[Today, I’ve invited Thomas Alt, CEO of metaio, to talk about his thoughts and visions in Augmented Reality.  metaio is a BizSpark One company.]

Dr. Thomas Alt, Founder and CEO metaio, Inc.

Let me begin by first defining the term Augmented Reality (AR). AR combines the real and the visual world in real time, placing the viewer in the center of an interactive digital world. The most well known point of reference is the yellow 1st down line, football fans see appearing across the screen while watching a televised game.

With that being said, Augmented Reality technology is presently one of the top game changing technologies of our time. metaio has maintained the leading international role in the flourishing technology segment of Augmented Reality with the development of our “Unifeye” software platform. With Unifeye software we connect any object to additional, digital information. We are proud to deliver AR software that brings added digital content to products that draw in continued consumer interest. We encourage customers to not only interact, but become engaged in a digital experience that leaves them feeling very much a part of the virtual world.

From automotive and retail to sports and entertainment; metaio’s Augmented Reality solutions hold no limits when it comes to designing champion marketing and advertising campaigns. A prime example of a successful AR retail campaign is The Lego Digital Box, powered by metaio. While in store customers were prompted to hold LEGO boxes up to the DIGITAL BOX –in store kiosk- and watch as 3D animation of the product, from all angles, in every detail was overlaid on top of the box. The metaio software fused virtual 3D content into a live video of the actual product. In case you missed it, you can view the experience here:

As time goes on, AR will soon become fully integrated into mainstream society, and set the standard for digital experiences.

Most recently, we partnered with video eyewear pioneers Vuzix Corporation to form a marketing and development partnership powering Vuzix’ line of AR enabled Video Eyewear. With metaio’s AR software capabilities and Vuzix’s line of AR-enabled Video Eyewear we have collectively identified a number of common customers that require integrated hands-free HMD solutions for applications in industries including but not limited to; marketing, advertising, assembly, maintenance, training, education and entertainment. This merger constitutes a giant step forward into the future of Augmented Reality Solutions.

Paul Travers, President of Vuzix, commented, “Both metaio and Vuzix are leaders in and at the forefront of AR markets with highly complementary offerings. With Vuzix providing its award winning Video Eyewear products and engineering services and metaio providing its leading software platforms and software engineering capability, we believe that together we can better address this rapidly emerging market need.”

Here is one of the many examples of markerless, hands-free augmented reality.

As part of our new relationship each will become members of the respective company’s Premier Developer Partner network. metaio’s Unifeye® software suite is compatible with Vuzix’s most recent software development kit (SDK) and being a part of each other’s partner network will entitle each company to previews and advance release products to ensure seamless integration on future releases. Also we are extremely excited to have Vuzix participate in metaio’s upcoming InsideAR 2011 Fair to be held September 26 & 27, 2011 in Munich, Germany.

Full press release here: http://www.metaio.com/press/press-release/2011/vuzix-and-metaio/

metaio believes that as a universal interface technology, AR can make life easier in almost any market or industry. Especially with the high and rising penetration rate of smartphones, soon an ultimate AR device will be always in hand. AR is a paradigm shift in accessing, understanding and experiencing information as it combines the digital and the real world around us. Our vision is the seamless and easy integration of the virtual into the real world. What’s your AR vision?

Dr. Thomas Alt founded metaio, Inc., in February 2003 together with Peter Meier and is currently serving as the CEO in Munich, Seoul and San Francisco. His professional experience with Augmented Reality (AR) solutions includes working at Volkswagen AG in Wolfsburg. During the two years he spent there, he was the driving force behind implementing the virtual techniques used for manufacturing planning.   

As one of the leading providers for professional cutting-edge Augmented Reality software since 2003, metaio has produced: the world’s first Augmented Reality Online campaign, first adoption of AR in Live-Marketing and the first fully integrated AR mobile application. With over 300 renown clients and partners such as; Adidas, MINI Cooper, LEGO, Popular Science, Universal Orlando Resort, Volkswagen etc. metaio serves various industries with its products and services; industrial, marketing, retail and e-commerce. You can follow metaio on twitter @metaious.