Augmented reality

Virtual reality is often seen as an escape, a tool which will enable us to indulge our fantasies with impunity. Sounds great, but for industry, VR truly offers benefits when it is not divorced from our world. Scientists at the computer graphics and vision department of Graz Technical University have demonstrated how VR can be used in conjunction with a human’s view of the world to create an augmented reality (AR).

The AR helmet overlays and aligns computer-generated graphics with the real world’s geometry. Consisting of a magnetic sensor, stereo CCD cameras and a see-through display, the helmet integrates optical and magnetic tracking to determine the position and orientation of the user. If this is not spot-on then virtual objects will float around freely in the space surrounding the user.

The wearer can view the real and virtual environment concurrently and observe projected objects from different viewpoints.

This technique can thus be used to build a viewing system for multiple simultaneous viewers.