Documenting the Coming Singularity

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

See more than is there - Microsoft Demos Augmented Vision

Technology Review - February 24, 2009, by Kate Greene

Better computer-vision algorithms overlay digital information on the real world.

Altered vision: This laptop is running augmented-reality software developed by Microsoft engineers. It can recognize a person’s location using the built-in camera. In this demonstration, virtual bubbles lead to a virtual pot of gold. Credit: Microsoft

Today, Microsoft researchers will demonstrate software that can, in real time, superimpose computer-generated information on top of a digitized view of the real world.

Adding additional visual data to a video display is a technique known as augmented reality. (See "TR10: Augmented Reality.") Michael Cohen, principal researcher at Microsoft Research, in Redmond, WA, says that the approach could add another dimension to future smart phones. "You could be out on the street, hold the device up, and it could recognize a restaurant and deliver ratings and the menu," he says. A smart phone featuring an augmented-reality display could also overlay a bus route and an estimate of when the next bus is due on top of a particular street. "It essentially becomes your portal to information," Cohen says.

Cohen and his colleagues will demo the augmented-reality technology at TechFest, an annual showcase of Microsoft's research projects, in Redmond. Their software, which runs on a small portable computer, analyzes scenes from a camera, matches to those stored in a database, and overlays supplementary information on the display. The researchers note that a smart phone with augmented reality could help allow engineers to "see" the pipes or electrical cables below a street. In the demonstration given at TechFest, the software will be used to lead people on a treasure hunt to a hidden prize of a (virtual) pot of gold.

Read more>>

Technological Singularity and Futurism is updated often; the easiest way to get your regular dose is by subscribing to our news feed. Stay on top of all our updates by subscribing now via RSS or Email.