Augmented reality

Could the HoloLens be Microsoft’s iMoment?

Thinking really different

Like the iPod and iPhone, the HoloLens represents an inspiring connection of hardware and software that will take its company in a new direction. But unlike Apple’s immense successes, Microsoft is betting on a new and untested behavioral experience.

Google Glass makes me want a smart watch

Google Glass can’t deliver on the promises that most excite me, and the functionality it does achieve can just as well be delivered in a less embarrassing smart watch form factor.

Mind Candy on the hunt for more acquisitions

Moshi Monsters creator Mind Candy has announced the purchase of UK games studio Origami Blue to help lead its experimental labs project – but the company’s first acquisition is unlikely to be its last, with a new head of M&A joining.

Report

4 takeaways from Google I/O

Google’s I/O conference last week was one of those rare mobile industry events that actually matched — and perhaps even exceeded — its hype. The company trotted out Android 4.1 (dubbed Jelly Bean), showcased a new tablet and offered an eye-catching demonstration of its Project Glass, among other things. But technology is a world where a company’s fate can change very quickly, and so with that in mind, here are four important questions to consider regarding Google’s strategy in mobile.

Forget Google Glasses; check these dual-focus contact lenses

The U.S. government has ordered a prototype contact lens that will help the military see virtual information directly on a pair of glasses while still viewing their surroundings. The contacts could take the place of heads-up displays, smart glasses or other consumer augmented reality solutions.

Google glasses make sense as the “next” mobile device

Smartphones have Google Goggles, an image-recognition search app, but consumers may one day have “Google glasses.” Google has introduced Project Glass, a concept for glasses that integrate directly with Google services. It may sound like a silly project, but there’s a reason the device makes sense.

This man wants to kill QR codes. Can he do it?

Advertisers and publishers have swarmed over QR codes as they try to add interactivity to analog media. Now the Swiss team behind retooled mobile app Shortcut hopes they can help make the black-and-white glyphs a thing of the past.

How to preview that DVD on your phone

Qualcomm demonstrated an Augmented Reality application that lets people point their smartphone camera at a DVD box and instantly pull up trailers for the movie inside. It’s a simple, easy to use application that shows off the practical power of Augmented Reality.

GoldRun Leverages Augmented Reality for Mobile Marketing

GoldRun, a New York start-up that allows brands to use augmented reality to create innovative marketing campaigns that end in real-world rewards, just raised $1.1 million in an angel round. The company is showing the promise of augmented reality and the power of tangible rewards.

Augmented Reality Translations: Word Lens vs. Google Goggles

A new iPhone translation app, called Word Lens, is turning heads by showing how the power of augmented reality can be applied to real-time translation. But doesn’t Google do this with Goggles? I took them both for a quick spin to see how they stack up.

Augmented Reality Finds a Place to Fit: Shopping!

Augmented reality still seems more of a solution in search of a problem to some, but two promising applications show how virtual reality can bring real-world value. Trying on virtual clothes and shoes could be the killer application for augmented reality to hit its stride.

Layar Augments Reality With $14M in New Funding

Layar, creator of a mobile augmented reality (AR) platform, today announced $14 million in funding led by Intel Capital. The funds will be used for three purposes, all of which are meant to create “augmented reality experiences to people’s everyday lives,” says Maarten Lenz-FitzGerald of Layar.

Lookator: Android Hotspot Detector Using AR

Augmented reality is one of those technologies that has always appealed to me, but without a practical application I can use. That changed since installing Lookator for Android, a Wi-Fi hotspot detector that uses AR to show the location of the hotspots in the real world.

Patent Describes Co-Located Laser Tag Gaming for iPhone

A new patent filed by Apple called “Interactive Gaming with Co-Located, Networked Direction and Location Aware Devices” describes new possibilities for iPhone gaming in the real world. Essentially, the tech described would use players’ iPhones to recreate what amounts to a game of laser tag.

If You Can’t Beat ’em With GPS, Just Add Augmented Reality!

Navigon today introduced its MobileNavigator software, which brings GPS navigation to Google Android phones in the U.S. With such a similar feature set to Google’s free Navigation solution for Android, how can Navigon compete with a $40 app? By combining augmented reality with points of interest.

Augmented Reality or Futuristic Invasion of Privacy?

A new iPhone and Android app called “Sex Offender Tracker” uses augmented reality to show you the location of any registered offenders who are in your area when you hold up your phone. What happens when this kind of app pulls up other info as well?

Augmented Reality Looks to Developers to Go Mainstream

While augmented reality proponents have tried to push the edge of the technology with limited success, they’re now making a concerted effort to empower developers to incorporate AR into their apps. It’s a bet that developers can help AR can finally find a home in consumer’s lives.

Is Real-world Fragmentation Holding Back Augmented Reality?

Combining a smartphone with virtual information to see the world around you is certainly a value-add concept. But is the market too fragmented by different apps and platforms? Would it make sense to add these virtual layers to a more widespread, mainstream application?