metaio Launches Social Augmented Reality Application for the iPhone

--App Lets Users Place and View Virtual Content in Real-World Locations

metaio, a Munich-based augmented reality company which also maintains offices in San Francisco and Seoul, said Wednesday that it has launched a free iPhone application, called junaio, in the Apple App Store. The company bills the app--in conjunction with a companion online service at http://www.junaio.com--as the "world's first social augmented reality platform."

According to the company, the app (an earlier version of which was profiled in an article published on itvt.com, August 5th) allows users to place virtual content--including 3D objects, Twitter messages and links to Web sites--in real-world locations, where it can subsequently be discovered by other users. It also allows users to share their creations with friends through social networks, and allows users without iPhones to edit and share 3D augmented reality images via its companion online service, the company says. In its promotional materials for junaio, metaio bills the platform as "putting the power of its augmented reality technology--which has been used by industry giants such as Volkswagen, Lego and Popular Science plus hundreds of other companies--in the hands of everyday consumers." It also claims that the platform is designed to "tie existing platforms together with augmented reality-based social interactions": thus, it says, users can, for example, insert a 3D object into a photo taken with their iPhone and upload it to Facebook, or augment images that others have taken.

metaio says that it has partnered with film company, Focus Features, to provide junaio with characters from the latter's animated movies, "9" and "Coraline," that they can use the platform to distribute throughout the real world. It also says that the platform will shortly be available on other smartphone platforms, including Android and Symbian.

A demo video of junaio is embedded here.

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