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Augmented reality (AR) refers to computer displays that add virtual information to a user's sensory perceptions. Most AR research focuses on see-through devices, usually worn on the head that overlay graphics and text on the user's view of his or her surroundings. In general it superimposes graphics over a real world environment in real time.

The Concept

Combining the Real and Virtual Worlds

We need: Precise models Locations and optical properties of the viewer (or camera) and the display Calibration of all devices To combine all local coordinate systems centered on the devices and the objects in the scene in a global coordinate system Register models of all 3D objects of interest with their counterparts in the scene Track the objects over time when the user moves and interacts with the scene

Components of an AR System

Display Technologies
Monitor Based Head Mounted Displays [HMD]:
Video see-through Optical see-through

Monitor Based
Features : Simplest available Little feeling of being immersed in environment

Video See-Through HMD

Video Composition for Video See-Through HMD

Used for special effects Background of computer graphics images is set to a specific colour Combining step replaces all colored areas with corresponding parts from video

Depth Information
Combine real and virtual images by a pixel-by-pixel depth comparison

Advantages of Video See-Through HMD

Flexibility in composition strategies Wide field of view Real and virtual view delays can be matched

Optical See-Through HMD

Advantages of Optical see-through HMD

Simplicity Resolution No eye offset

Performance Issues
Augmented Reality systems are expected: To run in real-time so that the user can move around freely in the environment Show a properly rendered augmented image

How to overcome
Two performance criteria are placed on the system: Update rate for generating the augmenting image Accuracy of the registration of the real and virtual image

Medical Entertainment Military Training Engineering Design Robotics and Telerobotics

Manufacturing, Maintenance, and Repair Consumer Design Hazard Detection Audio

Head Mounted Displays

Augmented Reality is far behind Virtual Environments in maturity. One area where a breakthrough is required is tracking an HMD outdoors at the accuracy required by AR. If this is accomplished, several interesting applications will become possible. Two examples are : navigation maps and visualization of past and future environments. After the basic problems with AR are solved, the ultimate goal will be to generate virtual objects that are so realistic that they are virtually indistinguishable from the real environment. It took about 10 years to progress from drawing stick figures on a screen to the photorealistic dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park." Within another 10 years, we should be able to wear a pair of AR glasses outdoors to see and interact with photorealistic dinosaurs eating a tree in our backyard.

[1] OliverBimber and Ramesh Raskar Spatial Augmented Reality Merging Real and Virtual Worlds, AK Peters Wellesley, Massachusetts, 2005 [2] JW Berger, DS Shin Computer-vision-enabled augmented reality fundus biomicroscopy Ophthalmology, 1999 [3] Harma, Aki; Jakka, Julia; Tikander, Miikka; Karjalainen, Matti, Lokki, Tapio Augmented Reality Audio for Mobile and Wearable Appliances [4] John Robb Jamais Cascio on Augmented Reality, 2006 [5] Oliver Naef, Philippe Crausaz 6th Sense System Augmented Reality Chemical Plant Supervision System

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