Augmented Reality for Marketers and Developers: Analysis of the Leaders, the Challenges and the Future
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Augmented Reality for Marketers and Developers: Analysis of the Leaders, the Challenges and the Future Document Transcript

  • 1. Augmented Reality forMarketers and Developers:Analysis of the Leaders, theChallenges and the FutureWritten by Chris Cameron
  • 2. ContentsWhat you’ll find in this report 2Part 1: The AR Market Defined 3What is Augmented Reality? 4The Current Market Environment 5Key Players in the Augmented Reality Market 7Part 2: AR Supplier Profiles 8AR Supplier Matrix 9AR Developer Profiles 10metaio 11Total Immersion 14Zugara 17Layar 19acrossair 21Mobilizy 23Tonchidot 25Seac02 27Inition 29Presselite 31Part 3: AR Implementation Lessons Learned 33Survey: Mobile Augmented Reality 34Survey: Webcam Augmented Reality 37ReadWriteWeb Findings & Conclusions 40 ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 1
  • 3. What you’ll find in this report This report is divided into three basic parts. PART 1: The AR Market Defined – provides a succinct introduction to Augmented Reality (AR), its history, current size, how fast it is scaling and key players in the market. PART 2: AR Supplier Profiles – profiles 10 leading companies specializing in the development of Augmented Reality applications for their clients. PART 3: Summarizes results of a survey of AR developers providing insight on key controversies in the field, project requirements, cost categories and duration of development. We believe that this survey of experienced developers has unearthed some information about AR implementations you won’t be able to get anywhere else. • How important is it for companies to use existing AR browsers as opposed to building their own stand-alone mobile AR apps? • Hidden costs associated with AR app development. • Developer experience requirements for AR app development. • Timeline for development of AR apps. • Total cost and cost break down for developing a Webcam AR project. • When live video processing will be enabled on popular mobile phones? This is critical for the next stage of AR because it will allow for apps that are responsive to what’s actually being looked at instead of just what’s expected to be in a given location.2 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 4. Part 1: The AR Market Defined
  • 5. What is Augmented Reality? The term “augmented reality” was coined in 1992 by Boeing aircraft manufacturing researcher Thomas Preston Caudell. Caudell used the phrase to describe the head-mounted- displays (HMDs) the company was using to aid in the assembly and installation of electrical wiring. In the years that followed, AR was primarily an experimental technology researched at universities across the globe. In 1999, Hirokazu Kato of the Human Interface Technology Lab at the University of Washington released the ARToolKit, a software library for developing AR applications, which provided the foundation for many of the first practical AR applications. The release of the library opened the door for widespread use and development of augmented reality applications under the toolkit’s non-commercial license. ARToolKit allows a camera to track a 2D marker, such as a sequence of simple black and white squares, so that 3D digital models can be displayed on a screen in real time. ARToolKit was A 2004 photo of a heads up display inside an FA-18 Hornet in flight. ported onto the Adobe Flash platform in 2009 (Public domain) under the name FLARToolKit, which has been a major catalyst in the evolution of AR. Additional variations include SLARToolKit (Microsoft’s SilverLight) and NyARToolkit (Java/Android/C#/ActionScript3/C++). In the last two years, in correlation with the rapid growth of smartphones, a new breed of augmented reality has entered the marketplace. Mobile AR applications allow users to hold up their phone and see a heads up display-style AR image of data associated with their local surroundings. The technology works by synchronizing sensor input from the phone’s global positioning system (GPS) chip, digital compass and accelerometers. Using the images captured from the camera as a background, the applications then places icons on the screen positioned relative to where the user is standing and facing.4 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 6. Popular applications provide point-of-interest (POI) data for locations such as restaurants, subwaystations and banks, along with geo-tagged virtual objects like Wikipedia articles, photos and Twitterposts. This newer field of AR is quickly expanding to provide an immersive and interactive platform forlocal advertising. Development of more advanced mobile AR technology continues as well, includingmarkerless tracking and live mobile video processing.The Current Market EnvironmentIn 2008, augmented reality debuted on analyst firm Gartner’s Hype Cycle of Emerging Technologies onthe steep incline of the primary stage. At that time, Gartner estimated that it would take more than 10years before AR would see “mainstream adoption.” In 2009, however, Gartner moved AR up the cycle’sslope to a within a close proximity of the “Peak of Inflated Expectation” and updated mainstreamadoption estimate to “5 to 10 years.” ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 5
  • 7. AR production is a fast-growing market that includes a number of large, experienced development shops and many small new entrants. The market is dominated by two international companies serving big brands: France and L.A.’s Total Immersion, and Germany and San Francisco’s metiao. The following points provide context around the current growth state and potential size of the AR market. • Potential consumers of AR apps include 25 million iPhone owners, 7 million Android owners (possibly 440m+ Nokia owners someday), all consumers with webcam-enabled personal computers and anyone who visits a public place where an AR kiosk could be displayed. • Augmented reality developers estimate that at least 400 webcam AR marketing campaigns were built last year, and that number is expected to increase this year. • The number of stand-alone mobile AR apps available is growing quickly as well. There was a 50% increase in stand-alone mobile AR apps in the iTunes App Store (up to 230) in the two months from mid- December through mid-February alone. There are 53 AR apps in the much smaller Android Market. • Mobile browser Layar said in mid-February 2010 that 375 data sets have been published on the Layar platform and there may be as many as 100 other data sets published on other mobile browsers. ReadWriteWeb Finding ReadWriteWeb estimates that more than 1,100 stand-alone AR apps and data sets on AR browsers were published in the last year. There were more stand-alone apps built than data sets published on AR browser platforms. Above: North Kingdom and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners made this marker-based, webcam AR demonstration of windmills for electrical power generation. It’s fun to turn it around in your hand and blow on the propellers. Neither of these companies are profiled in this report.6 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 8. Key Players in the Augmented Reality MarketThe ten companies profiled in this report have worked with a substantial number and variety of clients,including at least 24 of the 150 largest companies in the world by revenue. Most of those projects havebeen stand-alone webcam augmented reality projects, be they for personal computer or public kiosk.Among the 150 largest companies in the world, by revenue, the following have employed at least oneof our featured augmented reality development companies.Toyota Microsoft SonyBMW Chrysler INGEADS Boeing CVS CaremarkDaimler Societe Generale SamsungGeneral Motors Nissan Motors FiatPeugeot Renault Johnson & JohnsonSiemens AG Saint-Gobain Hyundai Kia Automotive GroupVolkswagen Group Saudi Aramco Samsung Group ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 7
