Current Augmented Reality Technology
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Layar is one of the first leaders in creating a platform for AR. Their Layar browser started as a way to show where things were based on GPS coordinates when you held your camera up towards a certain direction. Recently, Layar has entered the print game, and has opened a platform allowing people to upload simple content for use in magazines and print media.
Aurasma is another company that has been involved with image recognition AR for a long time. Using their app, users can tag, assign, and view AR content on the fly. They call them Auras, and you can view them in some pretty famous locations around the world, as simply taking a picture can create an Aura.
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String is a developer technology that allows for image based tracking on iOS using developer specified images. These images are typically seen with a large black border around them, and track reasonably fast and in full 3D. Zoo-AR has used String technology in much of its research and development.
Vuforia is an exciting open source technology from Qualcomm, one of the leading mobile chipset manufacturers. The Vuforia SDK is very robust and uses local image scanning technologies to analyze local contrast in an image. It's another technology that Zoo-AR has heavily researched and is paying close attention to.
The Future
In addition to our current technology - Zoo-AR has it's finger on the pulse of the 21st century. There are many new and exciting technologies evolving that could be implemented into our offerings as they become available. While we develop rich content and educational substance, technology is simply a medium in which we deliver. Augmented Reality is one of the primary ways we are doing this, but as devices disapear and we become implanted with holochips - we will be there to adapt. When Google Glass doesn't require us to hold devices or IR cameras allow us to interact without touchscreens, our content will be there to support those technologies.

For us, it's one of the most exciting parts of our position in this industry. We are bringing together meaningful education and the most cutting edge technology to a generation that expects nothing less. It's a convergence of art and science. And it's a great place to be.

Sixense

Sixense Entertainment, Inc., is a company that wants "to deliver the ideal control platform for digital media." Their current product is the Razer Hydra, a two handed motion sensing controller allowing users to control a number of popular games on a computer. Really though, Sixense is pioneering the way we interact with technology. For us, the future of these technologies is exciting.

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Brass Monkey

The concept of Brass Monkey is simple - imagine controlling any browser on your TV or Computer using the mobile device in your pocket. While primarily a games company, the social implications of this technology reaches further than your typical "video game."

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Microsoft Kinect

The Kinect incorporates a few vision based technologies that are really exciting. It uses infrared cameras to track depth, and can detect everything from faces, to expressions and gestures. While originally created for gamers, Kinect is a perfect example of a technology that has much farther reaching consequences. Today, researchers have purchased more Kinects than gamers in every country combined.

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Analytics

Built into Zoo-AR is a deeply informational analytics system. This system allows us to track a number of features about your attendees and the exhibits they are most and least interested in. We can track time spent at exhibits, all the way down to time spent on certain parts of each exhibit. We can see peak hours of usage, and the paths people are taking through the park.

Imagine having a forked path with animals at either side. Then imagine knowing that 90% of visitors took one side of the fork, and being able to position branding, offers, and other related signage so that those 90% would always see it best. Imagine knowing that 80% of your visitors stopped visiting exhibits from 11AM - 1PM... a typical American lunch time. Then imagine knowing the last exhibits the majority of those people visited before grabbing lunch. Armed with this type of information, you can make a number of very important logistical decisions about your park.