DHL’s Whitepaper on Augmented Reality in Logistics

DLH released a Augmented Reality in Logistics whitepaper in 2014 that discussed what Augmented Reality is, to Best Practices, to how it applies in Logistics.

What is Augmented Reality?

Some interesting cliff notes about the white paper is that they break down Augmented Reality into four different tasks:

  1. Scene Capture
  2. Scene Identification
  3. Scene Processing
  4. Scene Visualization

When using Unity and Vuforia, we easily overcome three-fourths of the Augmented Reality hurdle.  We can focus on Scene Visualization, which allows us to focus on the WHAT, rather than the HOW.

The Devices

What sort of devices can we expect to find when discussing AR?  According to White Paper, the major players will be:

  1. Handheld Devices
  2. Stationary AR Systems ( like the Kiosks found at the LEGO Store )
  3. Spatial Augmented Reality (SAR) Systems
  4. Head-mounted Displays
  5. Smart Glasses
  6. Smart Lenses

We at Mantaray AR think that handheld devices such as smart phones and other wearable tech such as smart glasses will be the Big Two.  To get to consumers, you will need to develop for smart phones and things like Google Glass.

Be There When You Need To Be

Context-sensitive information is the name of the Augmented Reality game.  Data should be readily available to the user. But not just any old data; only the data that the user needs should be there.  Contextually-sensitive information can mean a lot of things depending on the application, but some good examples are:

  1. Popups over key historical buildings that the device is pointed at.
  2. Text that the camera is pointing at is translated into the user’s native tongue.
  3. Facebook data pops up when pointing the app at a person.

 

Virtual Reality Meets Augmented Reality

One interesting example that has brought mainstream attention to Augmented Reality is Ikea’s catalog app that blends VR and AR together. It allows users to see what their house would look like with different furniture in it.  Point the device at a corner of your house and select different furniture available at Ikea, and you are able to see what it would look like in your home!

Another interesting example is the ColorSmart app which let’s you pick paint colors and see what they would look like on the walls in your home!

In Logistics

When applying AR to Logitics, it is important to optimize processes.  We shouldn’t try to shove AR in places just because we can.  We need to make sure that it improves an error prone scenario and to leverage the opportunities that AR can give us.

Be there when you need to be!  Augmented Reality can help the logistics business by providing help in the picking process and pulling pallets off of shelves.

VR Meets AR!  Augmented Reality can help in warehouse planning and design to field test environments with little to no cost!

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Mantaray AR LLC Celebrates The Prefundia Launch of Paugme

June 12, 2014
(602) 635-0272
Ivan Montiel

Mantaray AR LLC Celebrates The Prefundia Launch of Paugme

Mantaray AR LLC Creates Augmented Reality App for Children with Autism

Tempe, AZ: We are proud to announce our mobile application called Paugme that focuses on teaching empathy concepts to those with autism. We are focusing on helping elementary and middle school aged children learn how to identify, categorize, and react to typical emotions.

Often, those with autism have a hard time gauging other’s feelings. We want to use Paugme as a next generation teaching tool that helps recognize and respond to facial expressions and feelings.

Paugme is a mobile application that will use the immersive and retentive properties of Augmented Reality to help teach children with autism empathy through interaction and gameplay.

For more information, including prototype screenshots and downloads to the prototype for Android and iOS, please check out our website at http://paugme.mantarayar.com/ as well as our Prefundia page at http://ow.ly/xX5SU.

Vuforia, the plugin that made everything possible

When we originally began working on Mantaray AR: Unlimited, we discussed whether we were going to write the image detection and tracking software in-house, or whether we would look for a cheap solution.  After about 1 minute of thinking it over, we decided that it would be a waste of time to develop the Augmented Realty software ourselves.  We ended up looking into a lot of different solutions, but the one we found that fit best was: Vuforia by Qualcomm.

The pros to Vuforia were the following:

  1. They took care of image feature detection for us.
  2. They took care of orienting the scene to the image.
  3. It had a plugin version that would integrate with Unity.

Our team had used Unity before, so it was an obvious choice once we found Vuforia!

Paugme: The Story Behind the Empathy Teaching App

paugme_text

We were getting ready to finish up our initial Beta version of Mantaray AR: Study Sessions and Mantaray AR: Unlimited, and we were brainstorming ideas for our next project.  We wanted something completely different, but still Augmented Reality based.  You could tell that we were getting tired of working on the same type of product for the past year and we wanted change.

Ivan suggested something along the lines of what he thought Tamagotchi was.  He originally thought it was a very elaborate pet simulator where the goal was to keep the pet happy.  The brainstorming session continued and we all took notes.  We ended up with the following pitch: “Paugme: the Augmented Reality Pet that teaches children empathy.”

paugme

The original idea for Paugme. It’s come a long way. (Image by Daniela Howe)

Daniela and Ivan had previously decided to go to Startup Weekend EDU (SWEDU) at Phoenix, AZ and decided to pitch and work on this idea while they were there.  See, SWEDU is a 54 hour event where from Friday to Sunday, teams work on a new idea, get mentoring and feedback, and ultimately create a prototype and deliver a final pitch in order to win prizes.

During the initial pitch, we received a lot of feedback from those with children with some type of Autism Spectrum Disorder that it would be very useful for them.  After about 6 hours of talking with friends, family, mentors, and the lead founder of the AZ Autism Charter School, the idea morphed into the current version of Paugme: “The mobile application that teaches empathy to children with autism.”

We were set.

Paugme Presentation

Ivan giving the original pitch for Paugme. (Photo courtesy of SWEDU).

