The web is abuzz lately with rumors that Google is not only developing augmented reality glasses, but that they’ll actually be for sale later this year! Features are expected to include a camera and small display (obviously), though also a cellular data connection and multiple sensors (including GPS), for under $1k (closer to $500-600 is more likely). Information will supposedly be displayed in an augmented reality sort of view, overlaid into the wearer’s field of view, rather than be shown on a separate display off to the side. So at this point, it’s all just a bunch of rumors but one things for certain, AR is advanced at a fast pace and once the display technologies have reached a consumer level, expect a flood of apps to surface.
So here’s the problem…you want to take a picture of a person in a public space, but all the strangers walking by keep cluttering up the image! The solution? Use a soon-to-be-released app from Scalado to just ‘exclude’ those random people from the picture. I’m not completely certain how the technology works, but believe it’s essentially taking multiple images of the same picture, so once it identifies an area that has changed (a person walking through the image), it has the data already for what should be behind that person. This video is a nice demonstration of how this technology could be used:
It’s easy to see how this can be useful for taking pictures, but think about taking this one step further. What if this technology were embedded in a realtime AR display? Imagine wearing AR glasses, and having a wearable computer essentially ‘filter out’ all the people from your field of view. Or, once you can do that, replacing them with abstracts. Maybe just floating blue misty shapes like ghosts, so you know there are people there but aren’t distracted by the details? At that point, the possibilities are endless and really just a matter of creative software implementation. Awesome.
Scientists have already managed to create contact lenses that contain a single LED, so it’s no surprise they’re working on increasing that resolution to a more usable level. Due to the obvious tactical advantage in a combat situation, it’s no surprised that DARPA is an active participant in such research, working with Washington-based iOptiks on just such a solution. Eventually, you can expect this to trickle down to the consumer level, which would allow for virtually seamless augmented reality integration into our lives. Until then, expect the AR experience to be first tackled through use of eye glasses such as these. The next decade is going to be exciting for AR, I can’t wait to see how this develops! Read more here.
I’ve written previously about advances in AR (Augmented Reality), and one critical part of this is how the information is transmitted to the user – having to look at a smartphone screen will doom this technology to failure. Companies like Lumus are great examples of what will be the first major breakthrough in AR – overlaying information on a user’s field of view using eyeglasses (next step will be contact lenses, then direct neural interface). Lumus’ latest technology offers HD video (720p) in a transparent lens. For a video review from Engadget, hit the ‘more’ link below to see the rest of this post.
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Energy storage and consumption is the bane of any new technology, especially portable ones. Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University have accomplished something that I find quite incredible…tapping into a living organism’s biological energy system, and converting that to electricity which can then be used by human technology that has been added to the organism. A true step closer to a living cyborg. Awesome. Ok, so it’s really more suitable to invertebrates at this point, but it still has incredible potential. It also brings back memories of that scene in the Fifth Element, where a cockroach is equipped with a microphone, transmitter, and remote control, to enable Zorg’s men to eavesdrop on the President (the image here). Read more about it over at Gizmag.