April 6, 2010

New Devices Provide Information Through Vision

New technology unveiled during the first ever Augmented Human International Conference in Megeve, France on April 2 and 3 could allow you to simply blink or close your eyes in order to put a name to a familiar face in a crowd, find out information about a tourist attraction, or even find a nearby place to eat, according to a recent report by the AFP.

An article written on Monday by Marlowe Hood discusses some of the many augmented reality devices unveiled during the two-day summit in Megeve, France.

One device, developed by the Telecommunications Research Center in Vienna, uses a pair of cameras hooked up to a smartphone. One camera keeps track of the user's line of vision, while the other observes his or her environment. Then, using a compass and GPS unit to determine the individual's location, it can search for information regarding different landmarks and locations in the vicinity--all the user has to do is close his or her eyes for two seconds to obtain information through an earpiece.

Additionally, a University of Tokyo research team has developed an "Aided Eye" device that uses infrared sensors that keep track of an individual's eye movement. When a person stares at an object for a certain amount of time, it searches a unique database of files and images and provides information intended to help jog the user's memory.

"For the experiment, we registered 100 images for the database," Yoshio Ishiguro from the university's Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies told Hood. "When the eye trained on an object, it was recognized by the computer and a corresponding file was extracted."

According to the event's official website, the Augmented Human International Conference "focuses on scientific contributions towards augmenting humans capabilities through technology for increased well-being and enjoyable human experience."

Among the topics discussed were the use of augmentation for games, sports, health, and tourism, as well as wearable computing devices, bionics and biomechanics, exoskeletons, and brain wave/computer interfaces. Furthermore, the safety, security, ethical, legal, and privacy aspects of the science were discussed during the landmark technological conference.


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