Monday, October 30, 2006

Augmented Reality

While watching Monday Night Football with my family, I realize how much I like the yellow first down marker that is digitally overlaid over the video feed. I wonder what technology makes that happen and what do you call that?

They do it by combing an image of the real environment with an image that is virtually created but intended to give the user more perceptive understanding of the real image. You call it Augmented Reality and J. Vallino has written about it extensively during his PhD research. Anytime you combine virtual reality with true reality you get this augmentation, a combination of truth with embelishments.

A good example of this is when a MRI image of your knee is annotated by the radiologist directly onto the image. The doctor might circle the area of interest and indicate their diagnosis. The surgeon may than take a look at the MRI image with and without the annotation. The surgeon may add their own annotation to indicate the angle at which they intend to reattach an injured ligament. The intention of augmenting the image is to provide more perceptive detail that improves the performance or understanding by all of those who view the augmented image, not only can you see the injury, but you can see the surgical repair intention. It will be much easier for the next person to recognize the injury and suggested treatment than just looking at the original MRI image alone.

Find ways to augment your reality!

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