a hamster into a Soul, the car turns into that color and drives away, while the next empty Soul arrives. The exit window lists the final score as well as the many exciting personalization options the user managed to add to the Soul. Users can post their scores on a Soul leader board as well as challenge friends to compete and beat their scores." The application was created by digital marketing agency, Total Immersion, in association with Initiative and David & Goliath.

 

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