Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): metaio, Google, Netflix, PlayStation Vita, Roku

--metaio Adds 3D Object Tracking, Visual Search to its Augmented Reality SDK
--Report: Google Developing Augmented Reality-Enabled Glasses
--Netflix Now Available on PlayStation Vita
--Roku Updates its iOS App

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Augmented reality (AR) specialist, metaio, contacted [itvt] last week to let us know that it plans to add 3D object tracking and visual search to the latest version of its free mobile AR SDK, which is part of its Augmented City platform. "Available for download on its Web site March 14, and optimized by major chipset providers, version 3.1 of the metaio Mobile SDK will assemble core technologies necessary for creating the most interactive and immersive AR experiences, such as the overlay of virtual information on building facades, city streets and almost any 3D real-world object or device," the company states in its press materials. "Major mobile chipset providers like ARM, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments are working with metaio to jointly optimize the metaio Mobile SDK for the most important chipset platforms. AR software running on major chipsets means stronger and faster experiences for the user and more reliable tools for developers...Announced at metaio's insideAR technology conference, the metaio Augmented City platform consists of a diverse and powerful selection of software across mobile, Web and offline experiences that use industry-proven computer vision technology to insert 3D and digital information into the real world. Many existing AR platforms limit experiences to GPS mapping and the anchoring of graphics to simple, 2D surfaces; the platform offered by metaio is the only one commercially available that builds on these capabilities to deliver real-time tracking and recognition of entire 3D objects, as well as a robust client-based visual search. Version 3.1 of the metaio Mobile SDK gives developers access to award-winning computer vision technology that can go beyond simple product packaging. More than 10 years in development, metaio's technology can overlay information on city structures like buildings and billboards and complex 3D objects like printers, mechanical parts, and the product itself. Users will be able to interact with the everyday world like never before in experiences developed with metaio's software...With its powerful mobile software, metaio will offer two new support technologies to make AR content production easier and more cost-effective. The Augmented Reality Experience Language (AREL) will expand development opportunities by bringing HTML5 and JavaScript to mobile AR experiences. AREL will support advanced AR gaming logic along with a higher level of interaction and customization, ensuring there are even more creative opportunities for developers. In addition, metaio will offer the metaio Creator, a point-and-click content authoring tool that will allow developers to publish AR experiences to mobile, Web or browser clients."
  • In other AR news: Google is developing AR-enabled, Android-based glasses that will superimpose information and images on what the user is seeing in real time, according to a report by the New York Times' Nick Bilton. The glasses, which will incorporate 3G or 4G connectivity, motion sensors and GPS, are slated to go on sale by the end of the year at a price comparable to that of smartphones, "several Google employees familiar with the project, who asked not to be named," told Bilton. More information on the project, which has also been reported on by 9 to 5 Google's Seth Weintraub, is available here.
  • Netflix announced last week that its service is now available on the new PlayStation Vita, which will be the first Sony handheld entertainment system to feature the service. "PS Vita can stream TV shows and movies from Netflix in high quality on its brilliant 5-inch multi-touch display via WiFi," the company states in its press materials. "Netflix members can also start playing a title on one device, for example on their TV through PlayStation3, and resume watching on PS Vita right where they left off. PS Vita owners who aren't yet Netflix members can sign up on the device for a month free trial...PS Vita owners can download and install the Netflix application at no cost from the PlayStation Store. Netflix is available starting today on PS Vita in Canada, the United States and across Latin America."
  • Roku has released an updated version (1.1) of its iOS app. "The update adds a more traditional layout with 'D pad' buttons along with shortcuts for Netflix, Pandora and Crackle," the company explains on its blog. "So you'll always be a click away from your favorite channels. Other minor changes include: 1) Improved device discovery. We've also added helpful tips in case the app does not see your Roku player. 2) Improved loading time. 3) New shortcut to easily switch between Roku accounts...And yes, we're still working on an Android app for our droid-loving fans."
North America