Friday, September 11, 2009

On HMDs and Augmented Reality

With the help of professor Reynold Bailey of the RIT Computer Science department I was able to find a Head Mounted Display (HMD) that I could use to do some development with. The HMD in question were a pair of I-glasses SVGA 3D. I then took a small webcam I had laying around and jerry-rigged it to the front of the display facing out. I haven't done any work with augmented reality before, however, with the use of Processing and the Simple AR ToolKit coupled with JMyron I was able to get two proof-of-concepts up and running. The first used Sobel edge detection to process the webcam's stream and display that into the HMD. The second displayed a spinning green cube on the surface of a registration mark I had printed out.

Now that I know it's doable I'm going to look into OpenCV and the full ARToolKit libraries to create my own application. Some ideas I've had are an augmented reality tour around campus combining GPS data with the visual stream to determine which building is being looked at and displaying information about it to the viewer. Another thing that I think would be great fun would be great fun would be to determine the layout (walls, floor, and ceiling) of a room and one's position inside it and to run a fluid simulation within the room to simulate it filling with water. Although this will take far more processing power than my little Eee PC can provide.

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