  • 9. Part 2: AR Supplier Profiles
  • 10. LAST ANNUAL CEO’S MOBILE/ REVENUE NUMBER OF EDUCATIONAL NAME WEBCAM FOUNDED LOCATIONS REPORTED BIG CLIENTS AR PROJECTS EMPLOYEES BACKGROUND METAIO both 2003 Munich, San $5.7 million LEGO, Toyota, BMW, all 50+ Engineering Francisco, Seoul many others TOTAL primarily 1999 Suresnes, France, $10 million Chrysler, Intel, SAP, TOPPS was most 70+ Finance IMMERSION but not LA, London, Hong Microsoft, many notable exclusively Kong others webcam and kiosk ZUGARA webcam 2001 Culver City, CA $6.8 million Non AR marketing: Webcam social 30+ Marketing Toyota, Reebok, Sony shopper Pictures, Hasboro, Atari LAYAR mobile AR 2009/ Amsterdam n/a but McDonalds, Mazda, Layar mobile AR 15+ Marketing browser 2008 venture ING and other browser on Android backed corporate data sets and iPhone published ACROSSAIR mobile AR 2008/ London, NY, ¬£200,000 Stella Artois, Beck’s, Acrossair browser, 6 IT browser 2001 Mumbai (before most FedEx and other data TVGuideUK, Nearest and apps high-profile sets published Wiki, Nearest Places, deals) Nearest Tube, Twitter AR and many others MOBILIZY mobile AR 2008 Salzburg, Austria n/a Lonely Planet, Ogilvy Wikitude AR 10+ Computer browser browser, Wimbledon Science and apps IBM Seer TONCHIDOT mobile AR 2008 Tokyo $300,000 Sekai Camera 9+ Philosophy browser + venture backing SEAC02 webcam 2003 Turin, Italy $1.8 million Prada, Samsung, Fiat, 15+ Aerospace and kiosk AR and VR Engineering INITION webcam 2001 London, Melbourne n/a BMW, Toyota, BBC, Magic Symbol 30+ Computer and kiosk others ScienceReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 9
  • 11. AR Developer Profiles The following are brief profiles of the companies we believe to be the top 10 augmented reality development shops in the world. For each company you’ll find background information and a summary of its work, as well as quotes from founders on the future of the company. The companies, individuals and clients in these profiles did not pay to be included; they were chosen because of the significant role they play in AR development.10 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 12. metaioCOMPANY SNAPSHOT MAJOR PRODUCTS: Unifeye (software platform), Junaio (iPhone Application/Social Network) MAJOR CLIENTS: LEGO, Toyota, BMW, Adidas OTHER CLIENTS: Audi, Bosch, EADS, Daimler, Flensburger, GM, KMW, Kuka, MAN, Peugeot, Siemens, Volkswagen, arsEdition, Bertelsmann, DNP, duo schreib & speil, Neue Digitale / Razorfish, SHD, ICESTORM, Fraunhofer Gesellchaft, Technical University Munich, Lego, Popular Science, Focus Features, Universal, Microsoft, Xcel Energy, Veronica Magazine OFFICIAL NAME: metaio GmbH CEO/FOUNDER: Thomas Alt, CEO (PhD in Engineering) HEADQUARTERS: Munich, Germany OTHER OFFICES: San Francisco, CA; Seoul, South Korea LATEST ANNUAL $5.7 million (Company declined to confirm but said it was bootstrapped and had been REVENUE: profitable for the last several years.) FOUNDED: 2003 WEBSITE: http://www.metaio.com/ EMPLOYEES: 50+Above: metaio made an AR game out of shoes for Adidas ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 11
  • 13. OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS Founded in 2003 by Dr. Thomas Alt and Peter Meier, Munich-based metaio is one of the most successful commercial vendors of AR products. After researching AR while working at Volkswagen, Alt started metaio with Meier, a fellow Technische Universität München graduate. The pair funded the company with €25,000 won in a business plan competition and have bootstrapped the company without outside capital ever since. In December 2008, metaio and BMW created the first major commercial augmented-reality advertisement to be accessed on a user’s personal computer instead of a public kiosk display. It was an interactive magazine advertisement that displayed a 3D model of the BMW MINI that readers could rotate to look at. Thomas Alt, metaio CEO, on the surprising success of the BMW MINI campaign1. “ To be honest with you, being from research and doing all fancy engineering type augmented reality systems, I really didn’t believe in this application. I said, ‘Who would ever do that? Read a magazine, then go to a web address, turn on his webcam to see the new product?’ [...] If you look it up on YouTube, you have 450,000 users seeing user-generated content where people actually film themselves with the little MINI in their hands in front of a webcam.” The company’s other major clients include LEGO, Toyota, Popular Science, Microsoft and Universal. The applications metaio has built for these various clients are built on their AR software platform Unifeye, which it offers in three versions - for large public implementations, for personal computer-based use, and for mobile. The desktop version of the software is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems, and the mobile version is compatible with the iPhone and Android operating systems with plans to include the Symbian OS soon. In February of 2010, metaio launched the Unifeye Mobile Software Development Kit, which allows developers to quickly and easily create mobile AR experiences with their software. In 2009, the company released junaio, an application for the Apple iPhone that they say is the “world’s first social AR platform.” In fact, Mobilizy’s Wikitude was commercially available prior to junaio and also contains user generated content but is more limited in content type. Users of the application can use junaio to take photographs, insert 3D models into the scene and share their creation on the junaio network, or on other networks like Facebook and Twitter. 1 http://nvidia.fullviewmedia.com/GPU2009/1001-cupertino-metaio.html12 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 14. The data that is transferred using the Unifeye software can be encrypted. However, it must be setup manually before the data is sent and received unlike other software platforms that automaticallyencrypt information. The software also lacks support for facial tracking and Maya models, two featuresmetaio says are in the product’s roadmap for the future.Metaio boasts more than 400 partners and clients and 50 pending patents. The company says that60% of its work is developed in-house, while the remainder is licensed work through its Unifeye softwareplatform.Other links:http://www.slideshare.net/jwilker/metaio-mobile-augmented-reality ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 13
