AR Reading List for the Weekend

Once again, it was another very prolific week for augmented reality, with a plethora of interesting posts and articles. For those of you who didn’t had a time to read them during the week and waited for the weekend to catch-up (like I did), here’s a short list of articles that may entertain you for the next hour. Don’t worry, the regular linkfest will be here tomorrow, with some more AR fun.


Augmented Reality in a Contact Lens

This was an extremely popular article this week, though, to tell you the truth, it has little to do with augmented reality, and more to do with the challenges facing engineers when creating electronic lenses embedded within contact lenses. However, if you want to peek to the far future, it’s an interesting read.

a contact lens with simple built-in electronics is already within reach; in fact, my students and I are already producing such devices in small numbers in my laboratory at the University of Washington, in Seattle [see sidebar, "A Twinkle in the Eye"]. These lenses don’t give us the vision of an eagle or the benefit of running subtitles on our surroundings yet. But we have built a lens with one LED, which we’ve powered wirelessly with RF. What we’ve done so far barely hints at what will soon be possible with this technology.

Games, Goggles, and Going Hollywood…How AR is Changing the Entertainment Landscape
Tish Shute’s interview with Ogmento’s Brian Selzer. Since Selzer is coming from the entertainment side of things, he is able to give a fresh perspective on where AR should go next, and he discusses how Ogmento is working to fulfill this vision.

I am big on the notion of “Games and Goals.” I believe that games have the power to motivate people in a very powerful way. By challenging ourselves while playing a game we can climb mountains. Augmented Reality is the perfect platform to bring gaming into the real world. By mixing the virtual world with the physical world, this added layer of perception provides a very powerful experience for something like a role-playing game.

Thinking about design strategies for ‘magic lens’ AR
Gene Becker is a silicon valley veteran that has worked in the past for HP on an AR project named Cooltown. Lately he has written a couple of interesting posts concerning augmented reality, and in this one he discusses the challenges of designing a good and effective AR application for a mobile phone.

The idea of a magic lens is visually intuitive and emotionally evocative, and there is understandable excitement surrounding the rollout of commercial AR applications. These apps are really cool looking, and they invoke familiar visual tropes from video games, sci-fi movies, and comics. We know what Terminator vision is, we’re experienced with flight sim HUDs, and we know how a speech balloon works. These are common, everyday forms of magical design fiction that we take for granted in popular culture.

And that’s going to be the biggest challenge for this kind of mobile augmented reality; we already know what a magic lens does, and our expectations are set impossibly high.

Proposal: Augmented Reality Scale
Thomas Carpenter of “The Future Digital Life” propose in this article a metric that enables us to compare AR applications and measure the intensity in which they augment our reality. Although a similar idea was brought up a few months ago by the guys at SPRXMobile (creators of Layar), Carpenter’s take is easier to understand and implement.

The RIM scale will be composed of two axis: Perceived Reality (PR) and Reality Recognition (RR). I chose two axis because AR exists through the mixing of reality and the virtual. First I’ll explain the two axis, then the interaction between them.

The Perceived Reality axis shows us how the graphics are indistinguishable from reality (on a scale from one to ten).

The Reality Recognition axis explains how completely computers understand the world (on a scale of one to ten).

Lumus from the Humus Land: the Future of Augmented Reality Displays
Ori Inbar interviews Zvi Lapidot, the CEO of Lumus, an Israeli company set to provide not-as-dorky looking glasses that can display digital video overlaid on top of reality. I actually tried one of their prototypes a couple of months ago and felt quite like a dork, but I guess they look cooler than those of main competitor Vuzix.

Ori: That’s impressive. And how did you enable AR tracking?
Zvi: By collaborating with AR specialists and Chinese partners we integrated a web camera and a compass (with 3DOF) into the prototype; and connected it to a phone with GPS. AR algorithms analyzed the video from the camera and overlaid graphics while tracking the real world. Several units of the prototype were even so

And finally, although technically this interview was held last week, I haven’t found about it till yesterday. Here is Robert Rice preaching his sermon, and discussing many other interesting AR subjects with John C. Havens on BlogTalkRadio, though you may want to wait till your Monday’s commute to listen to it, as it’s quite long.

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One Response

  1. Must admit I’m always been a massive skeptic of contact lens for AR.
    They seem a distraction…something thats 50 years away from being a usefull resolution, and with
    little to no advantage other then the vanity of not wearing glass’s.
    That said, the work achieved I do find massively impressive. Engineering on that level is staggering.

    I just wish resources where going into retina projection, which seems much more plausible (not
    to mention safer) in the short term.
    ==
    Already commented extensively on Tish’s excellent interview.
    Basaicaly, yes, I agree very much on the motivating power of games.
    Geo-apps might be where AR starts, but games are what will really push the technology forward.
    ==
    Not quite sure Id agree with Gene Becker.
    While the challanges of AR are unquestionably big in lots of areas, using terms like “magical” or “impossibly high” is stretching it.
    I dont see the requirements of AR any more technicaly challangeing then other developments in both hardware and
    software that we, as humans, have already achieved.
    Its just a new goal to reach. A new combination and refineing of tech.
    It isnt warp-drive or teleportation.
    ==
    Thomas Carpenter’s metric seems a good idea, easy to understand and a good way to catagorise progress.

    Allthough, purhapes it would be nicer for it to be out of 20?
    Merely because it would be nice to finaly state an AR device gives a 20/20 view of the Augmented world :)
    ==
    Have yet to read/listen to the rest :)

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