Tracking of a new generation – ViewAR uses Wikitude to stay on track.

Austrians’ powerhouses for Augmented Reality technology show how apps can deliver benefits to various industries by introducing Wikitude’s powerful SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping) solution to integrate markerless user experiences.

SLAM! No other acronym features that prominently, when nowadays Augmented Reality is discussed in media. SLAM stands for “simultaneous localization and mapping” and represents a technology typically associated with robotics and self-driving cars. But when Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg credited SLAM with the seamless integration of real and virtual worlds, media took on the story to make the idea behind recognized worldwide.

One essential part of SLAM is depth perception, which allows capable devices to know the distance from itself to other objects and the distance between themselves in order to build an accurate 3D picture of the scanned environment. Translated to AR, this capability allows a proper interaction of virtual objects with the real world via so-called “interest points” while setting up a map of its surroundings along the way.

Augmented Reality and tracking

There are some very good and well-known technologies, like Microsoft’s Kinect and Google’s Project Tango, that bathe the environment in infrared (IR) to build a 3D mesh of the environment, constructing a map of an unknown place and recognize it even when the sensor has left its focus.

“As we are only at the very beginning of augmenting the physical world around us, visual SLAM is currently very well suited for tracking in unknown environments, rooms and spaces,” explains Andy Gstoll, CMO at Wikitude. “The technology continuously scans and “learns” about the environment it is in allowing you to augment it with useful and value adding digital content depending on your location within this space.”

Wikitude’s tracking system – recommended by ViewAR

Wikitude’s Instant tracking allows AR developers to place digital content indoors and outdoors and opens new playground with SLAM-based games, marketing campaigns, product demonstrations, virtual outdoors and more.

ViewAR has recently devoted some research in using the Austrian fellowman’s tracking systems in some of its own projects. Markilux is one of the largest German brand name in awnings and for more than a quarter of a century and has decided to push a huge leap forward in using Augmented Reality for its purpose. The complexity of the challenge was met with implementing a flawless tracking system of Wikitude, showing ViewAR’s flexibility in assimilating up-to-date technology independent of its origin. Generally must be said that flexibility holds the key for future developments as new providers of tracking systems may enter the market. At the current moment, Wikitude’s highly sophisticated framework is impeccable and therefore represents the first choice of ViewAR’s AR applications.

Outlook and new fields of development

Yes, SLAM offers thrilling new opportunities for AR developers and not only for them. But how can we evaluate the future of such a technology? As “usually well informed sources” confirm, 2018/19 will witness the appearance of radical new smartphones and simple and intuitive end-users smart glasses, lifting AR to new heights. All these devices will be equipped with new sensors and SLAM to provide indoor navigation and autonomy functions. Such devices will be capable to create 3D SLAM maps of locations in which they are used and maintain them with minimal efforts.

Interaction between such devices will lead to great new prospects for further improvements and thrilling new services. ViewAR’s main asset, it’s independence from any hard- and software platform will anyway perform at its best in any given environment, using the best available technology at the market to serve it’s clients interests.

 About ViewAR. ViewAR™ from Austria is a worldwide provider of Augmented Reality and was awarded with several awards such as the Auggie Award 2016 for the world’s best AR App and the Wirtschaftsoskar 2017, given by the Austrian Chamber of Commerce. Gartner has indentified ViewAR as Cool Vendor 2017.