  • 15. Total Immersion COMPANY SNAPSHOT MAJOR PRODUCTS: D’Fusion (software platform). MAJOR CLIENTS: TOPPS, K’NEX, Chrysler OTHER CLIENTS: Air France, Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Avaiation, EADS, Eurocopter, Snecma SAFRAN Group, Le Credit Lyinnais, Societe Generale, BBC, CBS, CNN, France 2, TV Asahi, BMW, GM, Infiniti, Mazda, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Intel, Microsoft, SAP, Alstom, Schneider Electric, SNCF, BRC, Europa Park, Futuroscope, Six Flags, Beneteau, FedEx, Gallimard, MEDEF, Saint- Gobain, Saudi Aramco, SFR, Sony, Nike, Coca Cola, Paramount, Universal. OFFICIAL NAME: Total Immersion CEO/FOUNDER: Bruno Uzzan, Founder/CEO (Masters in Finance) HEADQUARTERS: Suresnes, France OTHER OFFICES: Los Angeles, CA; London, UK; Hong Kong, CN LAST REPORTED $10 million ANNUAL REVENUE: FOUNDED: 1999 WEBSITE: http://www.t-immersion.com/ EMPLOYEES: 70+ Above: Total Immersion’s live 3D AR baseball game for TOPPS baseball cards14 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 16. OVERVIEW AND ANALYSISBrunno Uzzan, a former financial consultant, and Valentin Lefevre, an experienced simulationdesigner, founded Total Immersion in 1999, making it one of the first augmented reality developmentstudios in the world. Throughout its 11-year history, Total Immersion has been at the forefront ofaugmented reality innovation, bringing some of the first browser based AR solutions to market, aswell as developing the first implementation of markerless tracking (MLT) in 2004. The company’searliest clients, mainly in the automotive industry, first used AR to reduce simulation costs, but TotalImmersion has since switched focus to more forward-facing customer-oriented applications. Today,Total Immersion is the clear leader in the augmented reality space with 260 projects and $10 million inrevenue in 2009 alone.In early February of 2008, Total Immersion produced one of the first major commercial rollouts ofaugmented reality advertising when they teamed up with Infiniti to present an interactive kiosk ata roadshow that took place in major U.S. cities. By holding up different automobile brochures to acamera, users could see a car displayed on a screen that they could then interact with by moving androtating the brochure.Over the past decade, Total Immersion has expanded their client base beyond their early partners toinclude retail, publishing, entertainment and technology companies. In March of 2009 they producedinteractive baseball cards for cardmaker TOPPS, which allowed users to view 3D animated modelsof the players on the card via the webcams on their home computers. The users could interact withthe models, playing various games by moving the cards. The company has also grown beyond itsheadquarters outside of Paris to locations in Los Angeles, London and Hong Kong.Founder and CEO Bruno Uzzan on the company’s expansion to the United States:“ Our first American subsidiary marks an important new phase in the global growth of the company; it will enable us to be in close proximity to a majority of U.S. players and key decision makers.”Total Immersion builds its AR applications on top of its proprietary software platform, D’Fusion. Likeother AR platforms, D’Fusion has a number of versions for different uses. The deployment versionsinclude D’Fusion Pro for large installations such as kiosks, D’Fusion @Home for consumer use withpersonal computers, and D’Fusion mobile for mobile location-aware applications. Total Immersion alsooffers D’Fusion Studio, which is used to design the AR applications before deployment. Licensed workmakes up a significant portion of the company’s work, with 60 partners that develop AR content in 70countries using their licensed software.Total Immersions claims to be the first AR development studio to implement markerless tracking,doing so in 2004. Markerless tracking allows a camera to track an object without the need of a specificmarker, barcode or glyph. Total Immersion’s markerless technology allows any 2D design, such as aprint advertisement or a baseball card, to serve as the marker, and can recognize the design even if it ispartially obscured either by the user’s hand or by any other obstacle. ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 15
  • 17. The company’s software platform is currently compatible with both Macintosh and Windows on the desktop and Symbian on mobile phones with plans to include the iPhone and Android operating systems soon. In September of 2009, Total Immersion announced it would be partnering with fellow French AR studio Int13 to improve its mobile AR solutions. With massive campaigns for corporate giants like McDonald’s and Coke reaching hundreds of millions of viewers, Total Immersion’s products have proven their robustness and further cement the company’s position as the worldwide leader in augmented reality.16 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 18. ZugaraCOMPANY SNAPSHOT MAJOR PRODUCTS: ZugAR, ZugMO, ZugSTAR, Webcam Social Shopper MAJOR CLIENTS: Reebok, Toyota, Hasbro, Atari, Sony Pictures (non-AR solutions) OTHER CLIENTS: Tobi (online clothing boutique using Zugara’s AR) OFFICIAL NAME: Zugara Inc. CEO/FOUNDER: Matthew Szymczyk, Director/CEO (Marketing) HEADQUARTERS: Culver City, CA OTHER OFFICES: N/A LAST REPORTED $6.8 million ANNUAL REVENUE: FOUNDED: 2001 WEBSITE: http://www.zugara.com/ EMPLOYEES: 30+Above: Zugara is developing an API to power AR overlays in video conferencing ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 17
  • 19. OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS California-based Zugara is a relatively new player in the augmented reality space but the company has years of experience with digital interactive marketing. Founded by Matt Szymczyk in 2001, Zugara has provided non-AR solutions for Reebok, Toyota, Hasbro, Atari, Sony Pictures and many more. Zugara made its first foray into AR with the release of the Webcam Social Shopper in June of 2009, which is currently being used by the fashion site Tobi.com as the “Fashionista Augmented Reality Application”. The app allows visitors to the site to use their webcams to virtually try on various articles of clothing by holding up an AR marker in front of their bodies. The users can then use their hands to navigate between items of clothing, change the color and take a picture to share with friends on Facebook. That application makes use of two of Zugara’s augmented reality software development kits (SDKs) - ZugAR, which works with the marker to place the models of the clothing on the video, and ZugMO, which follows the user’s motions to control the navigation of the application. The company has also developed a third SDK, ZugSTAR, which couples the virtual dressing room of the Webcam Social Shopper with a video conferencing application so that users can share AR experiences with each other in real time. Zugara CEO Mathew Szymczyk on the public reception of the Webcam Social Shopper from an interview on AugmentPro.com2 “ I think most people were surprised to see a utility-based AR application as those seem to be very few and far between right now. Social Media Integration and Utility were two key components of the Webcam Social Shopper and this allowed people to see how these emerging technologies could be integrated together and used effectively in an online retail experience. Even though this application has been called a virtual dressing room or fitting room, it’s more about replicating the offline shopping experience when you’re at the rack, holding apparel up to yourself, and soliciting feedback from friends or family.” Zugara’s ZugMO SDK is also seen in the company’s Flash game, Cannonballz. The game uses the motion capture from the ZugMO SDK to allow the user to control the game with gestures, similar to the highly anticipated Project Netal technology expected from Microsoft this fall. So far, Zugara has not produced any AR content for mobile devices, only for browser-based Flash applications using a webcam. 