The Future of AR & ISMAR Conference coming up!

AR Visions

Every week we see cool new videos, that show a possible future, explaning how AR could change our lives and how it could work. These concepts are great to get a glimpse of the possibilities and scenarios, while they naturally leave out the technological way to achieve all that. Nevertheless, it’s always very interesting to look into other people’s visions on AR. So, to kick off, we have a new marketing concept on mobile AR and thus with another beautiful woman waving around a phone. This comes from hiddenltd:

Photo-realistic AR Hands on

But to get into details of such an actual AR implementation regarding devices, tracking or visual quality we have to take a look to another direction, away from the agencies. E.g. the Siggraph Asia 2011 will have some neat presentations on Augmented Reality, too. It will only be unveiled in December, but already today we get access to some papers and videos. One great approach comes from Kevin Karsch, Varsha Hedau, David Forsyth and Derek Hoiem from the University of Illinois: they have described a way to insert CGI elements dynamically and realistically into photographs. It’s called “Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs“. This approach is especially helpful, when (like for old historic photographs) there is no additional information present (3D geometry, HDRI captures of light, etc.). It is possible to achieve realistic AR insertions without having access to the scene!

(C) Kevin Karsch, et. al.

Rendering Synthetic Objects into Legacy Photographs from Kevin Karsch on Vimeo.

While interactive annotations won’t work for “spontaneous AR”, it’s great to see with how little (user) effort great results can be generated. Obviously the most interesting part is the estimation of physical lighting for the scenes. They distinguish interior lighting (within the photograph) and exterior lighting (outside of the picture) named light shafts. Their paper explains the details on how to recreate light directions and estimate all needed parameters and also gives an interesting insight into user studies. People have already difficulties to tell, whether the picture has CGI elements or not. 34% of the time, their algorithm won over other approaches and the real (non-fake) pictures!

New Realities Upcoming at ISMAR 2011

Technological news like the above, live demos, game like interactive immersions, the augmented city and tracking news, e.g. from metaio (mentioned before) and a lot, lot more can be seen at the biggest Augmented Reality conference there is: the ISMAR 2011 in Basel, Switzerland!


It will happen between the 26th and 29th of October, 2011. Come join for 4 days in beautiful Basel! If you can’t make it: still good news! is present all conference days and will be blogging and documenting the whole event. We are officially accredited partner and will dedicate us on bringing all AR news to the web and this page! Personally, I can’t wait!

Since 1998, ISMAR and its forerunner events, IWAR/ISAR and ISMR, have been the premier forums in this vital field. Now it’s the 10th anniversary of the ISMAR (under its today’s name)! So, feel free to drop me a line in advance to hook up with me for a chat!

Hope to see you there! :-)

– Toby

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