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Old 02-03-2006, 12:42 AM
Nikos Kartalis's Avatar
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Arrow 2006 FIFA World Cup: Siemens Pocket Trainer

Siemens Business Services has joined forces with the Austrian petroleum company OMV and the household appliance manufacturer Miele to develop solutions for so-called "augmented reality" (AR). AR solutions supplement the real image a viewer has of his environment by superimposing information on the displays of cameras or mobile phones. For the 2006 FIFA World Cup, an AR soccer game is being marketed for camera mobile phones.

In this year of the soccer world championship, if you see people at the bus stop standing on one leg, getting ready to fire off a shot with the other, staring at their mobile phone, and then leaping into the air and yelling "goal!", you can be sure they are either suffering from severe world championship fever or they are using the latest AR application from Siemens Business Services on their mobile phone. It comes from C-LAB, the innovative software foundry of Siemens Business Services and the University of Paderborn. With "Kick Real" (www.kickreal.de) mobile phone users actually use their bodies to practice taking penalty kicks. In this game, the ball, the pitch and the goal are all virtual, and the player shoots with his own foot. Players aim the mobile phone camera at their foot and thus integrate the digital playing field with the real environment. In a manner of speaking, they are standing with one foot in the digital world. The game is also to be used as an advertising medium in conjunction with the 2006 FIFA World Cup - discussions are already under way with interested parties.

As part of an EU research project, C-Lab worked together with the Austrian petroleum and natural gas company OMV to develop a pilot project for training installers. The idea behind the application was to provide the most important information to employees on the road regarding the industrial systems they service - so they can make repairs quickly if needed. Instead of digging through complicated installation manuals, the employees simply use their cameras to photograph leaks in pipelines and other defective parts of complex chemical plants. The camera is integrated in a PDA or handheld PC, which sends the image to a central server by radio, where it is compared with the stored construction diagrams of the entire system. In the return message, the PDA display shows construction diagrams or installation instructions for the damaged part, which the technician making the repairs can then refer to for support and guidance. In trial runs, the technology has shown what it is capable of and the solution is now ready for the market.

That also goes for another research project, carried out by Siemens Business Services and the household appliance manufacturer Miele. The two companies have constructed a pilot system in which the salesperson can use a mobile device to display information and variations on a real product as text, graphic or 3D element. As a result, sales personnel are able to advise their customers better. In the wink of an eye, it is possible to superimpose different front panels, switches or colors on an actual stove in the sales room.
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