We were not able to finish a prototype in those 54 hours because of how radically different our idea had become, but we had made some great connections and we had created a solid idea.

 We were asked to submit our game to the Game CoLab sponsored Hackathon IO event at UAT.  We decided to do a pitch even though our “game” wasn’t exactly fun in the traditional sense.  It’s very focused towards low stimulation with very basic rules so that those with autism can focus on the educational parts of the app without being distracted.

With only two weeks in between events, we quickly finished up our Mantaray AR: Unlimited and Mantaray AR: Study Session products, submitted them to the App Store and Google Play Store, and began researching autism.  We interviewed people we knew as well as did research online for how to best approach the topic and how to best deliver a product that parents would buy and children would use.

Ivan and Daniela

Ivan and Daniela talking with interested guests.

We ended up building the prototype of Paugme (which is currently available on the Google Play Store) in four nights thanks to Ivan dilegently programming and Daniela drawing non-stop to create all of the graphics.

We ended up going to the Hackathon event with a solid prototype, but not one that could be considered fun.  We ended up not winning the event, but we made some even more connections and one of the judges wishes the criteria for judging was different so that we could have won.

However, by this time, we knew we had a solid product that people wanted.  We created a brand new website for Paugme which is currently open for newsletter sign ups, and we are planning a Kickstarter to launch later this year.

paugme-ipad

The final prototype!

For more information about Paugme or to sign up for our newsletter, visit our website!

If you want to watch our video entry for the Game CoLab Hackathon, check it out on Youtube!

What is Augmented Reality?

When we pitch what we do to people, a lot of the time people ask us, “What is Augmented Reality exactly?”

And that’s a pretty important question to answer to fully understand what we do here at Mantaray AR.

What is augmented reality in education?

Augmented reality is “a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view” (Google Search).  At Mantaray AR, we use Augmented Reality in the following way: we superimpose 3D models and graphics on top of a live video stream, providing an immersive experience for improved learning.

People ask us, “Why use augmented reality?”  Studies have found that Augmented Reality improves the learning experience through embodied cognition, retention, along with improved understanding. In fact, on our website (www.mantarayar.com), we provide a source for improved understanding on our front page:

 Children who use their hands to gesture during a math lesson gain a deep understanding of the problems they are taught (Jann Ingmire @ UChicagoNews).

Mantaray AR focuses on making sure that we teach as well as engage students in the material they are learning.

Augmented Reality helps us achieve this goal since it changes students from passive listeners to being actively engaged in the educational process.

The Mantaray AR Website is Live!

We are Mantaray AR LLC, a software company specializing in augmented reality for teaching educational subjects!  Today, we would like to announce that we have released our public beta of Mantaray AR Unlimited.   It allows teachers and parents to create Augmented Reality experiences that incorporate text, questions, and interaction without needing to know how to program!

mantaray icon 1024x1024
Click to go to our website!

This software suite focuses on bringing powerful and user-friendly online tools to teachers that enables them to create custom augmented reality experiences for mobile devices.

Slideshow
Here’s an example of what our online tool looks like!
It’s as simple as creating a slideshow!

This online tool allows teachers and parents to push new AR experiences to their students’ and children’s iOS and Android devices without having to resync the mobile device or compile anything!  Mantaray AR Unlimited takes care of all of that and just requires Internet access in order to pull the experience from our cloud service.

Here is our initial press release in full for more information:

Mantaray AR LLC Celebrates Their Initial Beta Release

Mantaray AR LLC Creates Augmented Reality App for Teachers and Students

Tempe, AZ: Today, Mantaray AR LLC, a software company specializing in augmented reality for teaching educational subjects, announced that they have released their public beta of their flagship augmented reality software suite, Mantaray AR Unlimited.  This software suite focuses on bringing powerful and user-friendly online tools to teachers that enables them to create custom augmented reality experiences for mobile devices.

Of the company’s recent successful launch,  Dr. Quincy Conley, Assistant Professor at Boise State University, states, “Mantaray AR is a new way of providing engaging learning experiences for students.  It is a fantastic way to teach by augmenting an already existing physical space like a classroom with virtual concepts to extend the boundaries of a textbook.”

About Mantaray AR LLC: Mantaray AR LLC is a software company based in Tempe, AZ.  Founded in 2013, Mantaray AR has designed, created, and distributed augmented reality applications for various purposes, including teaching and research.

Website Redesign

The team right now is completely redesigning the color scheme and websites for our product!  Our theme was getting pretty old and was just generally not in the spirit of the direction we wanted to take the product!  Right now, our website theme for Mantaray AR looks like:

 

Image

 

This theme was created back when we were in our original prototype stage and we wanted a look that screamed: “we are a technology company!”  We’ve come a long way since then, and we want to make it clear that these products are for non-tech savvy people!

 

So what are the steps involved in redesign?  Well…

 

1. Decide What Direction You Want To Take

We originally wanted to showcase our technology when we were first designing the website and the prototype.  Now that we’ve started asking around and discovered who our audience is, we have a better understanding of the direction we want to take the company. 

2. Decide Who Your Audience Is

Once we’ve done some customer interviews and developed prototypes of the product, we were able to better grasp who would be interested in our educational software. 

3.  Design Your Website So That Your Audience Will Like It

Once we understood that we would have two very distinct audiences — teachers and students — we needed a way for our website to appeal to both.  And as is, our website appealed to neither.  So we’ve begun to change that: brainstorming, looking at different websites, getting a sense of our color scheme, doing some rough sketches, and finally starting a new design!

 

Stay tuned for the new theme that we’ll be implementing on Mantaray AR!