2 http://augmentpro.com/zugara-ceo-interview-tobi-com-fashionista-augmented-reality-app/ http://weareorganizedchaos.com/index.php/2009/06/23/zugara-launches-online-shopping-app-utilizing-augmented-reality- and-motion-capture/ http://weareorganizedchaos.com/index.php/2009/08/12/zugaras-first-webcam-based-augmented-reality-flash-game-utilizes-its- proprietary-motion-capture-technology/ http://www.slideshare.net/MHSzymczyk/zugara-sime-2009-stockholm-presentation-augmented-reality18 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 20. LayarCOMPANY SNAPSHOTMAJOR PRODUCTS: Layar (Open mobile AR browser)SAMPLE DATA SETS PUBLISHED TO PLATFORM: Yellow Pages, McDonalds, Mazda, Yelp, BrightKite, ING, Hyves, Trulia, C1000, Newbury St, HBSC ATM, TNT, OSM, UDR, Idealista, RedBull, Foursquare, IensOFFICIAL NAME: Formerly known as SPRXmobileCEO/FOUNDER: Raimo Van der Klein (Marketing)HEADQUARTERS: Amsterdamn, The NetherlandsOTHER OFFICES: N/ALAST REPORTED ANNUAL REVENUE: N/AFOUNDED: 2009 (SPRXMobile founded 2008)WEBSITE: http://www.layar.com/EMPLOYEES: 15+OVERVIEW AND ANALYSISFormed in 2009 as an offshoot of mobile-creative-services provider SPRXmobile, Layar has quicklyvaulted itself to the forefront of the augmentedreality community with its wildly popular Layarbrowser mobile application. The Amsterdam-basedcompany was co-founded by Raimo van der Klein,Claire Boonstra and Maarten Lens-FitzGerald andemploys a small team of developers located aroundthe globe.Layar, which first launched in the Netherlandsin June of 2009, is a free mobile application thatallows users to view geo-located points of interest(POI) on their phones in a 3D heads up view usingtheir phone’s built-in camera. Developers can useLayar’s API to create layers of specific content, suchas (but certainly not limited to) ATM locations,historical landmarks and restaurants.The application launched worldwide on phonesrunning the Google Android operating system inAugust of 2009, and quickly gained popularity with ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 19
  • 21. over 75,000 downloads within its first three weeks of availability3. Layar has said it began developing on the Android operating system because it’s an easier platform to develop for than other alternatives4. In October of that year, Layar launched on the iPhone, quickly broadening its popularity. Just two months later, the company announced it was withdrawing the application from the iPhone App Store because of frequent reports of crashes. Regardless of this setback, Layar has still held its position among the best of the AR browsers available on mobile phones today. According to a February 2010 press release, more than 2,000 developers have begun working with the Layar API, creating 375 data layers with over 1,200 more in development. Layar co-founder Claire Boonstra on the opportunities Layar is creating for businesses large and small to better reach their on-the-go consumers: “ In the longer term it is very important for companies to be where the consumer is – literally out there in the real world. You can be present on the Internet, but if the consumer is somewhere in the street looking for a movie, a pizza, a game, an ATM, you have to have a presence in reality so that the consumer can locate you.5” Layar re-released its iPhone application in March of 2010. Apps for the Symbian (Nokia) and Windows Mobile operating systems are scheduled for release by year’s end, if not sooner. Because of Layar’s open API, there are multiple ways for a company to publish content onto their own layer within the application. Some companies publish their content to the Layar platform while others have selected third-party developers to do that work for them. Web-based services such as buildAR allow users to manually add geo-location data for their POIs, which the service can then create a layer from, helping the user avoid all the dirty work. Other third- party studios, like Muzar and Winvolve, have begun offering Layar POI development to their clients looking to grow their presence in the augmented reality world. Developers working with Layar content have begun to find truly unqiue uses for augmented reality. In Japan, musician Sedda released a new single on Layar that would play when fans of the musician traveled to within a specific location - in many ways an augmented reality scavenger hunt. Layar itself has developed what it calls “experience domes”, a virtual AR bubble that when entered by the user, visually and sonically transports them to another place. Layar is clearly on the cutting edge of developing new ways for AR to enhance our everyday lives. 3 http://www.marketingfacts.nl/berichten/interview_raimo_van_der_klein_over_layar_update_madanmohan_rao/ 4 http://econsultancy.com/blog/4274-q-a-claire-boonstra-co-founder-of-layar 5 http://mobihealthnews.com/4048/interview-layar-augmented-reality-and-wireless-healthcare/ http://techfluff.tv/2009/11/02/the-future-of-augmented-reality-an-interview-with-claire-boonstra-layar/20 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 22. acrossairCOMPANY SNAPSHOTMAJOR PRODUCTS: Acrossair Browser (Closed mobile AR browser)OTHER PRODUCTS: TVGuideUK, Nearest Wiki, Nearest Places, Nearest Tube, Twitter AR, NY Subway, Barcelona Metro, Chicago Transit, SF Transit, Madrid Metro, Washington Metro, Paris Metro, Tokyo Subway, Fruitloons, Virus Killer 360, PhotosAR, Movember, WorkSnug LondonMAJOR CLIENTS (BROWSER CATEGORIES): Stella Artois, Beck’s, FedEx, McDonalds, Subway, Starbucks, Ace Hardware, CVS, Walgreens,OTHER CLIENTS:OFFICIAL NAME: acrossairCEO/FOUNDER: Chetan Damani, Co-Founder/CEO (IT)HEADQUARTERS: London, UKOTHER OFFICES: New York, NY; Mumbai, IndiaLAST REPORTED ANNUAL REVENUE: £200,000 (Before browser partner deals)FOUNDED: 2008 (Spun out of marketing agency Imano, founded 2001)WEBSITE: acrossair.comEMPLOYEES: 6OVERVIEW AND ANALYSISMuch like how Layar formed from SPRXmobile, London-basedacrossair is an offshoot of Imano, an e-commerce and onlinemarketing firm. Imano founder and acrossair CEO Chetan Damaniformed the new company as a mobile application developmentstudio for augmented reality, gaming and data-intensive iPhoneapps. In 2009, acrossair released over a dozen iPhone applicationsmaking use of AR technologies, most of which were based aroundpublic transportation for specific cities.By far its biggest splash came with the release of Nearest Tube,an app that directs users in London to the nearest subway stationusing heads up augmented reality display techniques. In short,the user can hold their phone up and the application points themin the direction of various subway stations nearby. The companyalso released similar AR applications for viewing nearby photos,Tweets and Wikipedia articles but eventually rolled them togetherinto the all-in-one acrossair browser in late December of 2009. ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 21
