MR – refers to the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time. A mix of reality, augmented reality, augmented virtuality and virtual reality.
STREET ART & AUGMENTED REALITY BY GEC-ART & HUB09 GEC-ART and HUB09 Italian artist have created a new project combining Street Art and Augmented Reality. The HUB09‘s augmented reality app allows you to frame your smartphone with the street art in order to see her come to life in unexpected ways …. Interesting indeed!
New technology from Center of Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials holds promise in thermoelectrics
When Wake Forest graduate student Corey Hewitt (Ph.D. ’13) touches a two-inch square of black fabric, a meter goes berserk. Simply by touching a small piece of Power Felt – a promising new thermoelectric device developed by a team of researchers in the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials – he has converted his body heat into an electrical current.
Comprised of tiny carbon nanotubes locked up in flexible plastic fibers and made to feel like fabric, Power Felt uses temperature differences – room temperature versus body temperature, for instance – to create a charge.
“We waste a lot of energy in the form of heat. For example, recapturing a car’s energy waste could help improve fuel mileage and power the radio, air conditioning or navigation system,” Hewitt says. “Generally thermoelectrics are an underdeveloped technology for harvesting energy, yet there is so much opportunity.”
The research appears in the current issue of Nano Letters, a leading journal in nanotechnology. Potential uses for Power Felt include lining automobile seats to boost battery power and service electrical needs, insulating pipes or collecting heat under roof tiles to lower gas or electric bills, lining clothing or sports equipment to monitor performance, or wrapping IV or wound sites to better track patients’ medical needs.
“Imagine it in an emergency kit, wrapped around a flashlight, powering a weather radio, charging a prepaid cell phone,” says David Carroll, director of the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials and head of the team leading this research. “Literally, just by sitting on your phone, Power Felt could provide relief during power outages or accidents.”
Cost has prevented thermoelectrics from being used more widely in consumer products. Standard thermoelectric devices use a much more efficient compound called bismuth telluride to turn heat into power in products including mobile refrigerators and CPU coolers, but it can cost $1,000 per kilogram. Like silicon, researchers liken its affordability to demand in volume and think someday Power Felt would cost only $1 to add to a cell phone cover.
Currently Hewitt is evaluating several ways to add more nanotube layers and make them even thinner to boost the power output. Although there’s more work to do before Power Felt is ready for market, he says, “I imagine being able to make a jacket with a completely thermoelectric inside liner that gathers warmth from body heat, while the exterior remains cold from the outside temperature. If the Power Felt is efficient enough, you could potentially power an iPod, which would be great for distance runners. It’s pretty cool to think about, and it’s definitely within reach.” Currently Wake Forest is in talks with investors to produce Power Felt commercially.
If virtual reality creates a rich experience within a world that may not exist, then augmented reality (AR) creates a rich experience within the world that actually does. AR overlays relevant digital content on physical environments in real time so you can interact with them in ways that are more interesting and more powerful. Register now to hear how AR is creating cool new applications and exciting new business cases in areas ranging from consumer retail to travel to entertainment and more.
Read More: Digital Media SIG Event: Augmented Reality Gets Real | mitforumcambridge.org.
Google is working on a set of HUD, (heads-up display), glasses, they are now in prototype phase and will enable users to tap into Google’s cloud services through augmented reality. Here 9to5Google Explains…
They are in late prototype stages of wearable glasses that look like thick-rimmed glasses that “normal people” wear. However, these provide a display with a heads up computer interface. There are a few buttons on the arms of the glasses, but otherwise, they could be mistaken for normal glasses. Additionally, we are not sure of the technology being employed here, but it is likely a transparent LCD or AMOLED display such as the one demonstrated below: In addition, we have heard that this device is not an “Android peripheral” as the NYT stated. According to our source, it communicates directly with the Cloud over IP. Although, the “Google Goggles” could use a phone’s Internet connection, through Wi-Fi or a low power Bluetooth 4.0. The use-case is augmented reality that would tie into Google’s location services. A user can walk around with information popping up and into display -Terminator-style- based on preferences, location and Google’s information. Therefore, these things likely connect to the Internet and have GPS. They also likely run a version of Android.
