If HP Autonomy’s augmented reality (AR) application has been attracting a lot of attention since its release in 2011, the announcement this afternoon that v2.5 takes it to the cloud should make it globally accessible to everyone — and grab a lot more attention in doing so. 

Aurasma: Augmented Reality

While there are undoubtedly a number of interesting innovations in this version, it is the move to the cloud that will really make it a success, and the principal element that HP Autonomy (HPA) is really pushing.

In fact, the only element that has been missing to date in Aurasma has been the ability to manage big data. Moving it to the cloud, however, removes this problem and provides Aurasma with potentially unlimited AR possibilities.

But let’s go back a bit. Aurasma was the brainchild of Autonomy and launched before the company’s acquisition by HP. Using advanced imaging technology built on top of Autonomy’s IDOL (Intelligence Data Operating Layer) server, which can contextualize information, it provided a way of merging data and images from the physical world into virtual worlds.

Aurasma’s core technology uses advanced image and pattern recognition to blend the real world with digital, interactive content such as videos and 3D animations called “Auras” and enabled users interact with them.

As tablets and smartphones became more powerful, it too went mobile and enabled users to take photos in the real world and place them on an interactive visual layer, while mobile

Think super-customer experience, and you get where HPA is going with this. When HPA launched v2.0 in March this year it stated that it had already been downloaded five million times, and had developed substantial partnerships in retail, fashion, sports and entertainment verticals.

Aurasma v2.5

However, even if HPA’s General Manager, Robert Youngjohns, identified Aurasma as one of the up-and-coming products of the HP and Autonomy alliance, it was still missing something, especially in a world where datasets are getting larger and larger.

Enter v2.5 and the move to the cloud. Moving Aurasma to the cloud means that the resource-intensive processing that is needed to make this work no longer needs to take place on the client-side, but on the server side.

The result is massively improved performances and the ability to handle data that is only limited by the size of the data storage used. It can also match unlimited numbers of images with digital information without any human intervention.

HPA has not outlined any other improvements that come in v2.5, but if moving to the cloud increases processing power, then that in itself is enough. With Aurasma now in the cloud and more accessible to more users, we should be hearing a lot more about this in the near future.