1. IBM to Improve Customer Shopping Experience at Tesco
IBM is working with Tesco, one of the world’s leading retailers, on a first-of-a-kind collaboration to help it arrange products on store shelves according to display plans, which will create a better shopping experience for its customers. IBM researchers in Haifa, Israel, have developed an Android app based on IBM’s Augmented Reality Shopping Advisor that can help retailers respond to demand challenged, that occur from promotions, seasonality and special events.
Tesco app should be run on a mobile phone or tablet to photograph and capture the current status of the store’s aisles including quantity and location of products. The application then connects to Tesco’s product database to analyze and identify the images. It compares the current display with the planned arrangement and instantly superimposes information that reveals insufficient quantities, missing products or misplaced items. Usually this task is done manually, with employees comparing what they can see on shelves to pre-drawn plans to see if products are stacked properly.
The project is part of IBM’s “First-of-a-Kind” programme, which sees IBM researchers working alongside customers to test new technologies in real-world situations. Sima Nadler, IBM’s head of Retail Research, said: “It also demonstrates that today’s most compelling advances in mobile technology result from how the devices are used, rather than the devices themselves. By using mobile to maximize inventory and sales, enterprises can stay ahead of the competition.”
Tesco is currently piloting the technology at an unnamed store near London.
There are two conferences dedicated to augmented reality in the upcoming month. Both of them are based in Europe, which shows an increasing interest to this technology.
On the 27th of March in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Augmented Media Conference will be held. This conference will be interesting for marketers, creative designers, media professionals, IT developers, app developers, advertising agencies etc., providing an excellent overview of both deployments and future developments in the Augmented Media market. Except of the discussions, there will be also an exhibition where 7 companies will showing their products and services and Start-Up Plaza, a presentation spot for start-ups.
The second event is Augmented Reality Marketing Conference that will take place in Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland on Tuesday, April 15th. Among keynote speakers there will be Brian Mullins, founder and CEO of DAQRI, Mathijs Gajentaan, CCO at Twnkls, Jess Butcher, Co-Founder & CMO of Blippar, etc. The conference promises to provide vast opportunities for networking, panel discussions, as well as an exhibition of AR and Google Glass technologies.
3. Designer T-shirts with QR Codes will be Exhibited at the LA Grammy Museum
Astrella, daughter of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Donovan, releases a collection of line of musical T-shirts, featuring John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker and Billie Holiday. Astrella’s designed T-shirts has a look of iconic album covers from the above mentioned artists. Every shirt is also tagged with a designer QR Code, giving the access to a one-time download of the full album associated with each shirt. Technocal support for the project was provided by Philip Warbasse, and his agency PRINT2D, who created the mobile architecture behind the music delivery system that provides secure, one-time distribution of each artist’s music.
PRINT2D is one-time download technology that works with assigned PIN numbers, providing access to secure content in the Internet. The content is temporary, it can be downloaded only once and also has an expiration date after a certain period of time if not clicked.
An early launch and photo shoot featuring a limited number of artists will take place on Thursday February 27, 2014 at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
Vuzix Corporation, a leading supplier of Video Eyewear and Smart Glasses products in the consumer, commercial and entertainment markets announced today that it had been awarded the remaining $75,000 Phase I Option and a $680,000 Phase II, Small Business innovation Research (SBIR) award from the Office of Naval Research.
Vuzix will work with rugged military heads-up display-maker Six15 Technologies to integrate the technology into smart glasses. It will develop the tech in two phases, with a prototyping stage and then a field-deployable stage with larger fields of view. The tech is supposed to help fulfill the training and simulation needs of the U.S. Navy.
The Small Business Innovation Research award is designated for a head-worn display. The tech would enable augmented reality, i.e. the capability to insert virtual computer-generated objects into a person’s field of view. It could place virtual characters, objects, and sensory effects in the real world.
5. Could Augmented Reality be a Treatment for People with Phantom Limb Pain
For the most part, phantom limbs and the pain they can feel remain a medical mystery. No one is quite sure why a person who has lost a limb might feel like they can move it or be tormented by stabbing muscle cramps and searing pain in that nonexistent. Treatment for the condition has traditionally included massage to work the nerve endings, pain medications, heat therapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, or surgical intervention.
However, researchers from the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden have recently developed an augmented reality system designed specifically to handle phantom limb pain. The new technology allows the patient to receive visual as well as neurological feedback that their missing limb is actually present.
First, the data of muscle movements is fed into open-source computer software created, which deciphers those movements and uses them to create a computer-generated image of the missing arm. The patient then uses the muscle movements he would usually use to move his missing limb, and the augmented video shows the reattached arm moving in real time.
Then researchers placed electrodes on the man’s stump so he could control his phantom limb on a screen, then developed a racing game that allowed the patient to develop more nuanced movements. The experiment was such a relief for the first patient that now the next goal is to extend the treatment to clinical trials at four hospitals
Peugeot, the French car brand has recently released an augmented reality app which helps car owners to know more about their cars. To make the reach of this app wider, video content have been recycled to be presented to the users of the app. It has been created by Stack, an integrated creative agency, and works when users point their phone at any particular portion of their cars which have been manufactured by Peugeot.
Peugeot inserted a video series of ‘Top Tips’ into the app, providing car drivers who came across any problem related to their car with useful tips to the users. They can access these tips and videos by pointing their phones towards different car parts. For example, to view a video about punctured tyre a driver should point a mobile device towards the car tyre.
Morgan Lecoupeur, marketing director at Peugeot, said: “Top tips is a clear demonstration of our continued ambition to take advantage of new digital technologies to support our customers and create seamless customer experience across every touchpoint.”