Since then, we have learned much more regarding Google’s glasses…
Our tipster has now seen a prototype and said it looks something like Oakley Thumps (below). These glasses, we heard, have a front-facing camera used to gather information and could aid in augmented reality apps. It will also take pictures. The spied prototype has a flash —perhaps for help at night, or maybe it is just a way to take better photos. The camera is extremely small and likely only a few megapixels.
The heads up display (HUD) is only for one eye and on the side. It is not transparent nor does it have dual 3D configurations, as previously speculated.
One really cool bit: The navigation system currently used is a head tilting-to scroll and click. We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users.
(As an aside, I built a head mouse as a Masters Thesis project a few years back that used head tilts to navigate and control menus. I am ready to collect royalties!)
I/O on the glasses will also include voice input and output, and we are told the CPU/RAM/storage hardware is near the equivalent of a generation-old Android smartphone. As a guess, we would speculate something like 1GHz ARM A8, 256MB RAM and 8GB of storage? In any case, it will also function as a smartphone.
Perhaps most interesting is that Google is currently deciding on how it wants to release these glasses, even though the product is still a very long way from being finished. It is currently a secret with only a few geeky types knowing about it, and Google is apparently unsure if it will have mass-market appeal. Therefore, the company is considering making this a pilot program, somewhat like the Cr-48 Chromebooks last year.
Yes, Google might actually release this product as beta-pilot program to people outside of Google—and soon.
FYI Motorola’s got something cool in this area brewing as well.
Another quick hack using the Kinect beta SDK and my new Windows Phone (which is great!). What you see is a simple game engine utilizing the pseudo-holographic effect from my other videos. A Kinect “sees” the position of the viewer and the 3D engine adjusts the image accordingly to give the illusion of a real 3D object. The 3D engine supports anaglyph 3D (red/cyan glasses) for a better effect in real life. A simple WP7 app controls the application and the helicopter using the accelerometers of the phone. (Source – If you like it, check out my other videos. Thanks for watching! )
Pico projectors are an easy way to increase the screen real estate of your mobile phone, but what if you’d rather not carry one around in your pocket or bulk up your phone’s slim profile with a slip on solution? Well, a team of intrepid researchers may have come up with an elegant solution to your problem that can work with any smartphone and external display: virtual projection. The system works by using a central server that constantly takes screenshots of the external display and compares them with the images from the phone’s camera to track its location. It then replicates what’s on the handset’s screen, while allowing you to add multiple image windows and position and rotate them as you see fit. Additionally, multiple users can collaborate and virtually project pictures or videos onscreen at the same time. Intrigued? See it in action for yourself in the video after the break. Continue reading… Researchers turn your smartphone into a virtual projector
Got backseat boredom? DVD players and Game Boys are so five years ago, but a new concept in rear seat entertainment technology that uses the windows themselves could replace squirminess and snoozing with interactive scribbling, sweeping and pinching.
General Motors Research and Development put that challenge before researchers and students from the FUTURE LAB at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel. The task: Conceptualize new ways to help rear seat passengers, particularly children, have a richer experience on the road.
The Windows of Opportunity (WOO) Project was inspired by psychological studies indicating car passengers often feel disconnected from their environment, GM asked the Bezalel students to turn car windows into interactive displays capable of stimulating awareness, nurturing curiosity and encouraging a stronger connection with the world outside the vehicle.
“Traditionally, the use of interactive displays in cars has been limited to the driver and front passenger, but we see an opportunity to provide a technology interface designed specifically for rear seat passengers,” said Tom Seder, GM R&D lab group manager for human-machine interface. “Advanced windows that are capable of responding to vehicle speed and location could augment real world views with interactive enhancements to provide entertainment and educational value.”
Since GM has no immediate plans to put interactive display windows into production vehicles, the R&D team gave free reign to the Bezalel students to create applications without concern whether they could be mass produced. Bezalel is Israel’s oldest institute of higher education and one of the more prestigious schools of its kind in the world. (Source)