"augmented reality" entries

Augmented reality and the ultimate user manual

Augmented reality and the ultimate user manual

The ARMAR project shows how augmented reality can revolutionize learning

The ARMAR augmented reality project out of Columbia University offers an intriguing glimpse into how AR and education may soon intersect. Instead of rifling through a manual or looking up information, an AR layer could guide you through a task. The creators of ARMAR talk about their work and its implications in this Q&A.

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A Dream About Augmented Reality Fiction

Last night I dreamed that one of my authors (no name or face that I can recall – one of the phantasms created by the half-waking imagination) had sold me rights to a novel he'd written, and was eager for me to publish it as an ebook. It turned out that the "ebook" we were developing was actually a movie…

Comments: 22
Four short links: 27 November 2009

Four short links: 27 November 2009

3D Models from Webcams, a Javascript Scheme, EMACS in Your Browser, and CS History

  1. ProFORMA — software which builds a 3D model as you rotate an object in front of your webcam. Check out the video below. (via Wired)
  2. BiwaScheme — a Scheme interpreter written in Javascript. (via Hacker News)
  3. YMacs — in-browser EMACS written in Javascript. Emacs, for those of you who were left in any doubt, is the only editor ever created by software engineers worth a damn (where “worth a damn” == “has possibly already achieved sentience”) with the possible exception of teco.
  4. Historic Documents in Computer Science — my eye was caught by John Backus’s first FORTRAN manual, Niklaus Wirth’s original Pascal paper, the BCPL reference manual (the C programming language got its name from the C in BCPL), and Eckert and Mauchly’s ENIAC patent. (via Hacker News)

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The iPhone: Tricorder Version 1.0?

The iPhone: Tricorder Version 1.0?

The iPhone, in addition to revolutionizing how people thought about mobile phone user interfaces, also was one of the first devices to offer a suite of sensors measuring everything from the visual environment to position to acceleration, all in a package that could fit in your shirt pocket. On December 3rd, O’Reilly will be offering a one-day online edition of the Where 2.0 conference, focusing on the iPhone sensors, and what you can do with them.

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Four short links: 10 November 2009 Four short links: 10 November 2009

Four short links: 10 November 2009

DIY Diagnostic Chips, Genetics on $5k a Genome, Cellphones as Diagnostic Microscopes, AR-Equipped Mechanics Do It Heads-Up

  1. A children’s toy inspires a cheap, easy production method for high-tech diagnostic chips — microfluidic chips (with tiny liquid-filled channels) can cost $100k and more. Michelle Khine used the Shrinky Dinks childrens’ toy to make her own. “I thought if I could print out the [designs] at a certain resolution and then make them shrink, I could make channels the right size for micro­fluidics,” she says. (via BoingBoing)
  2. Complete Genomics publishes in Science on low-cost sequencing of 3 human genomes (press release) — The consumables cost for these three genomes sequenced on the proof-of-principle genomic DNA nanoarrays ranged from $8,005 for 87x coverage to $1,726 for 45x coverage for the samples described in this report. Drive that cost down! There’s a gold rush in biological discovery at the moment as we pick the low-hanging fruit of gross correlations between genome and physiome, but the science to reveal the workings of cause and effect is still in its infancy. We’re in the position of the 18th century natural philosophers who were playing with static electricity, oxygen, anaesthetics, and so on but who lacked today’s deeper insights into physical and chemical structure that explain the effects they were able to obtain. More data at this stage means more low-hanging fruit can be plucked, but the real power comes when we understand “how” and not just “what”. (via BoingBoing)
  3. Far From a Lab? Turn a Cellphone into a Microscope (NY Times) — for some tests, you can use a camphone instead of a microscope. In one prototype, a slide holding a finger prick of blood can be inserted over the phone’s camera sensor. The sensor detects the slide’s contents and sends the information wirelessly to a hospital or regional health center. For instance, the phones can detect the asymmetric shape of diseased blood cells or other abnormal cells, or note an increase of white blood cells, a sign of infection, he said.
  4. Augmented reality helps Marine mechanics carry out repair work (MIT TR) — A user wears a head-worn display, and the AR system provides assistance by showing 3-D arrows that point to a relevant component, text instructions, floating labels and warnings, and animated, 3-D models of the appropriate tools. An Android-powered G1 smart phone attached to the mechanic’s wrist provides touchscreen controls for cueing up the next sequence of instructions. [...] The mechanics using the AR system located and started repair tasks 56 percent faster, on average, than when wearing the untracked headset, and 47 percent faster than when using just a stationary computer screen.
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Four short links: 6 November 2009 Four short links: 6 November 2009

Four short links: 6 November 2009

Barcode Scanning, Downloadable Community Book, Gov Hack Day, Android Kludges

  1. Red Laser — “impossibly accurate barcode scanning”. Uses Google Product Search to identify products that you scan using the camera on the phone. I remember Rael and I talking to Jeff Bezos about this years ago, before camphones had the resolution to decode barcodes. The future is here and it’s $1.99 on the App Store … (via Ed Corkery on Twitter)
  2. The Art of Community For Free Download — Jono Bacon’s O’Reilly book on community management now available for free download (still available for purchase!).
  3. Gov Hack — Australian government ran a hack day with their open data, this is their writeup.
  4. Android Mythbusters — slides for talk by Matt Porter at Embedded Linux Conference Europe. A (long) catalogue of the kludges in Android.
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Shopping with AR

Shopping with AR

Much like the farm wife with her Sears catalog, consumers will be able to use simple AR applications to make more informed buying decisions. Some items are well-suited to commerce with AR, but others need image recognition and databases containing all the information a consumer might need. Expect retail outlets and brands that provide fast-moving consumer goods to be among those eager to exploit mobile AR for shopping.

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User interfaces for AR

User interfaces for AR

There is a risk that talk about haptic interfaces and heads up displays for AR will seem like just hype, and certain industry participants fear that over promising and under-delivering could send AR in the same direction as Virtual Reality went a decade ago: into oblivion. That said, new ways of interacting with digital data on the real world are possible and not hype to those who work on them. To appreciate the full potential of new user interaction for AR, a test drive is valuable.

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Look through the AR window

Look through the AR window

The hottest applications for AR in the next year will closely resemble familiar human interactions with the physical world. We interact with objects in our environment. Then we move through space, get to where we are going with the fewest detours, or, perhaps to discover places and landmarks (points of interest) that would otherwise have been overlooked. We also enjoy interacting with one another.

Comments: 9
See It, Follow It

See It, Follow It

RFID remains an interesting option to supplement other tracking technologies for indoor applications and situations which are relatively tightly controlled (e.g., teaching/training, museums, entertainment venues, architecture and urban planning). Tracking for consumer AR applications in uncontrolled environments when all the user has is a camera phone remains a very, very challenging area of research and we should expect to continue seeing major developments in this field in the year ahead before it is gradually integrated into our everyday AR applications.

Comments: 2