ATM on Augmented Reality

Written by: Ethan Behar, Senior Developer, All Things Media, All Things Media

All Things Media (ATM) is a leader in developing new technologies on behalf of its clients. Augmented Reality (AR) is any piece of technology that can change how you see the world in front of you - how you see reality. AR has been evolving for a few years but it has really become mainstream this year with the explosion of the Pokemon GO game, and also the launch of the Microsoft HoloLens device.  There are different types of AR:

  1. Projection based AR
  2. Recognition based AR
  3. Superimposition AR
  4. Outlining AR
  5. Location based AR (which is currently the most popular)

Recognition based AR is something that ATM currently develops in-house. We developed an experience for Sam Adams, where you can hold your phone up to the bottle and it will recognize the label. Through AR we discreetly overlaid an image on the label to animate it, and can even have multiple bottles interact with each other. The ability to take an existing product or package and convert it into a digital Smartphone experience is an exciting way for brands to connect with their customers. ATM has also developed a recognition based AR experience using an image of a human heart from a science textbook. By holding a device over the image,  a 3D image of the heart will animate with clickable hot spots, allowing the user to not only read the text book, but also interact with what they are reading about, adding an enhanced educational experience that can also help students that are visual or auditory learners.

Projection based AR is a little simpler. This uses a device that projects an image onto a surface, changing the surface. ATM developed a projection based experience for AMG using a 3D projection unit. An AMG rotor is projected onto the unit and there are different buttons on the rotor that the user can press to change the break and show how it functions and how it's running with voice over playing at the same time.

Outlining AR outlines your environment with whatever color is visible for you at the time. This can be a practical tool for the automotive industry. If you're driving at night, or in very low-lit conditions, if the car was smart enough or had enough infrared cameras, it could read the road in front of you and on your windshield, draw outlines of the road so even if the driver can't see them, now you would able to see better at night.

Superimposition AR is basically superimposing something over another thing. One use is when you have your phone and you hold out your arm, it could superimpose your skeletal structure on top of your arm, and then you could even point at a bone and information would pop up.

If you've played Pokémon GO, you're already familiar with location based AR. Through location based AR, you would have an app that requires you to move around your landscape and there are certain markers on this landscape that you can go to. Depending on how the application works, you may have to point the camera at the marker and some information would come up and you can read about whatever that marker was.

Augmented Reality technology will continue to develop, and is at the core of some of new hardware that could be game-changers in the near future including HoloLens and also an upcoming device from Magic Leap (which is a mixed reality experience).  We believe these could be the next communication hardware devices that will ultimately challenge the Smartphone, and change the way we interact with the world.  In the meantime, ATM will continue to push the boundaries of this technology and look to develop that killer app that will push AR into the mainstream.