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Everything you would like to know about Alive

What do we recognize?

All objects with a certain pattern or drawing work well, like:


The type of objects that don't work well for image recognition are those that have a repetitive pattern (e.g. wooden table) or are pattern-less (e.g. an empty wall).

What should be the size and quality of the images?

Format: Use a JPEG format image in order to limit bandwidth requirements.

ResolutionResolution: Images should have their shorter edges at least 240 pixels long. In fact, the default image size is 300×300.

In special cases, e.g. need to recognize objects that do not cover most of the scene (small or captured in a distance), you may improve the results by sending larger query images. In any case, we do not recommend sending images larger than 640×480 pixels. On the other hand, for networks with extremely low bandwidth you may send images as small as 192 x 144 pixels and still get acceptable results.

JPEG compression of images: We recommend JPEG format with compression quality of 75%.

Can you recognize non-planar objects?

Yes, by design. The technology is engineered to recognize not only planar objects such as a book covers, but also rounded objects such as cans and bottles.

Do you recognize faces?

Face recognitionWe have focused our development efforts on recognizing objects with a specific pattern or texture. Most faces are relatively texture-less and therefore need a different type of recognition technology that we do not provide at the moment.

Do you distinguish objects based on full color?

Currently the objects are being recognized based mainly on grayscale information, also known as the intensity or luminance component. In many use-cases using all color components would not help. In some cases, in uncontrolled lighting conditions full color may harm the recognition. Also, using luminance helps us keep the response times low. But we have not given up on full color yet – stay tuned for our future advances in this area.

Do you perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR)?

Currently we do not perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) of the scene text. Moreover, all large paragraphs of dense text, without any image or logo, look similar to our system and should be avoided. On the other hand large titles above images or other graphical elements are visually very distinctive and usually help in the page recognition.

Alive Studio

What is Alive Studio Tool?

It is the perfect do-it-yourself tool to quickly and easily build and manage engaging interactive print experiences.

Do I need any development skills to work with the Alive Studio Tool?

No, the Alive Studio Tool is designed specifically for those who want to implement Augmented Reality (AR) into their projects, but have no programming knowledge.

How do my users see the AR content?

Once you publish your campaign, your users will need to Download Alive onto their mobile handsets. Then, they will need to open Alive, point their phone at the relevant page, and tap the screen. Results for published content should appear.

How does alive work?

Alive uses the camera in your Smartphone/tablet to recognize images that can be scanned and return a response. That response could be anything from a simple web-link, video play, audio play or any other way of engagement!

How do I know what I can scan?

You need to look for the picture/news articles containing the Alive Logo.

How do I augment?

Open the alive app, and hold it up in camera mode to the image/text containing the alive logo. Fill the screen with as much of the image as possible – whether an ad, article, photo, label or logo. Hold still, tap to focus if required and enjoy!. You can also use the flash feature (works only on supported devices) of the bulb in the corner of the screen to open the flashlight if you are in a poorly lit area. For Blackberry, Symbian and Java you need to go to options and then capture the image rather than just holding the phone over the image. For windows you need to tap the screen to capture the image and continue to hold still over the image while the app scans the image.

It's not working! Why?

The most common reason for a fail is that the App would not have been able to sync with the server due to network errors when the application was opened (so it doesn't know to recognize what you're trying to scan). Please check the following to make sure that your app works properly.

  • You have the latest, most optimized updated version of the application installed.
  • Focus on the correct image – check what exactly needs to be scanned (the whole ad, a logo, an element on the page or the whole page?) and ensure image fills the screen.
  • If nothing happens, move camera off the image and try again.
  • Ensure that there is no light reflecting off the image.
  • In poor light conditions turn the phone torch on (feature available only on select phones). Some phones are not compatible with Alive due to slower processing speeds, or poorer camera resolutions. We are continually working to optimize the app for as many devices as possible. If nothing works try the reinstalling the app/restarting your phone. In some versions of Blackberry you may need to remove the battery and then restart your phone.

Can I create my own augmentations?

Not at this time. Alive is a platform for the Times of India – to bring more exciting content and interactive opportunities to their readers and users. But watch this space, as our business is continuing to evolve.

On which devices does it work ?

As of now Alive is available only on iOS (ver 5.0 and above) / Android (ver 2.2 and above) / Symbian (ver 3.5 and above) / BB (ver3.5 and above) / Windows (ver 7.1 and above) or Java (ver 3.5 and above). Watch this space and sign up to our Facebook and twitter to be kept abreast of latest developments.

I Have a phone compatible with Alive it still doesn't work. The relevant app store shows that the app is incompatible.

Alive may not be compatible with all the devices working on IOS/Android/Symbian/Blackberry/Windows or Java. If you face such an error please write to us at to help us in our continuous endeavor to provide a brilliant app. We may not be able to reply to all queries but your feedback will definitely be worked on.

