K-Glass Developed By Researchers At KAIST
February 18, 2014

Researchers Create New Augmented Reality Chip For Head-Mounted Display

[ Watch the Video: Could Google Glass Have New Competition? ]

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed some Google Glass competition.

The KAIST scientists created K-Glass, a head-mounted display (HMD) that enables users to find restaurants while checking out their menus. Essentially, the display is able to recognize a target object, and then display a 3D model to coincide along with additional information on the top-right side.

For example, when a K-Glass wearer walks up to a restaurant and looks up at the name, the menu and a 3D image of food pops up for them to see. The display can even show the number of available tables inside.

K-Glass uses the world’s first augmented-reality chip that works just like human vision. The processor is based on the Visual Attention Model (VAM) that duplicates the ability of the human brain to process visual data.

“Our processor can work for long hours without sacrificing K-Glass's high performance, an ideal mobile gadget or wearable computer, which users can wear for almost the whole day,” Hoi-Jun Yoo, Professor of Electrical Engineering at KAIST, said in a statement.

The AR processor has a data processing network that works like a human brain’s central nervous system. When the brain perceives visual data, neurons work concurrently on each fragment of a decision-making process. One group of neurons works and relays information to another set, and this continues until a group of decider neurons determines the character of the data.

[ Watch the Video: K-Glass with Augmented Reality ]

The processor uses the 65 nanometers manufacturing process and is able to deliver a 1.22 tera-operations per second peak performance when running at 250 MHz. It shows 1.57 tera-operations per second rate of energy consumption under the real-time operation of a camera that runs at 30 frames per second with a 720p resolution.

"HMDs will become the next mobile device, eventually taking over smartphones,” Yoo said. “Their markets have been growing fast, and it's really a matter of time before mobile users will eventually embrace an optical see-through HMD as part of their daily use. Through augmented reality, we will have richer, deeper, and more powerful reality in all aspects of our life from education, business, and entertainment to art and culture."

The team presented their work on this technology at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco last week.