T(ether) is a novel spatially aware display that supports intuitive interaction with volumetric data. The display acts as a window affording users a perspective view of three- dimensional data through tracking of head position and orientation.
AR experience does not only exist in personal screens. In fact, when augmented reality is used in a larger scale, such as stage performance, it could bring immersive experience of the mixture of virtual and reality to the audience. Here’s an example I would like to share because of its immersive experience with multiple viewers. Himango Concert, performed in National Theater of South Korea, is one of the experimental performance which combines music, dance and augmented Reality. At this show, the augmented reality technology (starting from 1:30) is combined with 4D display technology to create a striking visual of mixed reality for the audience. The virtual pattern created by AR reacts to the dancer’s elegant movements simultaneously. It flies around the dancer to create an aurora effect. Augmented adds interactivity to the performance which could give the viewers unexpected excitement.
QderoPateo Communications (QPC) introduced their concept of the future as the Articulated Naturality Web (ANW). What I find most compelling about their vision for outdoor AR is the way information is seamlessly integrated into the natural world (when possible), rather than floating in front of the world. With the current state of technology, this kind of integration with the natural world is generally feasible only on a smaller scale. However, as outdoor tracking becomes more precise and 3d models of our outdoor environments become more available, this type of augmentation really makes sense for AR experiences that are meant to inform the user.
For instance, one of the biggest advantages of using natural surfaces when informing the user about their environment is the automatic correlation between semantic information and objects in the environment. This creates a more intuitive interface. Since both information about the object and the actual object are perceptually processed as one and the same, the user is freed from the burden of consciously associating one with the other. As seen in the video (2:04), a hotel with room availability portrayed as glowing rooms is a great example of how useful this concept can be.
ANW is touted by QPC as “a complete renaissance in the way we approach technology”. Although ANW as portrayed in the video is certainly compelling (after getting past all the squinting from lack of HMDs), I would argue that rather than being an entirely a new way of thinking about technology, it’s simply the next logical development for AR. For me, this video inspires me to think carefully about the purposes of a particular interface, and to keep those purposes in mind to make it intuitive. When developing an AR experience that augments the world with many layers of information, making it easy for the user to process can be challenging. In such a scenario, doing as much as possible to merge the semantics with their corresponding objects may be a solution.
This is one of Microsoft’s research projects in the field of augmented reality. This project involves the use of Environment-Aware Handheld Projecters to blur the lines between real and virtual space. There are three projectors along with the kinect systems and with this technology it becomes possible to merge the virtual world into the real world. Most of the uses of this technology are explained in more detail in the video. I believe that the technology can be classified as an AR/MR system as it not only augments reality but can be altered in real time through interaction with the user. It clearly satisfies the first two of Azuma’s charecteristics of AR, however the third is lacking. Projections are not exactly 3D, even though they can be made to seem that way.
Of the the many uses that are explained throughout the video, I find the idea of a smart room that coexists with virtual space most interesting. Having spent time in India where real space is lacking, this superimposition of the virtual world onto the real space within a room is amazing. It inspires me to work on ideas that can make rooms into something dynamic, living even. If the technology can be provided for common house-holds then the world would completely change. Our rooms and even homes could become living spaces. The fear of lack of space would be greatly diminished. Adding the interaction portion makes the entire experience seem more alive and the users do not feel automotized. Although it may be harder to implement on a mobile device, if done properly I feel it can change the way we live.