The app has stopped working after I updated. Why?

When Alive is accessed it syncs data from the server. If the data connection is not strong enough, at times the download may be interrupted. If this happens then follow the below mentioned step (however be informed that you will loose the history and the saved content in this case.):

  • Go to the application settings.
  • Clear the data for Alive.
  • Uninstall Alive.
  • Reinstall and wait for the data to Sync.
  • Use the app to see it functioning properly.

I am trying to augment an article on an old newspaper which previously worked but it does not work now? The content to be augmented will be available only for 2 days. i.e. you can augment the content available in today's newspaper and the previous days newspaper. This has been done to optimize the application. We are further working to identify ways to make the content available for longer period of time.

The application does not work when I am traveling?

There could be various reasons for it:- In a flight the application will not work due to the non availability of network as the application requires on an active data connection. The same will happen during transit in any other means of transport where the network is not available. If the terrain is not smooth then you might not be able to focus on the image properly in which circumstance the application will not be able to recognize the image.

Will I receive calls an SMS when using the application?

Yes! You will I receive calls an SMS when using the application.

My I phone shows the play button but the video does not play?

If the play button appears on the phone without the video thumbnail, on occasions the video might play and on occasions it might not. It is advisable to wait for the video thumbnail to appear along with the play button to play the video.

The screen orientation does not change on my Phone. Is that standard?
Yes! This is standard with the current version of the application.

Can I Share something?

Yes you can share the videos that you have viewed. This can be done either on Facebook or Twitter. Both the links are available in the share button in the bottom left hand corner when a video is being played.

Can I Pause, Play and replay a video?

Yes you can do that by using the standard controls that are available in your phones operating system. For iPhone an indicator at the bottom shows that the video is being streamed. In such a situation you can tap the paused video to continue playing it. If enough of content has been buffered then the video will play, otherwise wait for a few more seconds and retry. You can also play and pause the video at your will by alternatively tapping the video.To replay a video you can tap the replay button once the video has ended.

I just augmented an article. I am retrying but it does not work?

This may generally happen on an iPhone. Certain limitations of the operating system restrict the continuous and repeated use of the application in the same session. If you have left the app open for a long time or have tried 4 – 5 articles and then it does not work. Exit the application and try again.

The video quality on my Phone is not good?

The video quality depends on the hardware of your phone. The video quality also depends upon the operating system. There are certain restrictions in some devices which do not allow resizing of the videos to fit to the optimum size. We are trying to find out a way to combat this situation.

Should we upload the buttons again when we change the page?

This is not necessary. Once uploaded, your custom buttons are available for use in any campaign in your account. You will need to place them on the desired page, input the correct information in the properties screen, and save.

Can more than one person login to a single account at the same time?

We strongly advise that you are only logged into the Tool in a single place at a time. If you are logged in concurrently, work may not be saved and you may be logged out of one of the sessions. We advise against trying this.

Is it possible to duplicate a campaign?

It is not possible to duplicate an entire campaign Also, your saved buttons are available in all of your campaigns.

Can I upload multiple Target images for a given campaign?

Yes, you can upload multiple target images in an already created campaign.

Can I upload target image of any format and size?

No you need to upload only target images of JPEG and png formats with min size of 300 X 300 pixels.

How to test a campaign on a device?

To test your campaign on a device, please follow the steps below:

  • In Alive Studio Tool, make sure that you have saved your pages successfully.
  • Download the latest Alive app.
  • Launch Alive and log in with the same account with which you use Alive Studio Tool.
  • Tap to "Scan". Focus on the actual page and tap in the middle of the screen to scan. When your campaign loads, focus on the page again and your buttons should appear.

Can I edit a live campaign?

Yes,you can edit a campaign at any time.You can edit button actions, add pages, delete pages, place new buttons, or delete buttons.

Will my campaign become live instantly after I publish it?

Yes, your campaign will be made live instantly.

What happens when the validity gets expired?

You need to buy a new pack by clicking on the buy tab.

What happens when the trial period expires?

Once your trial period expires, your images and scans available would get expired but your userid and password would be valid. To create more campaigns, you need to buy a new pack from the various packs available by clicking on the buy tab.

How do I buy a pack from the site?

After logging to your account you can buy new pack by clicking on the buy tab.

Which mediums are available to buy the pack online?

You can use your Credit card/Debit card/Netbanking to buy pack online.

Is it safe to buy online from your website?

Our website has a safe and secure integration with the payment gateway that follows all authentication and authorization processes before proceeding with the payment. It follows best and pioneer safety & authorization standards.

After buying a pack, what happens once the available images and scans get finished but validity is still available?

You need to buy a new pack by clicking on the buy tab.

Click on the icons to download the app

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