OBOTO – Digital Pet (Robot) Showcases Advanced Augmented Reality
Since co-founding Ogmento back in 2009… a goal for the company has always been to creatie immersive augmented reality experiences, including the ability to place characters and other digital interactive content seamlessly into the physical world.
The key to a truly magical and immersive experience is in the tracking. Powerful computer vision algorithms come into play in order to seamlessly tie the virtual to the physical. With Ogmento focusing on premium AR experiences,, we are now highlight some of our tracking capabilities with the introduction of OBOTO, and a little robot named Oggie.
With our prototype OBOTO app (available for iPhone) we are testing out the idea of a digital toy robot that can interact and track to the physical world without the use of markers, printouts, or any pre-setup. To date, the need for markers, printouts, or a lengthy set-up process have prevented Augmented Reality (AR) from true mass adoption. These initialization methods are intrusive, and ultimately barriers to entrance for many mobile content enthusiasts looking to experience the magic of AR instantly.
When it comes to offering an engaging augmented reality experience (one which can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere), Ogmento believes a zero-initialization tracking solution in a natural environment is key. The release of OBOTO, Ogmento’s first original project, showcases such a solution.
Users can place Oggie into any environment they wish — on a table, on the floor, in middle of the street, in their hand, etc. Oggie will track to the environment instantly, allowing the user to pan, zoom, and move around creating a seamless mixed-reality experience. This zero-initialization, natural feature tracking AR, allows for instant immersion, which is key.
Photo and video features allow users to get creative and show off with their very own digital pet robot.
If people enjoy the notion of virtual characters in the real world, and the character interactions that come along with that, there are endless opportunities for this type of application. Virtual pets, mascots, toys, and more. With the added ability to unlock exclusive content based on location, and brand recognition as well, this is a content model that has no limits, and will only continue to grow.
Be sure to download and check out OBOTO, and let me know what you think. If your company, agency or brand have ideas in mind based on this content model, I’d love to explore opportunities with you.
I’m thrilled to be able to officially announce that Ogmento is now venture-backed. The news hit the wires today, and the story is being picked up at a tremendous rate (WSJ, Forbes, Yahoo, AOL, CNET, USA Today, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Joystiq, and many others).
Here is the original press release –
Ogmento Raises $3.5 Million in Series A Funding From Chart Venture Partners
Becomes First Augmented Reality Gaming Company To Secure Institutional Investment
NEW YORK, May 26 /PRNewswire/ — Augmented Reality (AR) gaming company Ogmento, Inc. (“Ogmento”) today announced the closing of $3.5 million in Series A equity financing to expand development of its AR game platform and operations in New York and Los Angeles. The round was led by Chart Venture Partners with participation from CNF Investments and private investors.
Already a leading company in the burgeoning Augmented Reality gaming space, Ogmento will use the funding to build out its development teams on both coasts. The company will also use the proceeds to expand the core features of its technology as it prepares the release of several game titles in the coming year.
“This investment allows us to expand our operations to support our growth while putting development resources into our own intellectual property,” said Ori Inbar, co-founder and CEO of Ogmento. “Chart and CNF bring a strong track record of identifying disruptive technologies early, and working with founders to build strong companies.”
As part of the financing, Matthew McCooe of Chart Venture Partners and Joe Del Guercio of CNF will join Ogmento’s board of directors, along with founders Brad Foxhoven, Brian Selzer, and Inbar. Cole Van Nice, a partner with Chart, will also join Ogmento’s management team directly as COO to help drive strategic planning.
“We’re thrilled to have this level of support from our investment partners,” said co-founder and President Brian Selzer. “Given Chart’s investment activity in hardware and software areas related to AR, they understand the true potential of this technology. Adding a partner to our management team is an exciting endorsement of our business.”
Ogmento has already developed interactive Augmented Reality experiences for Penguin Publishing, SAP, Orange Telecom, Smith and Nephew, and PBS. The company is currently producing games in collaboration with leading media, CPG, and sports enterprises and will continue to partner with game developers and augmented reality labs around the world.
“We’ve been evaluating the fast evolving AR industry for over a year, and believe that Ogmento is uniquely positioned to lead the charge for the industry. It has an incredibly unique mix of mainstream video game industry executives, AR industry thought leaders, and world-class researchers and scientists,” said Cole VanNice, a partner at Chart Venture Partners. “We’re delighted to be the first VC to provide funding to a company focused on Augmented Reality games, and I’m confident that together we can help Ogmento continue to build on its position as a market leader.”
