Thursday, February 16, 2012

Androd AR engine learning daily (1): Introducing Mixare

Recently I'm working on AR engine projects. As some of you have already learning from AR, Augmented Reality.

In my minds before, AR was just a camera scanner and displaying interesting objects. It can scan some 'barcode' and display some objects on your screen based on your code. Like Popcode engine. You must print the barcode on somewhere. You must make your camera scanned on it before you can see the interesting objects. It's a bit troublesome, isn't it? At least I think so.

But recently, I found a interesting AR engine, completely changed my mind on the definition of 'AR'. It's Mixare, a New opensource AR engine.

Mixare can display markers without scanning any barcode! Then what's the 'root requirement' or 'root logic' for objects? It's the GPS location from phones.

Mixare is awesome, you can define a list of markers in XML or JSON format, giving the 'latitude', 'longitude', and, MOST Important one, 'altitude'! The markers will be displayed at correct position based on their 'location' and your location.  For example, you can get a XML list from OSM( a map location provider) saying the nearby metro stations, loading it into your mixare apps. When you turn on the AR camera, it will tell you where's the nearby stations with a direction arrow. And you can rotate yourself by holding the phones, the arrow will be 'moving' on your screen, always point to the correct direction.

Mixare can also calculate the distance between you and the target markers. Telling you how far you are away from the target, and also make you able to filtering the target markers by distance.

And what about 'altitude'? This is more exciting. The target markers will on appear when your phone is facing to a correct 'height' if you set the 'altitude' for them! Saying, you want to display a marker at top of a building, you can just set the 'altitude' as the height of this building. Then, users have to move their phones upper to let the camera showing the top of this building, inorder to see the marker.

For 'altitude', I'm still learning how Mixare understand users own 'altitude' in real-time. If the user is taking a lift, or he/she is playing skydiving?

Here's the homepage of mixare:

I will talk about some example codes on my next post.

Anyone are welcomed to sharing your ideas on AR or Mixare. Let's learn it together!

Thank you for reading.


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  2. Hi, I'm working on Mixare. I think is very powerful but is not very simple to understand the code, it isn't commented very well!