  • 23. The browser allows users to select from various categories of geo-located AR data to search for nearby locations. Some corporate brands like FedEx, Subway, Walgreens and Starbucks have already published location data onto the acrossair browser. Alternatively, users can search by other pre-defined categories using Google, Yelp or Qype, a London-based, Yelp-like service. Other special categories allow users to search for third-party data, such as photographs from Flickr or Panoramio, messages on Twitter, and articles from Wikipedia. There is also a handy application that allows users to drop an AR marker when they park their car, making the process of hunting down your car in a crowded parking lot much easier. AR browsers like acrossair’s represent an interesting shift in how people find their way around. Instead of the “head down” method of looking at a 2D map, users are able to get directions and information in an immersive “heads up” fashion. Chetan Damani, acrossai founder and CEO, on how AR is going to revolutionize the way we find our way around in the near future: “ It’s really picking up now because of the devices. AR provides a much more intuitive interface to viewing mapping data, and the one thing that the Internet era has taught us is that the interface drives interest6 [...] Traditional maps can be tough to follow as they are in 2D. What we wanted to create was something which was based on real life. By using the sensors inside the iPhone we were able to superimpose Tube map locations on to the display7.” Acrossair’s applications are currently only available for the iPhone, but the company has plans to port the apps over to Android and other phone operating systems. Unlike Layar, acrossair does not offer a public API for outside developers to create content for the browser. Instead, interested parties can contact acrossair and submit their geo-tagged data that the company will insert into the browser. The company says it does plan on opening a public API in 2010, but can today integrate any other API to pull in data in two days. The next version of the browser will include support for 10 additional languages, and the company says it plans to pursue extensive cross-promotion with data publishing partners. Acrossair says its service has only soft-launched and is so far being used between 15,000 and 20,000 times each day around the world. 6 http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/jul/15/augmented-reality-smartphone -- Chetan Damani 7 http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23717390-iphone-that-shows-you-the-closest-tube.do -- Chetan http://digital.venturebeat.com/2009/07/10/augmented-reality-subway-finding-app-comes-to-ny-sf/ http://www.augmentedplanet.com/2009/11/augmented-reality-in-one-hour/22 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 24. MobilizyCOMPANY SNAPSHOTMAJOR PRODUCTS: Wikitude World Browser, Wikitude DriveOTHER PRODUCTS: Lonely Planet Tour GuidesMAJOR CLIENTS: Lonely PlanetOTHER CLIENTS:OFFICIAL NAME: Mobilizy GmbHCEO/FOUNDER: Philipp Breuss-Schneeweis, Founder/CEO (Computer Science)HEADQUARTERS: Salzburg, AustriaOTHER OFFICES: N/ALAST REPORTED ANNUAL REVENUE: N/AFOUNDED: 2008WEBSITE: mobilizy.comEMPLOYEES: 10+OVERVIEW AND ANALYSISFounded in 2008 by Philipp Breuss-Schneeweis, Mobilizy is one ofthe earliest developers of mobileaugmented reality apps. The Austria-based company released one of thevery first mobile AR browsers, theWikitude World Browser, in Octoberof 2008 on the Andorid operatingsystem and on Symbian shortlythereafter.Like other AR browsers, Wikitudedisplays geo-tagged information asicons displayed in the user’s field of view when they hold their mobile phone in their field of vision.Wikitude brands itself as an AR tour guide, and uses Wikipedia to present information about landmarksand POI in the user’s immediate area. Initial iterations of the application included mostly data pulledfrom Wikipedia, hence the name Wikitude. Recently, however, the app has opened access to morecontent called “Worlds”, such as Google Local Search, Twitter and YouTube. Commercial data, such asBestBuy and Walmart locations, is available now also.In an effort to become the de-facto mobile AR platform, Mobilizty offers an open API for Wikitude thatallows developers to incorporate the browser into their own applications. The company also provides ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 23
  • 25. custom white-label solutions so that brands looking to have their own AR application quickly and easily can do so without hiring their own developers. Another arm of the Wikitude product line is Wikitude.me, which provides an online interface for users to add their own POI to Mobilizy’s databases. For bulk uploads, the site also accepts KML files, like those created using Google Earth. Mobilizy also offers Wikitude Drive, an AR turn-by-turn navigation application. Since its release, the Wikitude Browser has been downloaded over 300,000 times across Android, Symbian and iPhone devices, making it the most successful mobile AR application to date. Mobilizy says approximately 1.5 million POI requests are sent to their servers each week, and this number is sure to grow. The company says in the first six months, Wikitude was downloaded over 85,000 times. In comparison, Wikitude is growing at a much slower rate than Layar, which achieved 75,000 downloads in just three weeks. Whereas Layar comes from a marketing background and is thus very good at marketing itself, Mobilizy does not come from a marketing background and is not as good. In addition to attempting to create the go-to platform for mobile AR applications, Mobilizy has proposed to the Augmented Reality Consortium that a universal Augmented Reality Markup Language (ARML) be used across browsers to interpret location data. This is an early effort to create standards to aid the growth the AR community. ARML would be to AR browsers as HTML is to websites, and the AR community is striving to avoid browser compatibly issues - the likes of which the HTML community has struggled with for years. From an innovation-centric perspective, Mobilizy probably has the most open commercial platform offering among leading companies in this space, Acrossair has the least open, and Layar is somewhere in between. Other links: http://www.slideshare.net/wikitude/mobilizy-wikitude-info http://www.slideshare.net/momonorway/the-future-is-agumented http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqAPtreU-8o24 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 26. TonchidotCOMPANY SNAPSHOTMAJOR PRODUCTS: Sekai CameraOTHER PRODUCTS: Sekai Camera eXMAJOR CLIENTS: LEOWEOTHER CLIENTS: Kyoto International Magna Museusm, Cite des Sciences et de l’IndustrieOFFICIAL NAME: Tonchidot CorporationCEO/FOUNDER: Takahito Iguchi (Philosophy)HEADQUARTERS: Tokyo, JapanOTHER OFFICES: Gifu, Japan (R&D Center)LATEST REPORTED ANNUAL REVENUE: $300,000 (Has raised additional institutional funding)FOUNDED: 2008WEBSITE: tonchidot.comEMPLOYEES: 9+OVERVIEW AND ANALYSISJapan-based Tonichidot was one of the firstcompanies to demo an augmented realityapplication for mobile phones when they debutedtheir product Sekai Camera at the September2008 TechCrunch 50 event. Language barriers andshort answers from Tonchidot CEO Takahito Iguchilead some at the event to question whether ornot the technology was actually real or not, butin September of the following year, the companyreleased in Japan the Sekai Camera for the iPhone.Sekai Camera is similar to mobile AR browsers like Wikitude and Layar in that it displays geo-taggedinformation in the user’s field of view using the camera on their mobile phone. Users can create whatis called an “AirTag” anywhere they go in the form of text, a photo, or an audio recording that can beviewed by other users of the application.The company has said it plans to focus on gaming, virtual goods and marketing on the platform. CEOand founder Iguchi was trained in philosophy and is a very dynamic figure.The Sekai Camera application was downloaded over 100,000 times within just four days of its releasein Japan, which Tonchidot claims represents 10% of the iPhone market in the country. According to ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 25
