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Paper (and Other Things) That Come Alive #TomorrowStartsHere

December 10, 2012 at 6:40 am PST

Here is something fun you can do today with your smart phone or tablet. It's an app that brings the Internet of Things alive from a newspaper or screen.

How to get it:

1. First, go grab a copy of today's global Wall Street Journal and find the Cisco TOMORROW Starts Here ad, which is in the center of section A. ( From your computer, you can also print or view a copy of the ad.)

2. Download the Cisco app (available for iPhone, iPad and Android) from Cisco.com/app or from the Apple App Store or Google Play.

3. Start the app and touch the Wake up an Ad icon.

4. Press Start to wake up the ad.

(Again, if you don't have the actual ad you can also print or view on the screen a copy of the ad from your computer.)

5. Point your phone or tablet at the ad...

 

6. Choose "Newspaper Spread" when the translucent overlay appears.

7. Enjoy playing with the interactive experience!

We've gotten some fun comments from Cisco employees during the testing, including these two:

 SO cool! My kids actually watched the videos with me (ages 5-1/2 and 4); their verdict: "OOOH, look — the people are MOVING!!!"

Wow! It's just like Hogwarts!"

Enjoy!

 

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Reality Gets Mixed

June 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm PST

The 3D and Virtual Reality Expo (IVR) took place in Tokyo took place last week. IVR is focused on showcasing state-of the-art technology used in the latest 3D products and technologies including ultra-high definition displays, augmented reality, and 3D broadcasting. The big news from the event was the announcement of Canon’s MR (Mixed Reality) system.

Many companies, including Canon of course, leveraged IVR to showcase innovative use cases of the mixed reality headset. From engineer training on assembling an aircraft to interacting with and sitting in a concept car that mostly exists in 3D-CAD solely.

So what makes the MR System more powerful than other augmented and/or virtual reality tools? Read More »

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Augmented Reality in the Drivers’ Seat

February 10, 2012 at 9:30 am PST

Augmented reality (AR) isn’t new but it definitely continues to gain momentum and is becoming a driving force in the way we engage with our content rich world. An AR experience is appealing to most age demographics because it enables us to interact in fresh and engaging ways with a variety of mediums. So no surprise that ABI Research estimates the market for augmented reality in the US will reach $350 million in 2014. That's up from only $6 million in 2008!

I have explained in past blog posts what AR is in detail, see the below list of blog links to learn more. To recap for those who are new to the concept Wikipedia defines augmented reality (AR) as a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.

Here is an example of AR solutions that have been generating a lot of buzz and excitement J

At CES this year Mercedes Benz unveiled their experimental networked applications with augmented-reality and gesture-controlled features. Of course Mercedes is not the only automaker exploring how to make the car smarter and most are experimenting with voice controlled features because obviously there are safety concerns with these approaches.

"Cars are becoming platforms to participate in the digital world in a fully networked sense, just like your tablets can and your phones can," said Venkatesh Prasad, a senior technical leader with Ford Motor Co.'s innovation division. "It's our job to take those computing services people are used to at 0 mph and make them available at 70 mph."

For example, icons flash on your car windshield, hologram style, as your car approaches restaurants, stores, historic landmarks or the homes of friends. Point at them, and the icons open to show real-time information such as when that building was built, concert schedules at a local theater, or reservation options at a restaurant. Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation. Or take Mercedes' messaging app which will create a menu of text options based on your location and your car's speed -- "I'm stuck in traffic," or "I'm just north of San Jose" -- and display them on the screen. So if you are late to a meeting you can choose from the options  and push a button to post the one that fits, instead of having to manually type the words.

These systems are not road ready yet and most automakers are looking beyond to making the road safer by working on systems that would allow vehicles to talk to each other about road conditions, weather and traffic issues. Read More »

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The Future of Consuming

July 25, 2011 at 9:24 am PST

Hate waiting in lines or navigating through crowds at the grocery story? Loathe trying on clothes and accessories? Want to make the most of your time at all times? The good news is there are technology breakthroughs poised to make your shopping experiences easier and quicker!

In South Korea a genius solution is in place to maximize your time when waiting for a subway. A new solution uses augmented reality to bring the supermarket to you so you can shop while you wait. Called E-Marts, these virtual stores are stocked by supermarkets like European grocery store giant Tesco and Home Plus - but they sell their goods via interactive pictures on subway platforms.

Not only does this solution provide convenience for shoppers but it also has significant impact for the supermarkets. When launched the online sales for the providers increased by 130%. This sales leap was realized without any additional infrastructure from the providers. Imagine growing your business without having to open another store front, hiring additional staff, or maintaining another warehouse for inventory.

This isn’t the only breakthrough poised to transform our shopping experiences. For anyone who loathes searching the racks, hitting the dressing room and (ugh) trying on clothes there is a solution on the horizon. One of my fellow bloggers, Marlowe Fenne, wrote a great post on how Cisco solutions are the backbone for making this concept a reality. Read More »

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AR Gets Smart and Goes 3D

June 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm PST

Augmented reality was all the hype in 2011 but today many feel it may be losing its appeal due to laggy performance , most agree it will be quite some time before it used widely by the mainstream.

However some recent news shines a spot light on how augmented reality is evolving and becoming more appealing to the majority.

There are some devices on or coming on the market that enable 3D…drum roll…without the glasses! Many of these are handheld devices such as the Nintendo 3DS and the LG Optimus 3D smart phone which both leverage AR to enable some engaging end user experiences such as:

  1.  The Nintendo 3DS comes with a packet of AR cards that enable you to play games such as Archery, AR Shots, Fishing and more. Using the system's camera to read the cards and then  project the games onto any flat surface such as your desk or hand.

 

  1. Wikitude will deploy a 3D AR browser on the LG Optimus 3D. Using the phone's built-in GPS to locate your position, the camera displays your current view on the screen and icons are overlaid providing information on your surroundings.

 These are really positive advances for 3D and AR but they still require that AR marker to scan or rely on GPS in order to deliver the AR experience. That is why Sony’s SmartAR announcement is truly exciting as it requires no marker in order to deliver the AR experience. Read More »

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