Researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara have a lofty goal on their minds – “Anywhere Augmentation”, which means augmenting arbitrary environments with little prior preparation. Or as they put it:
The main goal of this work is to lower the barrier of broad acceptance for augmented reality by expanding beyond research prototypes that only work in prepared, controlled environments.
Now, if have been following the world of augmented reality for the last year, you are probably familiar with the following situation. There’s some site offering an AR experience, but in order to access it, you have to print at least one black and white symbol. Unfortunately, the marker you have just printed last week, for another site, just doesn’t cut it. Each site requires its own marker, that becomes obsolete after two minutes. It’s a defining example of prior preparation in order to experience AR, and the researcher at UCSB as a plan to eliminate it.
Enters HandyAR. Instead of using a marker, Taehee Lee and Tobias Höllerer want to track your outstretched hand.
You can even have some minimal interaction with virtual objects, dragging and dropping them, by closing and opening your hand, as the following video shows: