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Augmented Reality December 23, 2007

Posted by IntimatePower in technology.
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Nicholas Carr points to an interesting New Economist article about “augmented reality” which involves the displaying or superimposing of “computer-generated text and images onto the physical world.”

A very basic implementation of AR is already used when you watch an international sports match. The electronic billboards at the stadium are used by each television network to display different advertisements, possibly in various languages according to their viewer’s location.

Other potential uses include:
– Displaying driving directions over your front windshield which are superimposed over the actual road,
– Providing surgeons with “superhuman” skills by projecting x-ray, IR, and other images directly on the skin of the patient,
– Assisting soldiers in training and in the battelfield by having them wear see-through visors and displaying on them tactical information such as targets, attack or patrol paths, and potential sniper nests

Nick concludes: “What’s really going to happen is that the real and the virtual will blur together, become indistinguishable, as more of our experience becomes computer-generated. Eventually, there won’t be any reality to escape from.”

A good introduction to augmented reality is in this guy’s PhD thesis.