Goggles With Augmented Reality by TechLegacy

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									                 Goggles With Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is a technique used to superimpose computer-generated
images for visual enhancement of live images. Augmented reality can also
be characterized as dynamic overlays when computer-generated images are
registered with moving objects in a live image.




While the better-known concept of 'virtual reality' (VR) concerns immersive
artificial worlds, 'augmented reality' (AR) involves blending the real world
with simulated elements. The technology has already been employed in
niche areas such as flight simulations and surgical training, but AR's range of
uses has increased as available computing power has grown.

“If pilots are not familiar with the airport, they have to stop and pull out
maps,” said Trey Arthur, an electronics engineer at NASA Langley Research
Center in Virginia. “This display, in the new world where these routes are
going to be digital, can tell them what way they’re on, where they need to
go, where they’re headed, and how well they’re tracking the runway’s center
line.”
Similar heads-up display (HUD) technology exists for military fighter jet and
helicopter pilots, who wear helmets with the transparent displays. Newer
commercial airliners also use HUDs installed in the cockpit, but lack the
head-tracking “augmented reality” of NASA’s technology that layers virtual
images or maps on top of a pilot’s real-world vision.




Giving pilots better awareness on airport runways swarming with airplanes
could prevent catastrophes such as the world’s deadliest aviation incident at
Tenerife in the Canary Islands in 1977. A collision there between a jumbo jet
trying to take off and another jet sitting on the foggy runway ended in a
blazing inferno that killed 583 passengers and crew.

Arthur and his NASA colleagues made their head-worn display by combining
a Rockwell Collins helmet display for soldiers with their own head tracker
custom-built   by   Intersense.   The    head    tracker   combines built-in
gyroscopes and a camera that detects passive paper targets pasted around a
cockpit to tell where a pilot has turned his or her head.




The ESA designed Wearable Augmented Reality (WEAR) is a wearable
computer system that incorporates a head-mounted display over one eye to
superimpose 3D graphics and data onto its wearer's field of view.

Controlled by voice for hands-free operation, WEAR includes onboard
location and object identification to show astronauts precise information
about what they are looking at, as well as providing step-by-step
instructions to guide them through difficult, lengthy procedures.




"At the moment, International Space Station (ISS) crews still use paper
instruction manuals for many operational and maintenance tasks," explains
Luis Arguello of ESA's Modelling and Simulation Section, overseeing the
WEAR project. "Obviously, it's easier to perform a task while holding
instructions in your hand. So we have developed a new type of user
interface that is easier still, allowing astronauts to be guided precisely in
their work without holding anything at all."

Key hardware elements include a mobile computer connected to a headset
with a head-mounted display, a pair of video cameras - for bar code reading
and objection recognition - and an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU).

The image-recognition system allows WEAR to know where its user is
located, by checking his viewpoint against stored 3D information about the
module, derived from a Columbus Computer Aided Design (CAD) model.




On the software side, WEAR incorporates a 3D AR toolkit as well as speech
recognition and synthesis technology, object recognition and tracking
systems and commercial bar code reading technology. Reading the bar code
allows the quick identification and retrieval of information of ISS items
stored in the onboard Inventory Management System.

The goggles can track a pilot's head-movements and overlay runways,
towers and potentially other airplanes over their view - an invaluable tool
when fog rolls down across an airport.

Even as the pilot turns his head, the goggles can react in real-time to ensure
the virtual representations always stay in the same place as their real-world
counterparts.

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