SOURCE: Infinity Augmented Reality, Inc.

April 01, 2013 07:00 ET

Interview With Helen Papagiannis, Chief Innovation Officer at Infinity Augmented Reality, Inc., on the State of Augmented Reality

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 1, 2013) - Infinity Augmented Reality, Inc. ("Infinity Augmented Reality" or "Infinity AR") (OTCQB: ALSO) -- Augmented Reality (AR) is the new phrase that rolls off the tongue for techies and is becoming more and more common for everyone else. Just as with some of the most recent technological advances such as iPhones, Androids, iPads, Kindles and others have taken off with a fury, AR is blazing down the path in a frenzied fever. The intensity is such that, as an investor, it pays to better understand this new phenomenon by seeking answers from an expert in the field of AR. We are pleased to introduce Helen Papagiannis, Chief Innovation Officer of Infinity Augmented Reality, Inc., pioneers and developers of proprietary Augmented Reality. Ms. Papagiannis has been working with AR for about a decade and prior to joining Infinity AR, she was a designer and Senior Research Associate specializing in Augmented Reality. Ms. Papagiannis has presented her interactive work and PhD research at numerous global conferences and invited events including ISMAR (International Society for Mixed and Augmented Reality), TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design), and the Augmented World Expo.

Q: Seeing that Augmented Reality is all over the news now, would you consider the timing right for the public to become acquainted with this technology?

Papagiannis: Absolutely. Augmented Reality (AR) has been making major headlines over the past few months with Google's AR eyewear called "Glass." AR technology is expanding exponentially and is very quickly coming to a mass market. AR is the next mass medium; it will completely change how we see and experience our world. It's not too often that such a dynamic new medium comes along; the time is very ripe to become familiar with this technology. I believe the future is no longer science fiction, and that it's here and the application of AR is vast across major sectors including entertainment, retail, and education.

Q: Why did you decide to join Infinity AR as Chief Innovation Officer over all of the other companies in the Augmented Reality sector?

Papagiannis: Infinity AR is one of the only pure AR plays in the public domain working on both hardware and software. I was very impressed with the team's commitment to innovation in AR and creating an outstanding consumer product. Having Moshe Hogeg, CEO and founder of photo and video sharing website Mobli.com, on board as a director at Infinity AR was a definite draw. I greatly admire Mr. Hogeg's future-forward thinking and was first drawn to Mobli a year ago with the concept of being able to see the world through other people's eyes. This notion struck me as very in line with the promise and power of AR, of being able to experience the world from another person's perspective. The synergies are tremendous and I'm very excited to take the efforts of Infinity AR to the next level with our world-class team.

Q: How do you see the fundamentals of Augmented Reality evolving in the future?

Papagiannis: I've been working with AR for nearly a decade as both a PhD researcher and designer in the field. In the past few years we've seen AR move off of the computer desktop and into the outdoor world with the use of mobile phones. AR eyewear is the next evolution. Moving from hand-held AR devices to eyewear, we can now become hands-free to fully immerse ourselves in the AR experience; we are no longer holding up a looking glass, such as a tablet or a smartphone as a portal into another world. We are now truly seeing, we are there, it is our reality.

AR will enable us to experience events and places in real-time we may not otherwise have access to. Imagine participating in a live concert, sporting event, or visiting the destination of your choice all from the comfort of your own home through AR. The stereoscope of the Victorian era created the concept of "the armchair traveler," of being able to 'travel' to distant lands from one's home by looking at 3D photographs through a special viewing device. Film and television extended this notion of being transported to other worlds through the moving picture and live telecasts viewed on dedicated screens, and now with AR, we can bring the world to us anywhere and anytime, appearing in our space and reality as a highly personalized experience.

Q: What will the Augmented Reality Industry growth be like in the future?

Papagiannis: AR has been described by analysts as the next $100 billion high tech industry, following in the ascension of development from the Internet to mobile phones and now Augmented Reality. Author and mobile expert Tomi Ahonen compares the growth and adoption of the AR industry as a mass medium to that of the mobile industry predicting that there will be 1 billion users of AR by the year 2020. Ahonen states that AR will likely follow the same curve of the growth of mobile as a mass medium.

Consumers are beginning to demand more cutting-edge, stylish and well-designed AR applications and hardware. We're excited to deliver on this demand at Infinity and take AR to the next level.

Q: Augmented Reality has been used by the top military for many years. Will we see that technology in our daily lives soon?

Papagiannis: Yes, today we can use our camera equipped smartphones or tablets with AR applications to recognize and identify objects and geographical locations with live information and points of interest overlaid atop our physical surroundings. As a tourist I may see a sign in a language I cannot understand. By using an AR application, such as Word Lens, I can instantly translate the sign to a language of my choice, with the text now appearing in a language I can read that is overlaid directly atop the sign. AR can assist us to better navigate and interact with the world around us. It is no longer a technology only accessible to the military, but a mass medium that is being experienced by consumers on a daily basis. 

For example, the exciting technology of Facial Recognition that we here at Infinity AR are developing gives users the ability to recognize colleagues and friends instantly by simply focusing on anyone close by. The Infinity AR platform will scan, recognize and provide easy to manage information and communication on the users' contacts.

Q: Finally, do you think in augmented reality Google has the lead over Apple and Microsoft?

Papagiannis: Google certainly appears to have a head start with their eyewear known as Glass, currently in beta. Apple and Microsoft each have filed several patents of their own in AR, including eyewear, and are in no doubt each working on AR products. Microsoft's Kinect has been a successful example of a Natural User Interface (NUI) in AR where your body is the controller. Google Glass recently demonstrated the use of voice-activated commands, and no doubt Apple will extend the capabilities of Siri into their AR product. Through Glass, Google has done a great job at bringing the possibilities of AR into the public consciousness. It is the consumers who will ultimately decide who has the lead in the AR space based on ease of use, quality of applications, and overall life enhancement. It's an excellent space to be in and we're dedicated to making an outstanding consumer product and experience. Be sure to keep Infinity AR on your watch list.

About Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is a medium in which real sensory inputs are enhanced, or augmented, with relevant digital information from the Internet. Using specially equipped eyewear, virtual images, video, and sound are superimposed for the user over what is actually seen and heard, heightening the real-life experience with additional information that is pertinent, informative, practical, and/or entertaining. The individual user may also be fully immersed in a virtual world, temporarily blocking out real surroundings. With augmented reality, sensory inputs are no longer limited to what is within eyeshot or earshot, but may incorporate, in real-time, all that the network has to offer.

Augmented reality requires an interface, such as digitally-enhanced eyewear, that can instantaneously overlay virtual images and video on top of what is actually experienced. Companies like Google and Lumus are in the process of developing augmented reality glasses that will change the way users see and interact with the world. Infinity AR will utilize its augmented reality applications through these glasses and/or through other mobile devices such as smart phones. As the individual turns his or her head in various directions and looks at different people or objects through the eyewear, the sights that are overlaid change accordingly. The eyewear incorporates speakers that add virtual sounds to the overall experience, as well as microphones that capture and interpret the user's spoken commands through speech recognition technology in order to summon desired information and actions. Further information on the Company is available at its website.www.infinityar.com.

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Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Infinity Augmented Reality, Inc.
    Avrohom Oratz
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    (212) 201-4070
    Email Contact