Tag: AR trends

Augmented reality used to create a blind spot-free car

The AR technology converts former barriers within the vehicle into a view of the outside world.

Drivers that pay attention to the road, follow the rules, and take a great deal of care still have a major issue working against them, which is the blind spot caused by various parts of the vehicle, but now an augmented reality based technology has been designed to help to overcome that problem.

Blind spots are created by window frames, the roof, the floor, the doors, the hood, and the trunk.

However, when augmented reality is used to turn those blocked areas into displays of the real world that is immediately outside, it eliminates those blind spots and makes it appear as though the vehicle is invisible. The idea is that it can help a driver to be far more aware of his or her surroundings, making more informed decisions about road use – such as lane changes, and parking, for example.

This use of augmented reality technology for a “transparent cockpit” was created by Keio University researchers.

The team of researchers used retro-reflectors and projectors in order to be able to give the driver the feeling that he or she was operating a vehicle made of glass, despite the fact that it was actually still made of steel, which will provide the necessary protection on the road. In this way, the image of what is immediately outside a door, or other parts of the frame of the car, for instance, is projected onto that surface, revealing whatever is behind it.

A self-illuminated display could have been an option except that it would need to be built into virtually any interior component including directly onto the doors and seats. The primary challenge is in customizing the display in order to suit the various different shapes of car components. For this reason, the researchers opted to use a projector system. In this, the entire interior of the car would be covered in a material that could function as a screen, or could at least have screens placed over top if they were not permanently attached.

In order to overcome the drawbacks of a conventional projection system, a special projector system was selected for this augmented reality experience, making it possible to see the outdoor environment through the reflection of light directly back along the path that it had just taken. That way, the correct image and its position can be seen, aimed back at the observer, regardless of whether that person is the driver or a passenger.

Augmented reality chips will be installed in mobile devices by year end, Metaio

The AR firm has revealed that its dedicated processors will be incorporated into the gadgets by the close of 2013.

German augmented reality firm, Metaio, has just announced that it is anticipating the installation of its dedicated chips into mobile devices before this year comes to its end, even though its one large announced customer, ST-Ericsson, collapsed.

At the same time, the company also revealed that it will be opening a new research and development lab.

That new R&D lab will be located in Dallas, Texas. The deal with ST-Ericson for augmented reality chip installation was announced in February at a large industry event. It included the AR technology designs from Metaio into the processors of the device. Its benefit was explained to be that it would reduce the amount of power that would be required in order to perform the AR specific functions

This would allow augmented reality functions to be processed without rapidly draining the device battery.

The augmented reality technology would allow device users to be able to use their smartphones and tablets for AR functions without having the power run out too quickly. The deal was assumed to have been over a month afterward, however, when STMicroelectronics and Ericsson revealed that their chipset joint venture was over. This also cancelled the NovaThor chipsets from ST-Ericsson, which had been announced at the same industry event in February.

That said, Metaio continued, at that time, in its talks with both Ericsson and with STMicro about using its augmented reality technology. Metaio spokesperson Anett Gläsel-Maslov explained that those talks – as well as others with undisclosed organizations – are ongoing. However, she added that the company is almost certain that it will have its “AR Engine in devices by the end of the year.”

In order to further develop its augmented reality engine designs, the new R&D facility is being opened up in Dallas. The company already has a location in San Francisco, so this move is clearly not being strategically made in order to take steps closer to possible customers. Instead, according to Gläsel-Maslov, the choice was made as the firm is hopeful that it will be able to take advantage of the engineers who are seeking new opportunities as Texas Instruments reduces its business in OMAP mobile processors.