Saturday, May 17, 2008

After the Challenge

The first round of the Google Android Developer Challenge is over and the list of winners has been released. Congratulations to all the developers of the top 50 applications!

As some of you already noticed, Enkin is not one of them. We could speculate about the reasons for this, but there is more interesting news:
We have been contacted by Google separately and they, too, are excited about our project.
So at this point in time there are a number of possibilities for the project's future, which we are currently exploring. At the same time, we are working on realizing our previous and recent ideas.
There is more to come!


myoung said...

I certainly hope whatever Google contacted you with was worthy of your efforts. Your application was easily in my mind the most impressive and innovative amongst all the entries. I wish you much success in the future and hope that you will continue the project.

Damien said...

Of all the various android submissions I have come accross I thought Enkin had pushed more boundries and "crystalised" more possibilities than any other. You have both been recognised by many other android developers as being at the very forefront of android innovation and that you didn't gain recognition in the ADC simply highlights the ADC judgement process as flawed.


Anil Philip said...

What is amazing about Enkin is, that it is not just talk - you actually have a camera/accelerometer set up.
It is like having a navigator sitting on your shoulder!

Anonymous said...

neat , guess it could be realized without GPS just with IP location for the more "paranoid" people ;)

olevine said...

Have you considered developing a version of this for Nokia's S60 platform? We already have devices with the right HW: camera, GPS, even compasses in some models.

I worked on augmented reality back in the 1990's, so I'm very excited to see this becoming feasible for mobile.

-Oren Levine, Nokia S60 marketing team

Edwin said...

i think your application would be cool to have in airplanes as you look out the window. just a thought..

Rafael said...

Actually, I had the same thought on my last flight some weeks ago :-)

Erkin said...

This looks very promising. You should implement a version for the upcoming iPhone 3G. It would definitely be a hit on AppStore and you would make pretty good money.

eugrus said...

Anyway you are developing a great thing that would have a great popularity!

Thank you!

efrcDESIGN said...

I'm sure that Google has realised the potential of this project. If they were clever enough, they would outright buy the concept and develop it for android only.
Judging from the silence on this blog, I have a feeling that it might be happening behind the scenes right now. I can't wait to use a phone that has this functionality some day soon.

Iain said...

Hi Max & Rafael - Great work! Enkin is the coolest Android app I've seen so far.

One future possibility that occured to me was going from simply seeing this on your phone screen to actually having it overlayed over your head-up vision. This might not be too far-fetched - if Android phones like HTC Dream have VGA out, you could connect them to eyeglasses with video overlay, like those being developed by Lumus Optical. If the glasses integrated a camera, 3-axis accelerometer, compass and wireless link to the phone (!), it'd be easy! :)

Also - what's the latest news on Enkin? Have Google snapped it up for themselves? It's gone a bit quiet on the blog - let us know how it's going!

nobuyuki said...


I'm an Osaka-based Japanese-Canadian Software Engineer and I have to say that this is some really exciting stuff you two have created.

I can't wait to see how this will all unfold in the future of mobile devices.

Already phones here have all the pieces; but it would be great to see a nice platform, such as android, on these phones to realize the innovations you have suggested and the innovations we have yet to see in this field.

Keep up the great work.

otsukaresama deshita


telakin said...

These glasses might make for a good integrated solution for augmented reality:


TareX said...

Guys, any updates? Your program is easily the best Android application out yet.

I can only believe Google pulled you out of the competition to give you a funding of your own :)

Let us know...

Anonymous said...


just a thought... since you guys are based in japan, i'm sure you've heard of Tonchidot and their 'Sekai camera" for the iPhone, right?

they were one of TechCrunch 50 last week. Have you considered contacting these guys? their work is very similar to yours, maybe even a bit more advanced, but not sure if it's really functional though... i think you guys should join your efforts...

check out their demo here:

also, as a side note, i think your concept could be easily implemented by car manufacturers. just imagine a GPS with real time video instead of these stupid 3D graphics. i guess you could sell your concept to TomTom for example.

once you've whether sold your concept to android or iphone (if i was you i'd keep it proprietary and benefit from both markets), if i was you i would develop a portal website where every business in the planet could geo-tag their shop, service etc... not only with their name, but with also ads!!! And of course you would charge for this service...

in your video, we see an example with a hospital and a subway station geo-tagged and visible live through augmented reality. it's a great substitute or help for navigation in a city.

