Vuforia’s Project Chalk: Remote Presence Capabilities in Augmented Reality
Andrew Wheeler posted on June 16, 2017 |

Hands-free remote video conferencing is probably the most common augmented reality app. For example, HoloLens has Skype baked into it, AMA Xpert Eye built a hands-free video conferencing app for field mechanics of the MBTA in Massachusetts using ODG Smart Glasses, and with Apple entering the sector with the announcement of ARKit at WWDC 2017, you can bet that when Apple rolls out it’s augmented reality iPhone (maybe the iPhone 8), developers will have created a useful augmented reality videoconferencing app.

Although it isn’t the most exciting use of augmented reality, it’s a very practical notion to be able to access another’s digital environment to help them solve a problem on their phone or headset.

PTC bought Vuforia a few years ago, and at the recent Augmented World Expo, they announced that the Vuforia platform is going to roll out remote presence capability for developers to work with. It is called Vuforia Project Chalk.

(Video courtesy of Vuforia.)

Vuforia Project Chalk adds the ability to annotate someone else’s physical environment with digital “chalk”, allowing users to help someone solve a problem remotely with the same effectiveness as if they were in the same room.

According to Eric Abbruzzese, a principal analyst at ABI Research, “We see Project Chalk as a fundamentally disruptive form of remote communication that will be well received across multiple sectors and for multiple use cases. We envision this capability being used beyond the enterprise on everyday devices across platforms.”

The core of Project Chalk are the computer vision technologies in the Vuforia platform that will allow developers to create new experiences for existing Vuforia applications running on Windows, Android and iOS using Vuforia SDKs.

Project Chalk will be available to Vuforia SDK developers, consumers, and businesses this fall. A freemium model for personal and business uses of Project Chalk will also be available as standalone applications through app stores.

Again, it isn’t exactly the most groundbreaking application of augmented reality, but it is practical and could yield some interesting possibilities in terms of customizing and tailoring video conferencing and training apps for specific companies and situations.

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