  • 27. Tonchidot, the application was awarded Best App of 2009 by Apple Japan, and was nominated for “Best Mobile App” at the 2009 Crunchies. In December of 2009, Sekai Camera was launched worldwide in the App Store for iPhone users. Iguchi demoed an Android version of the app in March of 2009, but a release has not appeared in the Android marketplace so far. Tonchidot CEO Takahito Iguchi on Sekai Camera: “ Sekai Camera is social, and so much fun! It is serendipity here and now. Sekai Camera will become a platform for new games, entertainment and communication. We are collaborating with many partners to create fun content. So please, join us!” In addition to their consumer iPhone App, Tonchidot also provides a white-label corporate solution called Sekai Camera eX. It has already been used by Asian and European companies, such as the fashion label LEOWE, the Kyoto International Manga Mueum, and the Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie. In December of 2009, Tonchidot raised $4 million in venture funding from DCM (backers of About. com, Sling Media, Bittorrent, RockYou and more) and Itochu Technology Ventures (which usually backs enterprise and hardware companies). Other links: http://www.sekaicamera.com/ http://www.techcrunch50.com/2008/presenter.php?presenter=71 http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/08/tonchidot-sekai-camera-funding/26 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 28. Seac02COMPANY SNAPSHOT MAJOR PRODUCTS: Eligo OTHER PRODUCTS: Linceo VR MAJOR CLIENTS: Prada, Samsung, Fiat OTHER CLIENTS: Aermacchi, Alfa Romeo, Beiersdorf Italia, Carcerano, Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali, Comune di Torino, Ferrero, HCI Lab, Infini.to, Mediaset, Ministero dei Beni Culturali, Pakerson, Pininfarina, Provincia di Torino, Sardegna Ricerche, Treviso Tecnologia, New Holland Construction, Pagine Gialle, Johnson & Johnson, Rivolta, Wind OFFICIAL NAME: Seac02 S.r.l. CEO/FOUNDER: Andrea Carignano, CEO (PhD in Aerospace Engineering) HEADQUARTERS: Turin, Italy OTHER OFFICES: N/A LAST REPORTED ANNUAL REVENUE: $1.8 million FOUNDED: 2003 WEBSITE: seac02.it EMPLOYEES: 15Above: Seac02’s retail AR application that allows shoppers to “try on” different watches before buying ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 27
  • 29. OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS Italian company Seac02 uses its Eligo Virtual and Augmented Reality software platform to market products in public kiosks and on the Web using personal computers. Many of the company’s installations have been in the fashion industry, including “virtual mirrors” that superimpose 3D-models of watches, shoes and sunglasses onto the customer using both marker- based and markerless tracking techniques. In the case of the virtual mirror for wristwatches, customers place an AR marker over an existing wristwatch or use a special wrist band in order to view 3D designer watches placed around their wrist. For the shoes, users visiting a shoe store could enter in a style and size and then stand in front of a floor-level screen that would place a 3D representation of a shoe over their foot. Similar 3D simulations exist for sunglasses and hair styles. These examples use markerless facial tracking to follow the movement and position of the user’s head and face. Founder Adrea Carignano has a PhD in aerospace engineering, and spent five years working in research and development for an international industrial design company. In 2003 he started Seac02 with the goal of bringing virtual and augmented reality to designers, marketers and salespeople in the general public. Carignano on how augmented reality can be of benefit to designers: “ Augmented reality is a new way to think design. We help designers create objects and define them while they are in the real world. The designer has every single second the feelings of how the real object will look in the physical world.8” Seac02 has worked with a number of large international brands, such as Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, Fiat and Prada. The company’s Eligo software platform only provides browser and kiosk-based solutions, but the company plans to announce mobile support soon. 8 http://blog.novedge.com/2009/11/andrea-carignano-seac02-linceovr.html http://www.seac02.it/company/ http://www.seac02.it/28 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 30. InitionCOMPANY SNAPSHOTMAJOR PRODUCTS: Magic SymbolOTHER PRODUCTS:MAJOR CLIENTS: BMW, Toyota, The 02OTHER CLIENTS: BBC, Kia, Wired, Olympus, Samsung, Top Trumps,OFFICIAL NAME: Inition Ltd.CEO/FOUNDER: Stuart Cupit, Managing Director (Computer Science)HEADQUARTERS: London, UKOTHER OFFICES: Melbourne, AULAST REPORTED ANNUAL REVENUE: N/AFOUNDED: 2001WEBSITE: inition.co.ukEMPLOYEES: 30+OVERVIEW AND ANALYSISOne of the earliest companies to useaugmented reality for marketing purposes,Inition, a 3D products a services company,was producing AR ad campaigns inJanuary of 2006. Inition’s AR softwareMagicSymbol has been used by dozens ofcompanies over the last four years.In January of 2006, MagicSymbol was usedby Samsung to promote a new mobiledevice at the Winter Olympics in Torino,Italy. Users could hold an AR marker upto a webcam and see a 3D model of theSamsung device displayed on a screen in place of the marker. In the summer of 2007, MagicSymbolwas used in a promotion for the grand opening of The O2 Arena in Lodon. According the Inition,500,000 users participated in the promotion by holding small cards up to a camera that displayed ARto see if the card had won the contestant any of a variety of prizes.In April of 2009, Inition created a Web-based ad for BMW as an extension of its “Expressions of Joy”campaign. In the original ad, a stuntman drives a BMW Z4 on a large white canvas as paint dispenserscoated the tires with bright colors, creating a vibrant and abstract work of art. Using MagicSymbol,Inition brought this experience to the desktop, allowing users to let a 3D model of the Z4 roam around ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 29
  • 31. their desk, creating their own works of art they could share online. Automobile brands have been some of the earliest adopters of AR advertising, and the Z4 campaign managed to create a truly unique experience. Brand Republic named the experience the top AR ad campaign of 2009. In February of 2009, Inition created an AR experience for the Toyota’s IQ line of cars that broke the mold of run-of-the-mill AR auto ads. Many auto campaigns using AR in the past had simply consisted of generating a static 3D model on a marker or brochure. For the IQ, Inition created a more immersive and innovative use of AR, displaying an animated and interactive 3D model. The IQ was shown driving down a street with its lights on, and by tilting the marker a user could steer the car left and right. Aditionally, it featured a view in which the car would “explode” out into over 200 separate parts, and then come back together at the user’s discretion. Other links: http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/914752/Behind-scenes-BMWs-augmented-reality- campaign/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH http://www.brandrepublic.com/News/913358/Augmented-reality-top-ten-campaigns-so- far/?DCMP=ILC-SEARCH http://www.inition.co.uk/inition/wowlab_magicsymbol.php30 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 32. PresseliteCOMPANY