but the business this could create if a 100 fold more important. instead of a hospital, imagine a shop. this shop pays you to advertise on your platform so below their store's name, the tag would also display for example a promotion for an article. just imagine the potential!

all you need is to have a team of designers working on the UI (something a but nicer looking than your brown bubles), develop a portal website to sell the 'business' tags with ads, and have your software available on as many platforms as possible. i own a website developpement company based in miami, thus if you're interested, i'd be more than glad to help on this part, i'm really a huge fan of your concept.

but please, don't sell your business to google! i know you guys are geeks and not business men. but it would be a huge mistake to sell such an amazing idea to google while you could make so much money out of it. seriously, your concept has the potential of becoming something similar to what adwords is to google: a drastic profit machine!

anyway, it's just my 2 cents...

i wish you good luck,

Chris Banach
CEO, Nobylis Media

Kragil said...

Jetzt wo das G1 raus ist kommt Ihr jetzt aus euren Löchern gekrochen und erklärt uns warum Enkin nicht das Megaapp beim Launchevent war??

So langsam wird es albern :P

TareX said...

Hello? Is anyone there?

G1 was announced and we heard nothing about Enkin, Live Mode, or you guys.

Is Enkin still in development, or did Nokia file a lawsuit and shut you guys down?

Please update this blog, your app was a main reason behind my excitement for Android. said...

Mentioned you guys in my blog . Hope you are doing well and that Enkin will be avaialable soon to try out!

rdza said...

I'm guessing google bought them, that this is the tech underneath compass mode, and that this is one of the G1 launch's trump cards.

xtyalis said...

Enkin, Max and Rafael seem to have gone completely off the radar! (Ironic for a navigation app!) The only clue I've been able to find is on Max's photo blog: - showing Max was at the Google Developer Day in London on 16 September, presumably as an attendee, as he's not listed as a speaker.

rdza, I agree that Google have probably had something to do with Enkin going suspiciously quiet. But the augmented-camera-view Enkin Live Mode is much more exciting and potentially powerful than the Maps Compass Mode, which Google anyway demo'd before Enkin was entered in the Android Developer Challenge.

However, I wonder how easily an Enkin-style Live Mode could be included in the G1 phones going on sale shortly. The demo units people have seen so far don't seem to have a Live Mode in Maps. I suppose it could either be something they could introduce at the Maps server end, as an individual download of an updated Maps/Enkin app or would possibly be part of a future Android update (e.g. 1.1).

Chaitanya said...

Good luck guys. Its really amazing.

xtyalis said...


In the video, Enkin Live Mode uses its knowledge of the handset position and orientation to overlay POI labels on the camera view - e.g. the location of a store or a station. Max and Rafael also suggest that Enkin could potentially label 'moving targets' - e.g. point your phone's camera at an arriving train and see a label on the carriage with your reserved seat. You could also see your route in 3D of course.

But the sky's the limit - here are some other ideas of things that could potentially be done with Enkin's 'augmented reality':

GOOGLE SKY: Hold your phone up to the sky and have the planets, stars and constellations labelled. Astronomy has never been easier! You could also spot satellites and even the ISS!

PERSONAL LABELS: Point your camera at a crowd and see labels on other Android phone users with info that they want to broadcast - similar to a Facebook or Myspace page. Good icebreaker at parties! Spot your friends and family in a crowd, or see them approaching your rendezvous point.

HISTORICAL VIEWS: See a 3D overlay of your surroundings as they were at any point in history. e.g. walk the streets of modern Rome and see the ancient buildings in their original positions.

Any other ideas...?

Anonymous said...

Holy shit!!!

You are doing GREAT work!
No matter what google will choose as the best app, you are the best of the best!

xtyalis said...

Re: My above idea of using Enkin to view the buildings of Ancient Rome:

12 November 2008
Google has added a new twist to its popular 3D map tool, Google Earth, offering millions of users the chance to visit a virtual ancient Rome.

I think Google are listening... :)

xtyalis said...

Oooh, I've just seen the new Vuzix Wrap 920AV Augmented Reality glasses, launching at CES 2009, with head-tracking and integrated camera options:

Imagine these hooked up with Enkin! (Shame my G1 doesn't have video in/out! Maybe possible via USB or Wi-Fi?)

By the way, anyone heard any Enkin news? There's an Android update coming out this month apparently - maybe Google will have built Enkin into the Maps app? :)

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