Documenting the Coming Singularity

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Augmented Reality Powered by Vibrations?

Just yesterday an article was posted on NewScientistTech that may well describe how augmented reality may be powered.
A sugar-cube-sized electric generator that feeds on environmental vibrations has been developed. It could power swarms of wireless sensors or even medical implants, researchers claim.
What AR needs are "swarms of wireless sensors" and other devices, scattered throughout the physical environment and creating a seamless mesh of virtual overlays. This can be useful even before we have the contacts that project images directly onto our retinas. Cell phone/PDAs would be able to "see" the overlays, which at first would be primarily informational in content.

Some examples may be helpful. You approach a door in an office building. Standing in front of the door, you hold up your PDA and see the door with an overlay containing information about the business situated behind the door. You can drill down the overlay interface to get the name of the person you are meeting, along with other pertinent facts about them. Yes, this is the right place!

Later on you pass by a new Chinese restaurant. You hold up your PDA, and there is a sample menu, along with the establishment's contact info and hours of operation. Yes! They deliver to your apartment!

I'm certain that you can think of much better examples, but an added benefit of this technology that jumps out at you right away is that signage could be almost completely done away with, providing an immense savings for businesses as well as a more aesthetically pleasing environment for everyone.

Can you picture this? Stay tuned.

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