<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/6Cf7IL_eZ38" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>This video, while appearing to be straight out of science fiction, is based on technology currently being developed. The use of glass surfaces as display units is becoming less of a rarity and will change the way we interact with information on a daily basis.
First, some background on various technology-driven realities…
The Matrix movies and Star Trek’s holodeck are examples of virtual reality. VR is a fully immersive environmentIncludes visual, auditory, and haptic output. This gives the user a feeling of being in a different environment, a different time, a different space. This reality is displayed using projectors onto screens or “caves”, or using head mounted displays or goggles.
Virtual Worlds – an offshoot of virtual reality. In virtual worlds, your avatar experiences the virtual reality environment. This is a photo of my avatar at a library in Second Life. The number of virtual worlds, both open source and proprietary, is rapidly growing and evolving to suit the needs of a variety of users.Immersive games like World of Warcraft are also offshoots of VR.
Mixed Reality is a combination of both real and virtual. In the top image, a medical student is using mixed reality to learn to give a breast exam using a dummy and a virtual environment on the screen. The bottom image is an example of using mixed reality to hold a conference that crosses the boundary between real and virtual spaces – real life can be streamed into virtual life, and vice versa.
Mirror Worlds are virtual replications of the real world, created with software such as google earth. An example of this is a 3D website called 3D Hawaii.
Augmented reality is an overlay of digital information onto the real world – a blend of the digital and the real.
In the Terminator,Scwartzenegger’scyborg character used embedded technology to track John Connor.
In the near future, we’ll see use of technology similar to this. Augmented reality contact lenses are being produced in small numbers for experimental purposes at the University of Washington in Seattle. These will be used not only for a visual data overlay, but also for monitoring the user’s biomarkers. Watch for optoelectronics to be an emerging technology that gets some serious attention in the next several of years.
The Terminator was great, but in real life we’re seeing AR creep into our lives in a subtle way.
Most of us have seen the use of augmented reality on tv while watching football….
But augmented reality can be used live on your phone for real-time data, as well.
AR is being used for training purposes by companies like BMW. The mechanic puts on his AR glasses and as he looks at the engine, an image overlay appears, showing him the part that needs to be replaced and the steps he needs to take to replace the part. This is enhanced by an audio track that walks him through the process. One cool thing about these sunglasses-style AR displays…
… there is a local company that manufactures this type of product. Vuzix in Henrietta makes AR glasses for consumer, commercial, and military use. Consumer video eyewear retails at about $250-500, AR glasses range from about $1800 to $5000.
The growth in smart phone use has driven AR to a more user-friendly and user-affordable model.
Google Sky Map is a very popular AR app. It works using the GPS in your phone. When you hold your phone up to the nighttime sky, you see an overlay of the constellations and planets.
The Museum of London has an iPhone app which overlays historic photographs onto real locations.
Using GPS and Network Positioning, you can get nearby content in the form of tweets, articles, reviews, etc using wikitude.
Wikitude also has an app called Wikitude Drive that you use by mounting your phone to your dashboard. Using your phone’s camera and GPS, the app maps your route onto the actual road that your camera sees, rather than onto a map.
Golfscape brings all the data that you get from playing video golf to the real golf course.
AR Soccer – I suppose this would be great for when you need to kill time waiting in line at the DMV.
Chances are, you’re already using AR.
Some publishing companies are beginning to take advantage of the unique teaching abilities of the technology by creating augmented books. They tend to be a bit heavily weighted toward nonfiction books for children, but I can see this as being an excellent way to enhance science fiction.
Ubimark Books uses QR codes to publish books with digital enhancements and social updating.
This book is uses twitter feeds to automatically update pages, so it’s never the same book twice.
Along with GPS and QR codes, AR can be built with object recognition technology. Download the Aurasma app and start searching for augmentations on objects. For example, point your phone at this bridge and you’ll see a video of a dinosaur coming up out of the water. Or point it at the USA Today masthead for a video augmentation of a feature story.
If you have your laptop with you, here are some sites you can explore now.
Mixed Reality: Combining real and virtualMixed Reality Human Helps Medical Students Learn To Do Intimate Examshttp://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623143054.htm A Mixed Reality Conference at MIT in Second Life http://www.evanleek.com/augmented-reality/playing-video-games-landed-job-mit-part-1/
3D Hawaii: http://3dhawaii.com/#Google Earth: http://www.google.com/earth/
Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or anindirect view of a physical, real-world environment whoseelements are augmented by computer-generated sensoryinput such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.-- Wikipedia
BMW have developed a concept for augmented reality glasses, whichassist mechanics in performing maintenance on the company’s cars. theglasses point out the part that needs replacing, the screws that needturning, while an audio track talks the mechanic through the steps of therepair.http://www.designboom.com/weblog/cat/23/view/7473/bmw-augmented-reality-to-help-with-car-repairs.html
“The Wrap 920 video eyewear provides the visual equivalent to a 67-inchmonitor, as seen from 10 feet (3 m). They are worn like a pair of glassesand come complete with removable noise-isolating earphones or you canuse an alternate audio system connected directly to your audio/videosource.”http://vuzix.com/consumer/products_wrap920vrbundle.html#features
Find events, tweets, Wikipedia articles, ATMs, restaurants, user reviews and much more around you Experience places near you in augmented reality or show them on a map and list view Browse more than 150 million places and interactive content Explore and identify places and objects near by Search for specific places, for example “thai restaurant” Find mobile coupons and discounts for stores and shops near you http://www.wikitude.com/en/tour/wikitude-world-browser