Improving Our Depth Perception in Augmented Reality

Sports fans have come to expect some of the extras they see on their TV screen, such as the yellow lines that appear on a football field to highlight where the ball needs to go for a first down.

Similarly, NASCAR fans can find their favorite driver in the pack because of those superimposed car numbers on the screen. But, most people are probably not familiar with the technology that makes all this happen.

Augmented reality, or “AR,” is used to superimpose computer generated virtual objects on our view of the real world. With support from the National Science Foundation, Swan and his team at Mississippi State University (MSU) are working to improve depth perception in the augmented reality environment. One challenge is aligning an object in the real word so that it precisely lines up with virtual objects.

While exactness may not be all that critical for a TV sporting event, think about a doctor using this technology in an operating room or a soldier relying on this tool during battle. Accurate depth perception is critical to medical and military applications of augmented reality.

Video provided by the National Science Foundation

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