Interview: Jeroen Mol über Augmented Reality.

Jeroen Mol ist Gründer von Beyond Reality, einem niederländischen Spezialisten für Augmented Reality und Bilderkennung. Auf der Mobile Convention Amsterdam, die am 8. Mai stattfindet ( für die Konferenz: MCA50MP), referiert Jeroen Mol über Mobile Visual Search und seine neue Second-Screen-App namens reQuest. Im Vorfeld der Veranstaltung hat mit Jeroen Mol über aktuelle Entwicklungen bei Augmented Reality und Bilderkennung gesprochen. QR-Codes sagt Mol unterdessen einen baldigen Tod voraus: „Sobald es ein Icon gibt, an Hand dessen User erkennen, dass sie via Bilderkennung Zusatzinfos abrufen können, sind QR-Codes überflüssig.“

Das ausführliche Interview veröffentlichen wir in englischer Sprache und freuen uns über eine Rückmeldung in den Kommentaren, ob die künftig häufiger Interviews aus dem Ausland wünschen. Jeroen, you founded Beyond Reality, a dutch specialist for Augmented Reality and Image Recognition, five years ago. I guess in 2007 that was a really special area which almost nobody knew, right?

Jeroen Mol: In 2007 we started Touching Media. Touching Media was the first AR company in The Netherlands and because AR is a bit magical, we had many opportunities to present the technology on different events. In 2008 we started using the name ‚Beyond Reality Advertising‘. Beginning of 2010 we changed the name Touching Media into Beyond Reality. When we started with AR, we immediately went for the markerless AR (natural features tracking (NFT)). There were just two types of AR; with black/white markers (fiducial) or NFT. But when Layar became big, they claimed that they were markerless AR, because they didn’t use any markers. At that time the second AR technology was created; „GEO or sensor based AR“. Our AR then got the name „vision based AR“. At this moment we already have several other AR types; projection mapping, 360 video on tablets, pepper’s ghost holographics and even chroma key (green screen) is considered to augment or enrich the reality. Because we also do other forms of AR, we call ourself an Augmented Media company. AR gets much more publicity nowadays and big brands like Ford oder Guiness use it in consumer campaigns. Is AR already mainstream?

Jeroen Mol: AR is still not mainstream. We give demo’s on a daily bases and we still have people that are completely flabbergasted. But sure… a lot of the big brands have done it. Now the next group of companies will start adopting the technology. At the Mobile Convention Amsterdam, you’ll show a new „second screen“ app. What will it be about?

Jeroen Mol: In my opinion the first screen doesn’t have to be a TV screen. Any image (poster, magazine, newspaper, a.o.) can be the trigger to get more information or to start interacting on a ’second screen‘. Our new app is called reQuest visual search. The app is able to scan images and even video to know what you are looking at. If the app recognizes the image, the app will receive content (if it doesn’t recognize something, you can add your own answer – crowed sourcing). Naturally we can’t ignore the ugly QRcode, but we did make it a bit smarter. If you scan a QRcode with reQuest, reQuest will add additional parameters. The parameters make it possible to change the content based on the location, phone type and language settings. A QRcode on a poster, somewhere in the city, can provide the route to the nearest store; „if you aren’t beautiful, be smart“. Do you have AR products/solutions for the German market as well?

Jeroen Mol: Yes, we have! We have an AR engine, based on normal images (NFT), for desktop (PC/Mac with Adobe AIR), web (Adobe Flash) and mobile (Android/iOS with AIR Native Extensions). If you are a Adobe AIR/Flash Action Script 3 developer, you can start with our free tools and free (branded) license via We also have solutions for recognizing up to 500 images within one Flash app and offer a white label version of our API for reQuest. With technology like AR and Image Recognition, will people still use QR-Codes in five years?

Jeroen Mol: I don’t think they will. Although we make QRcodes a bit smarter, they are still ugly. We need to create an icon for users to recognize a recognizable image. As soon as the icon is known, QR codes will disappear. What do you think on „Project Glass“ by Google, a trial-run of Augmented Reality glasses?

Jeroen Mol: I don’t think Google will launch the AR Glasses within the coming years, but their ideas can be realised faster on their devices, projected on the front window of your car, and so on. They are inspiring others to develop for their platform (and beyond) and I think they are doing a great job. Thank you very much!

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