Ogmento was founded in 2009 by industry veterans committed to developing the next generation of video games. Through cutting-edge technology that overlays computer graphics onto real-world environments, Ogmento creates games that let users directly interact with their surrounding environment. The company is currently developing ground-breaking Augmented Reality (AR) content for a range of mobile devices and platforms including iPhone, Android, PC, and traditional game consoles. With founders Ori Inbar, Brad Foxhoven, Brian Selzer, Oriel Bergig and Nate Hagbi and a team of experienced game designers, animators, and award winning PhD scientists, Ogmento is ideally positioned at the epicenter of the Augmented Reality industry. For more information please visit http://ogmento.com.
We no longer have to choose between taking the RED or the BLUE pill.
Augmented Reality offers the PURPLE pill!
I am putting together some slides for my upcoming presentations at eComm, ARE2010, etc. I thought this particular slide might serve as a nice teaser. The title of my talk is “AR: The Power of Real World Gaming,”, but “AR: The Purple Pill” certainly works as well.
For those reading this and interested in attending eComm, I’ve got 50% off codes. If you want to go, let me know.
I will be speaking at the Humanity+ Summit this Sunday, December 6th on the subject of Augmented Reality, and how to make sure we use AR to get to an awesome future!
The H+ Summit (Organized by Humanity +) is a two day, interactive event that will explore how humanity will be radically changed by technology in the (possibly quite near) future. Over 30 visionary speakers will explore how to enhance your body, mind, life, and world…
What is going to be like to be a human in this next phase of technological progress? How can we get our heads around it so when it arrives we’re best prepared to deal with it?
We foresee the feasibility of redesigning the human condition, including such parameters as the inevitability of aging, limitations on human and artificial intellects, unchosen psychology, suffering, and our confinement to the planet earth. The possibilities are tremendously broad and exciting — and the H+ Summit will provide a venue to discuss them with like-minded individuals, and hear exciting presentations by the leaders of the ongoing H+ r/evolution.
The Summit will be held at EON Reality, Inc. – The world’s leading interactive 3D visual content management and Virtual Reality software provider.
It should be fun, I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone there.
For more on the event and a list of speakers, check out http://hplus.eventbrite.com/
A recent AdAge artilce, starts off with the following question – Is augmented reality ready for prime-time?
Twentieth Century Fox, Coke and McDonalds are about to test the emerging technology’s mettle as a marketing tool to promote the Dec. 18 release of “Avatar,” the first live-action movie to be produced and released entirely in stereoscopic 3-D.
A couple of weeks ago, I had an opportunity to go to lunch with the guys at Total Immersion responsibile for the Avatar AR campaign, Bruno Uzzan and Greg Davis. At their office, I got a sneak peek at the AR enhanced AVTR Coke can, and checked out the Avatar Mattel Toys and i-Tag’s too. Clearly, the Avatar AR campaign is a significant milestone in what is truly the dawn of AR marketing.
The AdAge article asked – Will Efforts by Coke, McDonald’s to Plug Fox’s Much-Anticipated Movie Finally Take Nascent Tech Mainstream?
I respond to this question with the following comments…
I am excited to see this campaign come to life, and believe it represents the dawn of AR marketing in a big way… highlighting how mega brands and products will come to life with added engagement, and rich-media to further enhance the customer experience.
Today’s webcam campaigns are clearly more about the wow-factor of triggering holographic-like animations off of an everyday item. As we quickly move from glyph-like codes (i.e Esquire mag) to natural feature tracking (i.e branded logos). The evolution of hardware and software will only lead to more robust, compelling and informative marketing campaigns. And mobile… will change everything!
The power of mobile AR will truly revolutionize how marketing is done. Smartphones can be used to unlock a deeper / hidden layer of content tied to the people, places and things all around us. The power and potential of that cannot be denied. We are just getting started with AR marketing.
So, will efforts by Coke, McDonalds to plug Avatar take nascent tech mainstream? Absolutely! I would argue that these mega-brands and franchises are not rolling the dice on AR technology, but rather understand where this technology is headed, and the power that it brings. We should look to these mainstreams brands to realize the right time to step in is now.