QderoPateo, a small startup company, is set to unveil a device called Ouidoo at the Shanghai World Expo later today. The phone offers a unique new technology called articulated naturality (a form of augmented reality).
Through a set of cameras on the device, the Ouidoo is able to scan your environment in a 360 degree view, and then project video or data that is of relevance to your surroundings. In other words, while a current application like Google Goggles can take a picture of a DVD and then pull up a Google search on that DVD, the Ouidoo can theoretically take a picture of a DVD and then project a trailer for that DVD against the wall.
"We are focused on what's called articulated naturality—articulated naturality projects a scene into the current urban view. The basis of augmented reality is image recognition—many people have created software gimmicks which trick you to think you're seeing a changed environment, when in essence you're just seeing an object over top of an environment. Where this has one camera, articulated naturality has 4 cameras—two facing outward, two facing the user, so the user can accurately depict his environment and see any information in relation to that person's location," said Matt Gaines, co-owner of QderoPateo. "So if I’m standing on the corner of 42nd and Broadway, I would see an ad for a retailer in perspective to where I'm looking and not just in an inanimate space. So we use Compass GPS accelerometer and Wi-Fi triangulation to actually determine a user's location down to approximately three meters, which is fifty times more accurate than GPS."
Details Are Still Scarce
While I've pressed QderoPateo several times for specific specs on the device, details have been slow to emerge. The company claims that the device "is the most powerful and efficient mobile device in the world in terms of its processing capability and low energy consumption," but that doesn't mean a whole lot to me. How well does the technology really work, and how extensive is the battery drain?
Plus, how much will the device cost? As a startup company, QderoPateo can't possibly have the same level of organizational partnerships as the big manufacturers, casting doubt on efficient carrier bundling that makes most devices more affordable. So will it be affordable, and will it still offer all the everyday uses that we depend on our phones for today?
When I spoke with the two owners of the company, they said that the device is planned to be available in China in Q2 2010, and in the United States in Q3. I guess we'll see.
Future Applications of the Technology
QderoPateo might be a small fish in a massive ocean of corporate standards, regulations, and partnerships, but the company's technology holds long-term merit if it can do what it claims to. Gaines was clear that what they are offering is not just a device, but a full platform for which the future applications are limitless. That platform (and the patents that QderoPateo is currently pushing for approval on) could be of value to a number of companies.
"At the end of the day, we're all talking about computer vision and computing as a whole. Today is the mobile device, tomorrow is a sensor-based technology integrated into the windshield as we see GM doing today. But imagine that connected to the bumpers of the car that read the real-world environment and pull information based on speed, direction, and our surroundings, and actually prevent us from having accidents in the future."
Visit QderoPateo's website to learn more.