Electronics maker Epson is courting developers to its Moverio smartglasses with an updated software development kit (SDK) and integration with a web-based tool for publishing augmented reality experiences.
Announced today at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, the new version of the Moverio AR SDK adds several new capabilities, chiefly 3D object tracking using CAD data and 2D image tracking.
The 3D object tracking enables apps to detect various objects using CAD data as the reference point, rendering QR codes or markers moot. Apps can track multiple objects at a time and allow users to move around or interact with objects.
The SDK also gives apps the ability to detect and track multiple images, such as posters, pictures, or paintings. Like the 3D object tracking, the image recognition is dynamic, so users will be able to walk around the tracked images.
The SDK also adds a calibration routine for user-specific vision adjustment, an Android API for adapting Android-based apps to the smartglasses, and a Unity plugin to facilitate app development.
"The Moverio AR SDK will enable developers to take augmented reality applications to a new frontier with our Moverio smart glasses platform. This development reinforces our dedication to helping push AR into the mainstream," said Leon Laroue, software manager for augmented reality solutions at Epson America, in a statement.
Meanwhile, the company has also partnered with ByondXR to integrate the Moverio AR SDK into its web-based publishing platform. Operating in the same vein as Amazon Sumerian, ByondXR features a drag-and-drop interface for building immersive apps, so no coding experience is necessary. Aimed at marketing departments and agencies, retailers, and entertainment companies, Byond also provides users with reports and analytics for evaluating their campaign efforts.
"ByondXR's platform is truly innovative in that it lowers the barriers to entry for AR content creation and can be applied to any industry, representing a global market opportunity," said Laroue. "By combining the Epson Moverio AR SDK with ByondXR's platform, our goal is to make it as seamless as possible for businesses to fill the world with new AR content and ultimately redefine the future of how AR content can be created and viewed."
Apps created in ByondXR can be deployed instantly to various platforms, including web-based experiences for desktop and mobile and native mobile apps, particularly those built on ARKit and ARCore. So, an app created for Moverio can easily be deployed to mobile devices.
"Whether we're building our own features or collaborating with other innovative platforms such as Epson Moverio glasses, ByondXR is committed to the advancement of the immersive media industry and finding new ways to support our headset partners," said Noam Levavi, co-founder and CEO of ByondXR, in a statement. "Deployment of the Epson Moverio AR SDK gives us a unique opportunity to provide brands and businesses with tools to develop dynamic, interactive AR content."
Epson will demonstrate the new capabilities of its Moverio AR SDK and the ByondXR tool, along with its existing AR Flight Simulator app, at booth 618 at AWE. Interested developers can register for early access to the SDK at Epson's website.
When it comes to smartglasses, the famous line from Field of Dreams does not apply. If you build it, neither enterprises nor consumers will come if there isn't an app ecosystem. With the updated SDK and web-based editing tools, Epson has made it easier for developers to build the apps that will attract users.