Magic Vision Lab will Melt, Distort, X-Ray and then Augment your Reality

Chris Sandor, a veteran AR researcher, who worked with some of the most distinguished AR labs and researchers in the world such as Graz University, Columbia University, TU Munich, and Canon Research – is now is the Director of the Magic Vision Lab at the University of South Australia.
Chris and team have recently revamped the lab’s website which is a good opportunity to revisit some of their work previously covered during ISMAR.
First a word on the lab’s name.
In his “Sermon on the flatlands“, augmented reality prophet Bruce Sterling cautioned the AR community to stay away from terms like “magic”: “Magic is cheezy and deceitful. Practicing a leisure domain is a problem” he argued.
Chris brings to his defense a no lesser sci-fi luminary, Arthur C. Clarke, which famously coined the third law: “Any sufficently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.
What do you think about the usage of the term “Magic” in conjunction with AR?
Now to substance in the revamped site:
Humans perceive their environment primarily through vision. Our goal is to enhance human vision with computer-generated graphics in order to amplify human intelligence on a world-wide scale. Our vision is shared by a large and growing community that is investigatingAugmented Reality.
The lab focuses on 2 key areas:

Mobile Augmented Reality Visualizations (melting, distorting, xray)

The following X-ray Vision is one of the more inspiring videos in AR
The next video depicts a technique called “melt vision” which is useful when a user wants to see points of interest hidden from view (occluded) and could also double as a simulation of a building demolition:)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The second area of the lab’s focus is dubbed:

Visuo-haptic augmented reality systems

In laymen’s terms, it’s about combining visual and touch.
In this video a user, wearing a head-worn display, can see the virtual car and feel the car with his right hand through a haptic device called Phantom.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This technology has huge potential in training newbies and experienced professionals in many fields such as healthcare, design, manufacturing, and many more.

To wrap up this AR Lab review –

Here is a classic: AR Weather, received our tongue-in-cheek award of the “most down-under demo” during ISMAR 2008. All I have to show is this image that depicts an AR application that overlays snow on a sunny day in Australia.

If you would like to showcase your work in augmented reality labs – let us know!

9 Responses

  1. Very very cool stuff.
    The SPIDER thing impressed me most though, despite being an interface rather then AR itself.

  2. Leisure domains are no problem! It’s *legerdemain* that’s a problem — conjuring by doing sleight of hand.

  3. Thanks for sharing. Very interesting.

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