Posts Tagged ‘Augmented Reality’

Maps vs Reality vs Virtual Reality

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

To be very honest, I found the paper by Richardson et. al to be one of the more interesting papers that I have read. The comparisons that they make are intriguing and the results are still more surprising.

I found the experiment designed by the researchers to be very robust. Hence, the results of the experiment can be accepted to be quite accurate. The question that the results raised in my mind was about the effects that augmented reality systems have on our spatial cognition abilities. Considering GPS navigator to be an augmented reality system, does it mean that we are becoming less adept at navigating naturally because we rely on the GPS navigator? Has anyone conducted research to understand the effect GPS navigation systems have on an individual’s spatial cognition abilities? How accurately and efficiently can regular GPS navigator users find out the route between two places compared to non-navigator users?

-Dipto Sarkar


Explorations in the Use of Augmented Reality for Geographic Visualization

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

There is a small but significant difference that could make augmented reality boom or bust when it comes to GIS. It is the same problem that architects and engineers once faced as well. Only with the advent of computers and monitors were they able to rest their neck and sit down in a chair instead of hunching over a drafting board all day. GIS, for the most part, wasn’t subjected to such a fate.

Augmented reality could change that. Even now, similar displays are available to the public in shopping malls and showrooms, using the same table top, infrared projector method outlined in the article. What sets the visitors apart from GIS users is that they only use it for a couple of minutes at a time. As any GIS user knows, geospatial analysis rarely takes a short amount of time.

In light of that, augmented reality will need to make the jump from top-down to heads-up display before it makes significant inroads into the industry.

What part of the methodology that left something to be desired was the need for the user to place a flash card down on each section of the table that they wanted to view supplementary information at. Why not just display all the data at once? If it’s a matter of computing power, that is a simple fix. If, however, it is intrinsic to the software framework, it would greatly benefit the project if, instead of viewing a small section of a large map, the exocentric viewpoint was zoomed in to a smaller…bigger(?) scale so the data took up the extent of the display. After all, whens the last time you squinted at a map of the island of Montreal when trying to figure out how far your house is from the nearest depanneur.


AR: The issues left behind

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Hedley’s article, although a great summary of the progress made in AR does not truly convey the issues of use. One of the biggest down falls for AR, currently, is that sensory feedback to the user is lacking. Although, a lot has been done to try and get input to and from the user (the creation of mice and touch screens; Both Steve Jobs inventions) that combine and provide physical (touch of tool), auditory (clicks), visual (screen illumination), nothing is 100% satisfactory. The “Holodeck” from Star Trek is an example of how feedbacks entertain all senses and provide a full range natural feedback; i.e. you can physical feel the change, hear the change, see the change, and smell the change.

Ipad screens and Microsoft connect modules may provide a link to the computer and bridge the gap in what is reality and how we can understand our surroundings, but lack that basic human need for satisfaction of a response. To elaborate even if physical objects can be manipulated to create change in the presented reality they are not perfect. The objects that are used are generic, such as balls or cubes, and do not provide a universal design for all settings or sensations. Basically, the texture of what is viewed is not necessarily the same as the object being manipulated. To correct for this an infinite amount of objects would have to be stored in order to represent the same object in reality and within an AR system. One solution I believe to this problem may be the use of non-Newtonian or electromagnetic fluids feedback mechanisms that can be altered to many states and textures.

Finally, Hedley’s article seems a little out of date as 3D no longer requires glasses and tough screen interfaces are leaps above what is discussed (Thanks to Apple’s and Steve Jobs’ push for natural interfaces). As a last note, I feel there is also a lack of discussion on digital representation of images in AR and how they can be too cartoony or not real enough.


Augmented Questions

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Azuma et al. “update” (in 2001) the reader on advances, problems, and applications of augmented reality. Their intended audience appears to already be aware of the basics of registering objects and placing people in visible artificial environments. In contrast, the article we read a few weeks ago on eye-tracking technology explained seemingly advanced technological notions to the layperson much more nicely. Still, if the article’s purpose is to discuss AR from a multi-faceted perspective, discussing issues pertaining to the user, the augmented objects, and the environment, then the authors accomplished this well enough.

As someone with little to no experience with, or background knowledge of, augmented reality, I am concerned more with possible applications of the technology than with the technical side of things. Still, as someone approaching this article from a GIS-based perspective, I am intrigued by notions like georegistering and dynamic augmented reality. I’m sure the technology has advanced leaps and bounds in the past 12 years, including AR applications on smart phones that solve many of the weight and cost issues. I’m curious how AR is able to take an unprogrammed environment and situate its device so accurately within that space. Surely GPS is involved, as are internal sensors that collect aspect information, but beyond that, I am more intrigued and curious than critical.

– JMonterey

The near future of Augmented Reality

Monday, February 18th, 2013

After reading the paper by Azuma et. al., I am convinced of the fact that augmented reality systems of the likes shown in Science Fiction Movies are not far. However, I think the first commercial applications of Augmented Reality will use the mobile phones as the primary device. The mobile phones are already equipped with a range of sensors like GPS, Electronic Compass, Accelerometer, Camera, etc. which can be used to provide measurements of the environment. This fact is already leveraged by applications such as Google Goggles and only slight improvements to it will make the system real time, thus making it qualify as an Augmented Reality System according to the definition given by Azuma et. al.  I also feel that acceptance of these applications will be higher as they do not require clunky wearable computers.

Another thought that came to my mind is the use of ubiquitous computing for augmented reality based applications. Instead of putting all the responsibility of sensing the environment, doing calculations and displaying results, it might be useful to distribute some of the task to other smaller specialized units present (or planted) in the physical environment of the user. When a user comes in proximity of these computers, the device they are carrying may just fetch the data and display them after doing some minimal calculations.

-Dipto Sarkar