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ARCore and Arkit, What is under the hood: SLAM (Part 2)

In our last blog post (part 1), we took a look at how algorithms detect keypoints in camera images. These form the basis of our world tracking and environment recognition. But for Mixed Reality, that alone is not enough. We have to be able to calculate the 3d position in the real world. It is often calculated by the spatial distance between itself and multiple keypoints. This is often called Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). And this is what is responsible for all the world tracking we see in ARCore/ARKit.
What we will cover today:How ARCore and ARKit does it's SLAM/Visual Inertia OdometryCan we D.I.Y our own SLAM with reasonable accuracy to understand the process better Sensing the world: as a computerWhen we start any augmented reality application in mobile or elsewhere, the first thing it tries to do is to detect a plane. When you first start any MR app in ARKit, ARCore, the system doesn't know anything about the surroundings. It starts processing data from cam…
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ARCore and Arkit: What is under the hood : Anchors and World Mapping (Part 1)

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Some of you know I have been recently experimenting a bit more with WebXR than a WebVR and when we talk about mobile Mixed Reality, ARkit and ARCore is something which plays a pivotal role to map and understand the environment inside our applications.
I am planning to write a series of blog posts on how you can start developing WebXR applications now and play with them starting with the basics and then going on to using different features of it. But before that, I planned to pen down this series of how actually the "world mapping" works in arcore and arkit. So that we have a better understanding of the Mixed Reality capabilities of the devices we will be working with.
Mapping: feature detection and anchors Creating apps that work seamlessly with arcore/kit requires a little bit of knowledge about the algorithms that work in the back and that involves knowing about Anchors. What are anchors: Anchors are your virtual markers in the real world. As a develope…

Voting impartially for fun and profit a.k.a Mozilla Reps Council Voting

I am part of a program called Mozilla Reps. Though I am involved as a volunteer contributor with Mozilla for quite some time now, I am relatively new to the Mozilla Reps program and hardly know anything about the program apart from my scope of work in it.
Apparently, this is the Election time for voting the nominated candidates for the Council who will spearhead the program for the next session. Since I am new to the program reading about everyone's election campaign and hearing about what they will do for the program was not giving me any clear motivation to vote for anyone specific. Though this wasn't anything super important, I still thought since I have a bit of time in my hand why not do something interesting about it.

This is my own impartial way of voting for those candidates.

How the voting works: Each of the candidates was asked a specific number of questions and they all answered in a public forum for all of us to read and evaluate those answers. We are supposed to …

Aframe Wrap Up at HoustonVR

I first got to know about HoustonVR ar Immersive Technology Conference and since then always wanted to catch up with them. However, my Mozilla All Hands and my master's defence (which was smack middle of it) kept me from attending their weekly meetings.
So I was very much delighted when they asked if I can attend a meetup where they are going to wrap up some projects and what they learned as a community on aframe. I thought this was an excellent opportunity and joined in.
The meetup itself was hosted at Station Houston. Which had a bunch of other events as well. The meetup mostly was an informal one. I got to learn a bit about everyone and also some projects they were working on in VR. I already had met Wanjun before and she was detailing her experience of teaching Aframe to school students and how they were building their curriculum. 
It only felt natural to show them some of the more interesting things involving WebXR, and everyone seemed very excited about it. This was us playi…

Immersive Technology Conference at Houston

At the end of last year, I was invited to speak at the Immersive Technology Conference, which took place at the University Of Houston. It was a two-day event with my talk being the first one. That always is something I simultaneously hate and still crave for. Because even if it's stressful, that is the only timeslot which allows me to actually listen to and enjoy other talks after me. Otherwise, I keep fretting over my own and can't concentrate on anything else.

The conference line-up was pretty good. I enjoyed the talk by Ann McNamara. Ron Dagdag, Brian Dornbos and Angel Muniz. The only problem was the two rooms had conflicting sessions so I had to prioritize and choose. Which made me miss the talk by Chris Gerty from NASA since my own talk had a clashing slot.
The event also had a few expo stalls. And I managed to try my first Hololens experience here. Admittedly I look a bit foolish in these glasses. This also was the first conference as a Mozilla TechSpeaker where I start…

IRCTC blocking certain countries?

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation or most commonly known as IRCTC is the only authorized government portal in India through which someone can book a Train Ticket. It also provides booking for flights and buses but its primary use for most people is to book rail tickets online.
And like thousands of other people I also use the site intermittently while booking train tickets, especially for my parents who are in India and when I want to book tickets for them. A few days back they asked me to book a ticket for them and that is when the fun started.
I found out that when I tried to access the website day before yesterday (4th July 2018), instead of the familiar login page I was greeted with an error that page cannot be loaded. I thought maybe something wrong and I would try later. After a day I tried and faced the same error. Now a little bit curious since I actually never seen the site down for a prolonged time, blamed it on my Comcast connection and connected to my school…

Story of a Drupal theme mis-configuration, Hacking and Ministry of Defense India

If you have been following news or were online for past couple of hours you might have noticed this news making a tweet-storm and appearing all over your timeline regarding how India's Ministry of Defense website got hacked (allegedly by 'Chinese' origin).
Almost all the big media outlets covered it. Including
* Youtube : TimesNow * Times Now * Hindustan Times * NDTV
* Business Standard * Times of India An example of the coverage

Fueled by our own famous ministers chiming in with their own ideas

Action is initiated after the hacking of MoD website ( https://t.co/7aEc779N2b ). The website shall be restored shortly. Needless to say, every possible step required to prevent any such eventuality in the future will be taken. @DefenceMinIndia@PIB_India@PIBHindi — Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) April 6, 2018
It all seemed for the fact that the homepage of the websites showed this image with a Chinese character
And though most of india's government portals and websites aren'…