i3 - May/June 2016 - 9





James Provost

sure sign that a technology has
come of age is when it is granted
its own Marketplace at CES. In
that sense, CES 2016 was a debutante
"coming out" party for augmented reality
(AR), with more than 3,000 net square
feet of exhibit space devoted to a technology that is changing how we learn and
how we experience the world.
AR differs from its first cousin virtual
reality (VR) in that AR content is overlaid
on the immediate physical environment
users see before their eyes, blending digital components (sound, video, graphics
or GPS data) with real life. You can see
through and around AR content because
light is allowed to come through at all
times and reaches our eyes the same way
as it normally does. In a VR device, users
immerse themselves in manufactured surroundings. Put another way, VR replaces
the real world with a simulated world
while AR overlays information on the
actual scenes around you.
Data Overlays AR
AR is being used in aerospace, consumer
technology including aerospace, consumer
technology, construction, health care and
oil and gas. Using AR, workers in the field
can remotely tap into computer power or
the knowledge of their co-workers for help
with unfamiliar situations, thereby reducing errors and time to task completion. A
study by Iowa State University and Boeing
found AR could deliver a 30 to 90 percent
reduction of errors and assembly time for
new workers.
So while a company's top employee
can't be at every work site each minute of
every day, their knowledge can. The Daqri
Smart Helmet, demonstrated at CES 2016
during Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's keynote, is one example of an industrial AR
system that can provide contextually relevant information, connecting the worker

C TA . t e c h / i 3

to his/her environment. It allows the
wearer to peer into the workings of objects
using a real-time overlay of information,
such as wiring schematics. AR solutions
can overlay a jet engine's service hours,
component temperature and other details
into an aircraft mechanic's field of vision.
Consumer applications of AR are as
varied as the imagination, ranging from
drivers using AR glasses to summon expert
help with a roadside repair to a chef guiding you through cooking dinner.
AR in Vehicles
AR is receiving more attention in the
automotive industry as a component of
automated or computer-assisted driving.
To read an instrument cluster, for at least a
brief moment you have to take your eyes off
the road and re-adjust to the shorter visual
distance. Reading a conventional instrument cluster display requires at least half a
second. This means that when drivers avert
their gaze at a speed of 75mph they will be
driving blind for about 110 feet.
A head-up display (HUD), on the other
hand, shows information exactly where you
need it-directly in your line of sight so you
can keep your eyes on the road. Automakers are developing AR HUDs, where the
projection on the windshield is enriched
with a layer of information (such as navigation details), appearing "on the street" in
front of the car. For example, BMW, among
others, is developing AR HUDs where the
content shown is spatially mapped onto the
real world view of the driver. This means
that driving direction and lane changes
suggested by the HUD are actually lined

up visually with the road itself. In BMW's
Vision Next 100 concept car, developed
as part of its recent 100th anniversary
celebration, the entire windshield is an
AR display, taking the place of every single
dashboard display and gauge.
Less Star Trekky than a HUD but an
equally effective automotive use of AR is
Hyundai's virtual owner's manual, which it
demonstrated at CES 2016. The AR system
uses two- and three-dimensional tracking
technology to deliver information related to
different parts of the car. Users simply position their phone or tablet's camera (either
Android or iOS) over the part they want to
learn more about. The Virtual Guide then
recognizes different components in the car
(under the hood, inside the cabin, etc.). If
you need to know more about a feature or
item, just tap on it and the Hyundai Virtual
Guide AR displays either a how-to video
(with overlay labels or just regular 2D) or
a description of the feature or status light,
with tutorials that can walk you through
how to check the car's fluids, etc.
Market watchers agree that AR is
primed to take off. According to the
MarketsandMarkets research report
Augmented Reality Market-Global Forecast to 2020, the total market for AR is
expected to reach $56.8 billion by 2020.

The Augmented Reality Marketplace
at CES 2017 will take place in the
Las Vegas Convention Center,
South Hall 2, January 5 to 8.




Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - May/June 2016

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