What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality (AR) brings digital content to life by blending information, graphics, and other media with a person’s view of the world in real-time. In the case of mobile technology, AR overlays digital content directly on a user’s video-feed as they aim their device’s camera at locations around them. Most mobile AR systems currently use a device’s inbuilt GPS, compass and accelerometer to determine a user’s position and pull up desired content. This allows users to easily access, visualize and interact with content simply by pointing the camera of their smartphone at locations around them.
What is Alice?
Omniar is developing Alice, a mobile augmented reality platform and software product suite. In order to improve the end user’s AR experience, Alice employs direct computer vision and image processing techniques on a device’s video feed to track a person within their three dimensional environment. Using this data we are able to adjust the apparent distance and perspective of digital augmentations, making virtual and real world objects appear to coexist when viewed with a smartphone. Within a museum environment Alice enables visitors to experience a rich collection of additional content visually anchored to whatever they are looking at. The Alice experience is visually based, but has the potential to include auditory components as well.
– Ability for museums to anchor text, images, graphics, and animations to real world objects and locations (2D & 3D).
– Visitors can access all previously anchored content simply by pointing a smartphone at locations of interest (no additional position sensors required).
– As a visitor explores, content is overlaid directly on the user’s video feed and integrated with the real world 3D environment, creating an immersive and intuitive experience.
– Users have the ability to add text, commentary, links etc. to museum objects and locations (contained separately from official museum content, and viewable by other users).
– Users can browse the museum environment and augmented content through an online “virtual” interface, as a supplement their real-life museum experiences.
The range of potential Alice-based museum experiences is vast, but could include:
– Information, related works, commentary, etc. when a visitor looks at a painting or other 2D pieces.
– 3D virtual mock-ups and dioramas that a visitor can explore from every angle as if they are real.
– Content designed to encourage further interaction on the part of the visitor. I.e. an augmentation points out interesting/unique features of an artifact or object, and encourages the visitor to look from different angles, touch, approach, hold, etc.
– Museum “scavenger hunts” for groups or children that involve finding virtual objects and collecting information; a broad range of educational games.