Camping with the Boys

Places with well defined boundaries.
Parallel lines that converge in the distance.
Tall glass towers all in a row.
Ah, the city space.

You can take a gal out of the city but you can never take the city out of me. I love cities. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t like camping either. In fact, I was a camp counsellor for two summers at the Harbourfront Centre Camps in Toronto. Okay, okay, so it wasn’t up north by the lake and mountains but nonetheless, it still had that “camping” feel, especially when you had to take care where you left your food in case the squirrels grabbed them.

There are some camps, however, that are much farther away from the regular conjured up vision of a “camp”. One camp in particular was the one I just attended last Saturday in Berlin – the Augmented Reality Developer Camp. It was a blast!

What exactly is an Augmented Reality Developer Camp? I thought you’d never ask.

It’s a designated place where individuals, involved or interested in the development of augmented reality (AR) technology, come together to present cases, discuss and share challenges, concepts and ideas. No one sits around a camp fire toasting marshmallows unless it’s done via markers, a computer device and a webcam.

Marc Maurer (R) with Marcus Link (L)

Marc Maurer (R) with Marcus Link (L)

Marc Maurer of and empea organized this AR developer camp (ARDevCamp). He was also the one that organized the 1st Augmented Reality Developer Camp in Frankfurt, with the help of the empea team (Berlin’s ARDevCamp was the 2nd in Germany).

Through Marc’s efforts and diligence, AR developers in Germany and neighbouring countries are finally able to get together, consolidating the fact that AR is indeed a technology that can only move forward into mainstream.

ARDevCamps actually take place all over the globe, this is a fact. Indeed, the next steps would be to naturally link all the ARDevCamps so that everyone can benefit from what goes on in each of them. Marc is working on this.

The attendance at the ARDevCamp surpassed that of Frankfurt’s but then again, it was Berlin. Also, many of the participants in Frankfurt were also in Berlin so for me, it became a really comfortable place of familiarity.

Content from the ARDevCamp sessions are available below. Some content is restricted to members of the ARDevCamp community.

ARTookWorks slides

AR on Android

(You’ll need to be a member of the ARDevCamp community to access the following .pdf downloads)

Fraunhofer FIT – Totem AR Gaming

junaio dev plattform abstract

So, what’s the Android PR Gal doing camping with the boys? Simple. Looking for projects that involve AR development on Android. Back in December 2009 I wrote a post about AR. What I said then, I still feel now – that the Android OS is currently the best platform for AR development on mobile, despite its fragmentation. And this is where standards need to be implemented, but first, they need to be created.

Olaf Geibig: Augmented Reality on Android

Olaf Geibig: Augmented Reality on Android

The Augmented Reality on Android session at the ARDevCamp was run by Olaf Geibig (@olafgeibig on Twitter). It brought up a lot of interesting topics not to mention, challenges that AR on Android would face. I’ve embedded Olaf’s slide presentation below:

I plan to cover as much AR related topics and content here on because even though AR in mainstream still has a long way to go, mobile AR is the way to go, for now. It still may feel primitive but when given the technological advances that allow us to perform such activities – like interacting with points in proximity to our location, then AR really has come a long way. First steps are to perhaps get people use to using AR apps on mobile devices, until of course, someome comes up with affordable, wearable AR gear, such as AR glasses or something similiar.

Photos from the 1st ARDevCamp in Frankfurt are here.
Photos from the 2nd ARDevCamp in Berlin are here.


Camping with the Boys

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