3D Prints arrived

My first 3D prints arrived from Shapeways. I printed a prototype for my project “Shadow Cabinet” and some InstantReality gears. A great new technology is waiting.

Augmented Reality with X3DOM and FLARToolkit

Jens and i wrote the first AR demo based on WebGL and X3DOM. It uses FLARToolkit / FLARMaganger for marker tracking and renders via X3DOM. The superimposed model is a globe with NASA satellite texture with live clouds.

The Flash file for tracking and Javascript communication will be open source and available soon. There will be a compiled version with exchangeable markers, too. Thus you don’t have to touch Flash anymore.

Link to AR demo (you’ll need a supporting browser)

TwittARound is available in the App Store!

From today on the original augmented reality Twitter viewer TwittARound for the iPhone 3GS is finally available in Apple’s App Store. TwittARound shows current Tweets around your location right at the spot they were written via augmented reality. First demonstrated in July 2009 it was the first augmented reality application for the iPhone showing real time social network data.

iTunes link


TwittARound’s Annotation Engine is 100% based on web technology and standards like HTML 5, Javascript and CSS and thus renders in every Webkit frame (Google Android, QT, …). Due to its scalability it will adapt WebGL (X3DOM) as soon as it will be available on mobile platforms.



Michael Zoellner (Dipl. Designer) works for more than 7 years on augmented reality solutions at Fraunhofer IGD, the world’s leading institute for applied Visual Computing. His main focus is augmented reality in cultural heritage where he developed projects like iTACITUS (EU), Augmented Reality Sightseeing (FhG) and Future for the Past for the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam and published several scientific papers on the topic.

TwittARound Update

TwittARound is finished for weeks and ready for the App Store. Unfortunately it’s been rejected by Apple several times over minor UI misunderstandings. But the current submission should be accepted in the next days.




The App review process is getting better but it’s still a mess. A lot of other developers are complaining about it, too. In parts it’s necessary to guarantee working and stable applications. But in the end it slows innovation. It reminds me of the bureaucracy of a German Amtstube (office).

OLPC Project in Kenya

In 2007 i ordered my first OLPC (XO) through the “give one get one” campgaign. It was quite complicated to order it in USA and ship it to Germany. The order was placed in November 2007 and it was shipped in February 2008. A good friend helped me to ship it. Me and my students loved the laptop.


Later in December 2008 i ordered a second XO via Amazon for the charity “pro-a-kids“, which helps children in the village Timau in Kenya. My whole family is supporting the organization for some time. pro-a-kids organized a campaign for young German trainees helping the local Kindergarden and Primary School. Two of the trainees took the XO with them to Kenya and tried to find a person or an institution for it. They presented it for example to the pupils at the Primary School. Unfortunately they found no one to seriously introduce and maintain the laptops, yet.

The experiment didn’t work out this time. But at least by buying two XOs, two more XOs were donated this way.