HP gains traction with augmented reality service

The HP AR service, called Aurasma, has been used by 40,000 customers to provide interactive sessions on portable devices

Specially-marked Trix cereal boxes from General Mills use HP's Aurasma to offer an interactive augmented reality Star Wars game.

Specially-marked Trix cereal boxes from General Mills use HP's Aurasma to offer an interactive augmented reality Star Wars game.

Hewlett-Packard has found some success with a platform, called Aurasma, that provides augmented reality services to portable devices.

"We're seeing a huge growth spurt within the augmented reality market, particularly in the last six months," said Annie Weinberger, the HP general manager overseeing Aurasma.

Aurasma now has 40,000 customers, more than twice than it had six months ago, HP has reported. Over 6 million people have downloaded the free app, which is available for both Android and Apple iOS devices.

The company is demonstrating new use cases of the technology at the South By Southwest (SXSW) music, film and tech conference, being held this week in Austin, Texas. It has also updated the service: Aurasma 3 features a refreshed SDK (software development kit), a new rules engine and a portal for developers.

The Aurasma project was created four years ago within Autonomy, which was later purchased by HP.

Designed to be used within mobile apps, the Aurasma platform can identify images captured on a device's camera, and then provide more information about these images. This approach is called augmented reality because it overlays information about a specific item being displayed through the screen, on or near the object itself.

Educational institutions were the first to adopt the Aurasma technology, where it could be used to provide supplementary information to class materials. Publishers also harnessed the technology to link advertisements with online portals.

More recently, the film industry has used Aurasma to connect users to trailers and ticket purchases simply by having them point their devices at movie posters. It has also been used to as an aid for training materials, where pointing the device at an object being studied could provide more information on that item.

"The use cases that people have come up with have been endless," Weinberger said.

To use the service, developers upload what HP calls trigger images, or the basic images of items that the developer wants the service to identify. They also provide an overlay for the image, or the information the app should present to the user once a pattern is recognized. Although Aurasma can be used on its own as a mobile app, the service is more often embedded within a mobile application. The pattern identification services are handled by the HP Cloud.

According to HP, users are more likely to click on an Aurasma-ready image than they would with a typical digital ad or QR (quick response) code. The click-through rates of some auras have approached 50 percent, Weinberger said.

The approach is superior to that of using QR codes, which tend to be used as a "speed dial to a URL," Weinberger said. HP has been working with customers to use Aurasma as a more interactive experience that can be carried out directly within the app itself.

HP Aurasma 3.0 comes with a number of new features. It now has a rules engine, allowing the content to be delivered to the user to change based on the user's location, or other factors. The updated service now allows users to share their finds on Twitter and Facebook. For the app makers, Aurasma offers a Web portal to keep track of how the AR is being used within their apps.

The subscription costs for using Aurasma are based on a number of factors, such as how long heavily service is being used and the number of different items that are being identified. An annual subscription can cost anywhere between US$5,000 and $90,000, Weinberger estimated. HP also has a set of consulting services that can help organizations make the most of the technology.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags softwareapplicationsHewlett-PackardMedia player software

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?