SNAPSHOTKEY FUNCTION: iPhone Application Development StudioMAJOR PRODUCTS: Metro Paris Subway, Bionic EyeOTHER PRODUCTS: Tweet 360, Washington D.C. Metro, London Tube, New York Subway, Chicago Rapid TRansit, Metro Lyon, Metro Marseille.OFFICIAL NAME: PresseliteCEO/FOUNDER: Antoine and Michel MorcosHEADQUARTERS: Paris, FranceOTHER OFFICES: N/ALAST REPORTED ANNUAL REVENUE: $243,000FOUNDED: 2004WEBSITE: presselite.comEMPLOYEES: 2OVERVIEW AND ANALYSISPresselite is a French iPhone development studio created in 2004 by Parisian brothers Antoine andMichel Morcos. The pair of software engineers, 28- and 27-years-old, began by developing socialoriented websites, but in 2009 shifted their focus to the creation of iPhone applications.The company’s first application was Metro Paris Subway, an application like other transit apps thatallow the user to find the nearest subway station using augmented reality. Uses can hold their phoneup in front of them and the application will place the location of the subway stations in their camera’sfield of view based on their location relative to the phone.Released in October in 2009, Metro Paris Subway was one of the top selling applications on the FrenchiTunes Store in 2009, and Le Journals du Net awarded it the Best Application for the iPhone in 2009.The applications integrates with Google Maps, and offers POI such as McDonalds, Best Western andother restaurants, hotels and services. The app also features push notifications for subway servicedisruptions.Presselite has since released similar applications for the Washington D.C. Metro, London’s Tube, theNew York City Subway, Chicago Rapid Transit, and public transit in the French cities Lyon and Marseille.In the companies’ AR app portfolio is Tweet 360, which displays geo-tagged Twitter entries, andFirefighter 360, a game in which users put out fires simulated into their real-world environment. ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 31
  • 33. Presselite co-founder Antoine Morcos on where he sees Presselite heading in the near future: “ We like the idea to adapt the Augmented Reality engine we created to different kind of applications, such as Tweet 360 for social use, Firefighter 360 to play a game, or Bionic Eye to find nearest points of interest, both through an Augmented Reality vision. But we are currently developing a new project, we think it will be the next step of Augmented Reality on mobile. [...] Our goal is to focus on quality and accessibility; there are a lot of good Augmented Reality applications now on the AppStore but we feel that developers are not working enough on accessibility. Augmented reality applications are still very hard for people to understand and use unfortunately. This is very important for us. Hardware is not a brake anymore - imagination will make the difference.” Morcos says the company has requests to expand its development to Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile devices, but due to its small size, the company currently focuses on the iPhone. Presselite boasts over a dozen augmented reality iPhone apps and over two dozen other applications.32 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 34. Part 3: AR Implementation Lessons Learned
  • 35. Survey: Mobile Augmented Reality 26 respondents 14 have built, 5 have hired out for mobile AR apps QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS QUESTION ONE In your opinion, is it more important to build a stand-alone mobile AR application or to publish a data set to an AR platform that displays multiple companies’ data sets (an AR browser)? Stand alone (1) or publishing to browser (10)? 6 5 4 NUMBER OF PEOPLE 3 2 1 0 1-2 3 4-5 6 7 8-9 10 SCALE Arguments in favor of doing both: • “I believe both approaches have their own merits – different purposes have different needs.” • “The answer lies in integrating advantages of the two.” • “Some mobile AR applications better fit the single-client bucket (e.g. browsers) while some others fit more the unique app bucket (e.g. AR games).” Arguments in favor of stand-alone apps: • “Being an independent developer, I believe there is power in flexibility. While a platform in theory seems nice, I see more value in using a standardized protocol and data accessibility method as opposed to being locked in to a predetermined user experience.” • “We need to own the data and the access to the user.”34 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 36. Argument in favor of publishing to A mobile browser:• “Stand-alone apps seem cool for 10 seconds and then cease to be useful. Data is far more useful in analysis and comparison.”QUESTION TWO: COSTThere was not consensus about how much a standalone AR app should cost; it depends on itscomplexity.Cost categories discussed include: graphics development, programming interactivity, UI/UX, AR enginelicense, data licensing, integration and testing, project management, maintenance, upgrades, hosting,reporting fees, marketing materials, traffic fees, porting fee per platformQUESTION THREE: DURATIONGeneral consensus was that if all the data was already acquired, then development time wouldtypically range from three weeks to three months.There was not consensus about one mobile platform being easier to develop than others. Some saidAndroid was the easiest, some the iPhone and some Symbian.There was not consensus about one mobile platform being the hardest to develop for. Somerespondents said iPhone, some said Symbian.Regarding development on different platforms, four respondents said there were cost differencesbetween platforms and two said there were not.Where cost differences were cited, explanations included the openness of platforms and theavailability of tools and advice.We asked: Who will submit the application to Apple/Google/Nokia? The developer or the clientcompany?Most respondents said the client will, but others said that both are done and that it depends on theterms of the contract.We asked: Who handles customer support for the app? The ultimate client, the marketing agency,contracted AR developer or someone else?Almost all respondents said that the client would but several said that problems could be escalated tothe developer if that became necessary and according to the nature of the contract.We asked: Are contracted developers expected to make updates to the mobile AR software theybuild? How many or for how long?One good response was: “For one-off marketing apps, it’s rare. For long term productivity apps,certainly.”Other respondents agreed that it depended on the contracts they had with clients but that it wasn’tunusual. Duration and type of ongoing updates depended on contracts as well. ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 35
