Making walls invisible with augmented reality

Computers & Mobile Craft & Design Energy & Sustainability

Carnegie Mellon’s Dr. Yaser Sheikh has developed a prototype augmented reality (AR) system that combines images from two or more cameras to allow drivers, for instance, to see around blind corners by making intervening structures “invisible.” In the simplest case, the image from a camera on the blind side of an obstacle is mapped, with appropriate foreshortening and in real time, onto the visible surface of the obstacle in the display from a camera at the user’s position.

The concept reminded me of a brainstorm I had during my last commercial airline flight. Crammed into a middle seat on a crowded 747, feeling claustrophobic and a bit airsick, straining to get a look out one of the distant porthole windows, I longed for a pair of AR glasses that would make the plane invisible so I could look freely around the sky. The video feeds from panoramic cameras mounted above and below the fuselage could be combined and processed through a head-tracking system so that passengers could have an unimpeded external view in any direction they cared to look–the ground, the clouds, the night-time stars up above. Such a system would have no clear commercial purpose other than passenger comfort, but think how much more enjoyable those long-haul flights could be if you were soaring through the wild blue yonder instead of staring at the back of the seat in front of you.

[via Boing Boing]

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I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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