Friday, November 16, 2018
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Blippar Launches Augmented Reality Navigation App Allowing People to Navigate the World

The AR City App from Blippar promises better-than-GPS navigation thanks to augmented reality.

Blippar’s AR City App, which could be described as the future of augmented reality navigation, has recently been launched in a beta release. Blippar’s new app offers users overlay points of interest along with overlay directions for walking routes. The app is offered via the iOS App Store on compatible iPads and iPhones running iOS 11 and in places supported by Apple Maps.

The app, presently in beta, uses both computer vision and augmented reality to permit users to content and information as they tour and navigate around cities. It is the newest step in the company’s mission to catalog the universe and redefine the manner in which people discover, experience and connect with the world around them. AR City App features 3 layers of information.

  1. Urban visual positioning: directional, recognition, and positioning information through computer vision, offered currently in Mountain View, Central London, and San Francisco.
  2. Enhanced map content: overlays of content and information associated with user location in augmented reality, for example, points of interests and streets.
  3. AR basic navigation: a visualization of walking routes through AR

Augmented reality navigation, offered all over that is supported by Apple Maps, will use arrows shown in augmented reality to visualize routes. Augmented reality basic navigation works by using GPS to estimate the user’s absolute position and tracks their local movement using VIO (Visual Inertial Odometry). Blippar smoothly integrates VIO and GPS throughout the whole experience by building on the Association of College & Research Libraries that uses Core Location for GPS and Apple’s ARKit for VIO.

Matched against latest apps using the ARKit, AR City doesn’t require virtual content to be added manually to the world by the user. Rather, AR City positions buildings and roads in their right geographical area by leveraging Blippar’s technology.

Currently, the enhanced map content, available in over more than 300 metropolitan areas and cities across the globe, will offer an augmented reality navigation experience within the metropolis surrounding. At first, it will offer information and details regarding the surroundings on a walking distance scale, which include local points of interest, street names, and buildings with information pulled from the visual knowledge graph of the company. By incorporating the company’s Knowledge Graph, AR technology, and local search, AR City offers users a single and mesmerizing augmented reality experience.

To enhance the visual experience, this second information level uses “occlusions,” which means that Blippar can show only points of interest that are from the users viewpoint, and not, say, those behind a structure. Additionally, Blippar augments existing 2D maps using ground elevation from geological surveys that let them to display us to AR routes and roads using the right slope.

Users in Central London, San Francisco, and Mountain View will experience more location overlays and precise routing since the app will access Blippar’s UVP system. Launched earlier this year, Urban Visual Positioning uses computer vision to pinpoint the location of the user; Blippar states that (UVP) Urban Visual Positioning is more than twice as precise in metropolitan areas as Global Positioning System that has an average error rate of sixteen meters.

Ambarish Mitra, the CEO of Blippar, says “the technology seamlessly integrates the digital with the physical, and is an important step in our mission to make augmented reality natural enough that users do not feel any disconnect.”

Blippar has plans to license the innovation to other companies, especially those in the tourism field, where the guidebook market’s projected worth is $90 million.

“This statement continues to push the boundaries of computer vision and AR, and opens access to innovations that have the possibility of disrupting the basic architecture of vast location-based industries,” stated Ambarish. “It is an opportunity for others to use our technology to take substantial leaps forward in gaming, travel, autonomous transport, autonomous, and most other industries.”

AR City is still in its initial stages, but its effects are substantial. What is being shown today with the app’s beta version is a glimpse of its potential, as more features are added over the coming months to improve the experience. We believe that there will be increasing competition in the augmented reality navigation sector as development teams come up to speed with the use of ARKit and ARCore.

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