AR-Recap 23rd of March 2018: Google Maps API, Hand Tracking and Dada Art

It is friday! An exciting week has passed us. A lot happened in the world of augmented reality. Here is a recap:


Google has revealed a new set of tools that will allow developers to easily create mixed reality games using Maps data. Google Maps API brings its extensive Maps data to Unity, turning buildings, roads, and parks into GameObjects. This allows developers to add texture, style, and customisation to match the aesthetic of their game without the overhead of scaffolding a global-scale game world. Read more on games


VRgineers and Leap Motion Team Up to Create the World’s First Professional VR Headset with Integrated Hand Tracking. VRgineers and Leap Motion jointly announce a newly formed partnership that takes virtual reality to the next level of realism, combining true-to-life imaging in VR with natural and intuitive hand tracking interaction. Also Augmented Reality will benefit from this advanced hand tracking.


Unity and Magic Leap Partner to Deliver Technical Preview that knows how to impress. The Technical Preview is meant for anyone looking to get a glimpse at this exciting new platform and explore developing in spatial computing, digital content that seamlessly interacts with the real world. See more at the Unity Blog. Unity’s ARKit plugin now supports the new augmented reality (AR) features Apple announced in their Spring 2018 Update.  In addition to horizontal surfaces, you can now recognize vertical objects on vertical surfaces and map irregularly shaped surfaces with more accuracy. Read more here.


“Hello, we’re from the internet” is the title of an intervention taking over the Jackson Pollock room of the New York City Museum of Modern Art. Artist collective “MoMAR” overlays with Augmented Reality the art pieces of the abstract expressionist with trashy internet-3D-collages. “MoMAR,” cariied out the intervention to make a statement against elitism and exclusivity in the art world with its group art installation. Read more about this.


Magic Leap opens ‘creator portal’ for augmented reality app developers. The company just announced a preview of its software development kit and “creator portal,” which will offer resources for people who want to build for its yet-unreleased Magic Leap One headset. You can now download a preview build of the Unreal or Unity engines, designed for what Magic Leap dubs “spatial computing.” The creator portal touts a set of tutorials, a community for technical support, and a “Magic Leap Simulator” that will presumably help people preview apps before they get a headset. Read more.

Some of the biggest medical advances of the last few decades have been in diagnostic imaging—ultrasonogaphy, mammography, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and so on. Yet, while imaging has radically evolved, how images are displayed is basically the same as it was in 1950. Visual data are always shown on a 2D flat screen. Augmented Reality can radically revolutionize this by putting 3D data in the field of view of surgeons. Read more on this topic at the Harvard Business Review.


And for the end of this post are some cute paper dinosaurs in AR:


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