Bing takes on augmented reality

Augmented RealityBing working on developing new augmented reality platforms

Microsoft’s search division Bing has been hard at work developing an augmented reality platform and applications that could gain traction with consumers. Microsoft has been showing a great deal of support in augmented reality recently. The company has plans to incorporate the technology into its next generation gaming platform, tentatively dubbed the Xbox 720. Bing is another sector in which Microsoft is looking to flex its developing augmented reality muscles.

AR team aims to develop new technologies

Bing has established an augmented reality team, which has been tasked with building a platform that acts as a place for users to find information in a natural way. The augmented reality team is working on camera tracking, visual and audio recognition, optical character tracking, translation, and vision-based technologies. These technologies will be used in mobile applications as well as the basic structure of the Bing search engine and its various services, such as Bing Maps.

Google may finally see some competition in the search space

Though Google continues to dominate the online search engine space, Bing is becoming a more popular platform. If augmented reality can be successful introduced, Google may have its first real competitor in the search sector. Bing is basing its augmented reality efforts around “naturalism,” that is, Bing aims to present its augmented reality services in a way that seem wholly natural to consumers. The user interface of the applications and platforms Bing is working on will be intuitive to consumers, no matter what their experience with augmented reality may be.

Companies have yet to show they can deliver with augmented reality

Bing’s augmented reality endeavors may find significant success if its applications and new augmented reality platform can appeal to consumers. Many consumers have already shown interest in the technology because of its dynamic nature, but there are few augmented reality platforms available from major companies like Microsoft and Google. Whether these companies can successfully develop platforms that can attract and keep consumers engaged has yet to be seen.

Malicious QR codes growing in number


Malicious QR codesSymantec sees increase in malicious QR codes

Though QR codes are struggling to find a foothold with many consumers, their use is growing among a very particular demographic: Hackers. Symantec, a leading security solutions provides, has issued warnings concerning the growth of malicious QR codes in high-traffic areas. According to Symantec, hackers are beginning to place malicious QR codes in densely populated areas in order to increase  their own reach and attack mobile devices that may contain valuable information.

Popular marketing tools are also gaining the attention of hackers

QR codes are popular marketing tools, allowing businesses to stay engaged with consumers in a dynamic way. The codes are widely used as information distribution tools and as part of loyalty programs from big-name retailers. The codes have proven effective in the past, but many consumers have begun avoiding the codes for a variety of reasons. Security is among these reasons, and Symantec suggests that the time has come for consumers to take mobile security more seriously.

Hackers using QR code stickers to attack consumer information

According to Symantec, hackers are generating malicious QR codes, printing them as stickers, and covering legitimate QR codes with these malicious variants. Advertisements from major retail companies are popular targets, and passersby can rarely tell that a malicious QR codes have been used to cover a legitimate one. Consumers often scan these codes in order to access special deals being offered by retailers, but find  that their phone has been infected with a virus instead.

Applications can help keep mobile devices safe from exploitation

There are a variety of ways to keep a mobile device secure. Symantec, as well as other security firms, offer mobile applications that act as a form of anti-virus platform for smart phones and tablets. Some of these mobile security applications can also investigate a QR code before it is scanned to determine whether it is associated with a legitimate or malicious website. These applications can significantly reduce the danger that exists with malicious QR codes and keep a consumer’s information safe.