IT jobs: How do I become an AR expert?

For Aaron von Lüpke, there was nothing better than playing computer games and fiddling around when he was young. The Internet was still unknown territory back then. There were new technical gadgets to discover almost every day. Music and movies were suddenly available on the net. With the help of a burner and some youthful curiosity, Aaron von Lüpke took care of the cultural socialization of his classmates. And without suspecting it at the time, he was laying the foundation for a much bigger thing.

In the series “How do I become …?” atechbook talks to people who have very different professions. But how did they get to them in the first place? Here in conversation – Aaron von Lüpke, expert in augmented reality, or “AR” for short.

Aaron von Lüpke is an AR expert.
Aaron von Lüpke is an AR expert. Photo: Aaron von Lüpke

“There was no choice at the time to resist the Internet. I realized early on: I have to deal with this.” His passion for math and physics seemed to define his professional career early on. But far from it. He opted for the most classic of all classic paths: a degree in mechanical engineering.

“Mechanical engineering with a focus on regenerative energies at the TH Köln was a completely new course of study. This environmental aspect interested me and at the same time I wanted to have a secure degree in my pocket first.” His fellow men mean at least as much to Aaron von Lüpke. As a job-seeking student, he also applied to REHADAT, Europe’s largest database for vocational rehabilitation of people with disabilities, among others.

“I worked there throughout my studies and taught myself everything about database programming.” At the same time, there was an opportunity at the university to take advanced training in VBA and database programming. VBA allows you to program scripts based on Microsoft Excel, for example. After graduation, Aaron von Lüpke got a permanent job at REHADAT as a database programmer.

From database programmer to AR expert

Now, however, the much bigger thing for the Cologne native is just beginning. As is so often the case, with an encounter. “I met a childhood friend who has since become an independent app developer in the field of mixed reality, designing small programs for Ford and Bayer, among others.” Mixed reality includes technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Continue reading What’s the difference between VR, AR and MR?

In VR, we enter a completely digital world via glasses. AR offers an extension of reality through inserted digital objects that can be experienced via smartphone or headset – a world-famous example: Pokémon Go. And Snapchat’s funny animal filters are also based on AR technology.

“My friend had developed an AR app for Ford, which we both presented at the Ford booth at the Caravan Salon in Düsseldorf.” And here’s how it worked: If you installed the app on your smartphone and then pointed the camera at the empty interior of a waiting Ford Transit, the screen would show different expansion options. “That’s where the idea for the YONA app came from.”

The YONA app represents a generalized version of the original Ford app. “With our app, art exhibitions in public spaces are possible. Or the whole area of onboarding, bringing new employees into a company, will be much easier in the future with AR.” With the YONA app, Aaron von Lüpke and his team were among the most innovative companies of 2019, funded with the prestigious Exist founder scholarship from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

What is required in the field of AR

“I’m the best example of professional careers in the digital world: there is no one, straight path.” For Aaron von Lüpke, young people should above all have a lot of ambition and an irrepressible will. The AR expert has also had to make the experience, “in many places you have to grit your way through.” This is especially true in times when there is still a lot of month at the end of the money.

“Especially in the area of AR, we like to work with graduates from universities because they are simply technically up to date.” But young people from the field of media technology also have good chances of gaining a foothold in the AR field. After all, in order for the digital objects to appear as close to reality as possible on the screen, good training in 3D visualization is needed.

Aaron von Lüpke and his team are now working on the next big thing: finally taking AR out of the gaming corner and using it to create real benefits.