  • 37. We asked: How many months or years do you believe will need to pass before live-video processing will be possible in mobile AR, instead of just using location to presume what’s being viewed? Most respondents believed it would be possible within the year 2010 on the iPhone. Others pointed out that it’s already possible on some platforms (Symbian), and in some limited contexts (indoor/ outdoor, QR codes). Arguments concerning what’s needed included better processing, software, computer vision and cameras and for Apple to “wake up” and allow use of requisite APIs currently classified as private. One respondent said: “General markerless recognition is still many years off. We need yet to handle edge detection, object recognition, and depth cues in a variety of lighting and environmental conditions. Overlay of useful information and models on live video is practical now, but will remain a interesting gimmick pending application to practical problems - monetization will not happen in the short term.”36 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 38. Survey: Webcam Augmented Reality Narrative Summary: A group of 20 people who have built webcam AR applications said the following: • most agreed that previous AR experience is important • most said that AR markers were a minimal to moderate barrier to consumer adoption • costs vary depending on degree of interactivity, generally between $10,000-$20,000 through $75,000-$100,000 (see below for break-down) • project duration range from between two and three weeks to two and three months QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS 20 respondents from six countries All have built or work for companies that have built webcam AR apps; 25% of them have also hired out webcam AR work. QUESTION ONE: In your opinion, is it important to hire someone who has developed webcam AR before, or can a good, experienced Flash developer build effective webcam AR without previous AR experience? Please answer on a scale of 1 to 10: 1 being that it is not important that a webcam AR developer has previous experience with AR, 10 being that it is extremely important that they have. 9 8 7 6NUMBER OF PEOPLE 5 4 3 2 1 0 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-9 10 SCALE ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 37
  • 39. The largest number of respondents think previous experience is very important, only a few think experience is minimally important. Among people who thought AR experience was very important, key arguments included: • Webcam AR it is “totally different from Flash” due to the tracking and the image recognition issues. • In order to create useful and usable AR apps, it is helpful to leverage AR experience in usability, immersion and effective gameplay. Experience with AR also improves creativity in future work in the medium. • Some respondents argued that anyone can build AR but without experience in the field, all work becomes R&D, deadlines are unlikely to be met and costs will be higher. Among people who thought AR experience was not important, key arguments included: • One respondent argued that they had learned fast (starting eight months prior to taking the survey) and that developers with experience in AR are rare. • ”For established AR models, the libraries are pretty straight forward and can be picked up pretty quickly by inexperienced developers, but I wouldn’t suggest hiring someone with no experience for research and development.” QUESTION TWO: In your opinion, is the requirement that they use a marker a significant hindrance to consumer adoption of webcam-based AR? Please answer on a scale of 1 to 10: 1 being that markers are not a big problem, 10 being that markers are very undesirable. 7 6 5 NUMBER OF PEOPLE 4 3 2 1 0 1 2-3 4-6 7-10 SCALE38 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 40. Most developers thought markers were a minimal or moderate barrier to adoption.Arguments against AR markers:• Markers are big and ugly.• Markers are tolerated right now but “as more and more people get exposed to the new medium and the ability to experience it without markers, people will become more reluctant to printing markers.”• Unuseful webcam AR apps aren’t worth the trouble to print a marker for.Arguments in support of the use of markers:• Markers signal to users that there is an AR experience available.• Markers are cheap, robust, fast computing and easy to use.• Companies are willing to include markers in their products, print ads, receipts and other collateral.• The industry is working hard on markerless AR but markers are acceptable today.QUESTION THREE: COST AND TIMERespondents said that webcam AR project costs varied widely, depending on the level of interactivityincluded, much like a traditional Web site design project. Typical total costs discussed ranged from$10,000-$20,000 through $75,000-$100,000.Respondents said the following percentages of total costs could be expected:• CG Development: 3x20-30%, 3x35-40%,3x40-70%• Interactivity Programming: 4x20-30%, 3x40%• AR engine license: 7x10-15%• Integration: 6x5-15%, 2x20%• Testing: 7x5-15%, 1x20%Other costs mentioned: Commercial proposals, commissions, strategy, project management, Web siteproduction, databases, prize fulfillment, and indemnification if a contest is integratedIn order: CG development, interactivity programming, integration, testing, AR engine license, otherTime: respondents said webcam AR projects could be expected to be built in between two or threeweeks and two or three months after first real development day. ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 39
  • 41. ReadWriteWeb Findings & Conclusions • It is equally or more important for companies to publish data sets on existing mobile AR browsers than it is for them to build their own stand-alone mobile AR apps. So far there are probably fewer data sets published than stand-alone mobile and desktop apps built, but that will change as mobile browsers improve in stability and UX, and as companies discover the ease and low cost of publishing data sets to these platforms. • Companies that build stand-alone mobile AR apps will see a number of different cost categories, including development, licensing, hosting and maintenance. Those costs will be incurred in service of a brand building experience that will be a challenge to promote in a sea of apps and a challenge to retain users with unless the app creator is innovative in delivering utility. • Previous experience in AR development, not Flash experience alone, was agreed by most survey respondents to be important in considering a developer for webcam AR. AR is not like other Flash development, there are unique challenges and opportunities. • Development of a stand-alone mobile AR app or a webcam AR app can generally be completed in between three weeks and three months after data is acquired, depending on complexity. • Costs for developing a webcam AR project vary depending on the degree of interactivity, generally between $10k-$20k through $75k-$100k. • Most survey respondents believed that rudimentary live video processing will be enabled on popular mobile phones within the year 2010.40 | ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality
  • 42. If you liked this report, check out our other reports: Guide to Online Community Management The ReadWriteWeb Our first premium report for businesses comes in two parts: Guide to Online Community Management a 75 page collection of case studies, advice and discussion concerning Edited By Marshall Kirkpatrick May 2009 the most important issues in online community; and a companion online aggregator that delivers the most-discussed articles each day written by experts on community management from around the Web. http://www.readwriteweb.com/reports ReadWriteWeb Premium Guide to Online Community Management page 1 The Real-Time Web and its Future The Real-Time Web Real-time Web technologies and applications have the potential to and its Future change everything—at a real-time pace. If you are a CTO, work in development, marketing or you are planning your next website or mobile application upgrade, you need to know about the real-time Edited by Marshall Kirkpatrick Web. http://www.readwriteweb.com/reports ReadWriteWeb | Augmented Reality | 41
  • 43. ReadWriteWeb.com