Augmented Reality from your mobile phone: ASUS ZenFone AR

If you want a regular telephone, there are dozens of brands, with new models every year. But if you want a 23 megapixel camera, 3D scanner, and augmented reality apps (all in a single camera) and already built in, then you want the ASUS Zenfone AR.

We just ordered this telephone in late November and are now learning about its capabilities. This page will be updated as we have more experience with the ASUS Zenfone AR.

ASUS ZenFone AR provides access to Google Tango and Daydream VR apps

For sophisticated use of Google Tango and Daydream VR apps now you have a mobile phone that can handle everything (and can do 3D scans without needing any extra accessories).

“Measure” for remodeling your room with an ASUS ZenFone AR

For interior decoration, for architects, this Asus Zenfone AR is a “must-have.” You can scan the rooms in your home; then go to a furniture store and scan different furniture or sinks or room sections, and drop them into the scan of your home or apartment.

Yet totally mobile. No extra weight, no accessories you have to stick on: everything is already inside the Asus Zenfone AR.

23 Megapixel (back) camera!
8 GB RAM inside the camera!

Wow, I can remember when I had a roughly $30,000 circa 20-ish megapixel medium format digital camera. I could take photos an enlarge them 3.2 METERS wide by 3.2 meters high. That is ten and a half feet (more than three yards).

Now you can get a 23 megapixel camera for under $600 (of course no Zeiss, Rodenstock, or Schneider lens, so no mobile phone is (yet) intended to enlarge 10 x 10 feet as a single photo (we use them as dividers in our 4-car garage of the office).

We will definitely try the super-resolution mode (the ASUS ZenFone AR just arrived)..

Plus tons of memory for images (128 GB potential).

Downsides (no digital imaging system can do everything)

PR releases by million-dollar PR agencies usually exaggerate and almost never mention deficiencies and even less, don’t dare to mention defects. This is why thousands and thousands of people prefer to read FLAAR Reports because Dr Nicholas prefers to be honest.

We do not take kickbacks; we do not take sales commissions.

As a basic camera, this system is for 3D scanning and augmented reality: so currently offers

• no wide-angle,
• no telephoto
• (and no macro mode).
• And this mobile phone is not yet made for serious video.

But if you have a tripod, or at least a uni-pod, you can try (we will try with a tri- or uni-pod when we have time.

But has lots of useful camera features:

• MicroSD memory card slot
• Autofocus
• Sharp display
• Fingerprint reader

All within a totally normal-size, normal-weight cell phone.

Camera comparison with Huawei P10 phone with Leica system

We also just acquired a Huawei mobile phone so we could test the Leica camera system inside. Will be interested to see the pros and cons of each.

unboxing-asus-3d-scanner-phone-with-Nicholas-Hellmuth-Senaida-Gaby-Nov-2017 1134
Dr Nicholas holding the Huawei (Leica-equipped mobile phone) and ASUS ZenFone AR).

Seated next to him are Senaida and Gaby, two Q’eqchi’ Mayan student interns worked at FLAAR for their third year. These students are being taught this digital photography technology. FLAAR has the tradition of making technology and equipment available to all its staff.

I am a Mac user for decades; have two iPhones, multiple iPads. So I hope that Apple can jump into high-res cameras and into augmented reality in their next iteration. Hopefully there will be an update of the iPhone X that catches up with real-world results, and hopefully there will be an IPhone VR AR 3D phone that we can write about.

In the meantime, we are starting with

• ASUS ZenFone AR
• Huawei P10
• Occipital Structure Sensor with Structure Sensor Bracket (for 3D scanning on an iPad mini4).

In addition to architects and interior designers, ASUS ZenFone AR can be useful for Museums, Botanical Parks, Zoos, Archaeology Field Projects

Our goal is to assist students, professors, curators, and people working in museums, botanical parks, zoos, and on archaeological field projects to realize what portable equipment can help their project yet at reasonable cost.

In 1965, at age 19, I discovered the royal burial of the kind of the major Maya city-state of Tikal, Petén, Guatemala. I wrote my Harvard thesis on this tomb: on the contents and on the architecture of the tomb chamber and the pyramid above it.

Tikal-Burial-196-Tomb-of-the-Jade-Jaguar_Structure-5D-73_Peten-Guatemala_Vol_1 Tikal-Burial-196-Tomb-of-the-Jade-Jaguar_Structure-5D-73_Peten-Guatemala_Vol_2_Part_1 Tikal-Burial-196-Tomb-of-the-Jade-Jaguar_Structure-5D-73_Peten-Guatemala_Vol_2_Part_2
Here you can download the Harvard thesis on how I photographed and recorded this burial in 1965. Today, as we move into 2018, imagine how much it would have helped to have the Asus ZenFone AR and the occipital Structure 3D scanner system on an iPad!


unboxing-asus-3d-scanner-phone-with-Nicholas-Hellmuth-Senaida-Gaby-Nov-2017 1140
This two structures are the ones that you need to use on your iPad to make 3D scanning possible.

unboxing-asus-3d-scanner-phone-with-Nicholas-Hellmuth-Senaida-Gaby-Nov-2017 1143
Mariana and Genesis are doing animation of the MayanToons characters. So they are the a team to inspect the equipment to start making 3D scanning and 3D models.

Note that behind the team are lots of vines. More than half the rooms inside the six level office of FLAAR have plants on the walls and roof.

First Posted late November 2017

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