Augmented Reality at the Media Lab.
April 4, 2005 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Augmented Reality at the Media Lab. Via Bruce Sterling.
posted by signal (17 comments total)
Woops, the first link should be:
And it contains a largeish QT movie.
posted by signal at 3:07 PM on April 4, 2005

That's super-fricken cool. It doesn't show you the back of that LCD though. I wonder what the camera looks like.
posted by airguitar at 3:40 PM on April 4, 2005

That's pretty amazing. The implications are pretty exciting. The big one I'm thinking of is medicine and surgery, but there are so many others.
posted by blendor at 3:59 PM on April 4, 2005

airguitar, here's the back.
I see this on some sort of head mounted system in the near future, with all sorts of 3d-popups and porn banners keyed to specific realworld locations. Purple dragons flying through the sky trailing "Coke is it!" banners.
posted by signal at 4:09 PM on April 4, 2005

People are afraid of new things. You should have just taken an existing product and put a clock on it or something.
posted by foot at 4:10 PM on April 4, 2005

And, on a more serious note, this would be amazing for real time, full- or half-scale manipulation of architectural projects (think how cool this would be with sketchup and some sort of haptic interface), tele-collaboration and presentations, etc.
posted by signal at 4:11 PM on April 4, 2005

I'm certain that augmented reality is going to be a lot more useful and become much more commonplace than virtual reality, for the forseeable future.

While VR has to create an entire world and a means of fully immersing someone in it, AR already has the entire world that we're already immersed in. Then it's just a matter of adding things to it. We've already seen them adding virtual ads and graphics and such to TV broadcasts (mainly sports) in a manner that makes them appear to be physically there (adjusting for camera angle, zoom, etc). Reality is already being augmented, albeit in only minor ways.

For AR to become something that individuals use still requires wearable/ubiquitous computing, which has been "coming soon" for years. I think a big part of the fact that it's only been "coming soon" has been the lack of things to actually DO with it. I think AR is going to be what makes it worthwhile.

I can think of an amazing number of things to do with this tech just off the top of my head. Auto/airplane mechanics having schematics overlaid across their vision. Virtual road signs tied in with GPS to help drivers navigate in unfamiliar areas (imagine highlighted road signs). Tabletop games with virtual pieces (Warhammer without having to buy models and measure movement) - or virtual "model" cars.

Obviously, work needs to be done - pretty much any computation delay is likely to make people motion sick, since real objects don't lag when we move our head. That may mean skimping on fancy graphics for a while.

Anyways, thanks for the link!
posted by evilangela at 4:27 PM on April 4, 2005

Odinsdream, perhaps you speak of Audiopad.
posted by WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot at 4:43 PM on April 4, 2005

odinsdream: audiopad is the name of the system you're talking about.
posted by recklessbrother at 4:43 PM on April 4, 2005

Wow -- this is amazing stuff. Museums could have renderings of artists beside works talking about them. Professors could work with real time 3d models in front of their classes. Would also make for very cool buried treasure maps.

You know, a proper society would do away with advertising on billboards and everywhere else with this kind of technology widely available.
posted by ontic at 5:31 PM on April 4, 2005

singing to the tune of What A Wonderful World:

And I think to myself,
"Why don't I subscribe to Sterling's Blooooog?"
I see blobs of green,
Fly through the air.
I see them land
in some blonde dude's hair.
And I think to myself,
"Snowcrash ain't far awaaaaaay!"
posted by shmegegge at 7:25 PM on April 4, 2005

On the museum idea -- a friend suggested the following to me. "What's that mountain?" "What's that tree?" and harder: "What's that bird?" so that one could trade putting up physical signs for putting up virtual ones. Better for the environment.

Of course, this won't be really complete until the privacyless society. As you walk down the street, everyone you see has a balloon floating overhead with their name and relevance to you ("Sex offender" or "Still owes you $10", "Knows X who knows Y who knows you" or "Likes nerd dick"). "Excuse me, miss?"
posted by Aknaton at 1:17 PM on April 5, 2005

Ok. Very cool. But using the expression "augmented reality" sounds idiotic. Think of what words mean. Just trying to be helpful...
posted by Como Gomez at 12:19 AM on April 6, 2005

But using the expression "augmented reality" sounds idiotic. Think of what words mean. Just trying to be helpful...

It's funny that you're trying to be helpful, because you come off as an ignorant ass.

Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real world and computer generated data.

Just trying to be helpful...
posted by signal at 8:07 AM on April 6, 2005

If you're into this, I would also very recommend checking out the Sinagapore Mixed-Reality Lab, whose website is chock-a-block full of videos demonstrating AR stuff like live pacman.
posted by nTeleKy at 1:50 PM on April 6, 2005

Signal, well I guess since "augmented reality" is a field of computer research I should ignore the fact that it sounds absurd. Wow, computer research.
posted by Como Gomez at 9:01 PM on April 8, 2005

Wow, computer research.

What does that even mean? Seriously, I'd like to know.
Welcome to the Internet, Como, where ignorance is not actually considered a virtue.
Just trying to be helpful...
posted by signal at 8:30 AM on April 12, 2005

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