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Metaio change the game with junaio glue

Submitted by on Thursday, 8 July 20103 Comments

Whenever I talk to someone about augmented reality, the first thing they say is, “have you seen the Smart Grid demo?” or “have you seen the Lego kiosk demo?”. The answer is always an emphatic yes, but it’s funny how it’s these two demos that stick in everyone’s mind. While out in San Francisco last month we managed to drop by the office of the guys at Metaio (who, incidentally were behind both the GE Smart Grid and Lego solutions), and find out what they were working on. One of the projects we saw first hand was junaio glue.

junaio started life as the first ever augmented reality social networking browser but has evolved into a world browser in the same vein as Wikitude and Layar. junaio has still kept its social networking roots with a strong emphasis on sharing, but like Wikitude and Layar, users are able to perform local search, or view channels to find information that matters nearby.

Since Wikitude and Layar already had a big head start in the world browser market, Metaio has had some catching up to do. But with Apple finally opening up access to the live camera data, Metaio is laying down the gauntlet to other augmented reality browsers by being the first to offer natural feature tracking functionality as part of their junio browser.

No doubt, you have also seen the Lego kiosk demo where holding up a Lego box to the kiosk in the store renders a 3D animation of what you can build by buying the product. This is exactly the kinds of solutions that junaio is enabling mobile developers to build using their new ‘junaio glue’. Better yet, developers taking advantage of this technology are able to either build their own channel for the junaio browser, or white label the solution.

junaio glue in action

In September 2009 Apple finally allowed developers to publish applications that used the camera to display content to the user, since then we have seen an average of 12 augmented reality browsers published each month to the Apple App Store. I firmly believe that while iOS3 represented the year of the augmented reality browser, iOS4 will become the year of the natural feature tracking application, and this time next year we’ll have natural feature tracking applications for all the following:

  • Point your camera at text and see an instant translation
  • Use your camera to view a product box/log and see that product come to life
  • View movie trailers just by looking at the poster with your phone
  • Viewing the actual food dishes at a restaurant by point the camera at the menu
  • Instructional videos for DIY. Point your camera at the object you are trying to build and see the next step
  • Car repair, point your phone at the flat tyre and see instruction how to replace the wheel

The future for natural feature tracking is only limited by developer’s imagination, so if you’re a developer, take a look at the junaio glue developer page to find out how you get started.

The junaio application is available for the iPhone and Android.

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