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Next Stop The Visual Walkman

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With help from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, Delft University doctoral student Jurjen Caarls has created a device that allows users to see computer and real-world images simultaneously through augmented reality (AR). The user wears a helmet rigged with angular velocity sensors, accelerometers, and a camera. With these tools, the device processes up-to-date data on the user's location at all times, overcoming the usual AR difficulties involved in analyzing three-dimensional environments while on the move. Embedded sensors in the helmet and other equipment, such as a data glove, also help the device orient itself. The helmet contains two screens and two mirrors to transmit images onto the user's eyes.

AR is already used in televised soccer games, as virtual billboards are set up on either side of a goal. When the camera moves, the transmission shifts as well, so that it always seems to be in the same place.

Caarls' main objective was to design new ways to interpret images and process the information gathered from many different sensors. He hopes that in the future a pair of AR glasses will be developed that send computer images directly into the user's eyes. "Think of it as a visual Walkman," Caarls notes.

From Delft University of Technology
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