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Augmented Reality Book Requires No Apps or Glasses

Augmented Reality Book Requires No Apps or Glasses
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By merging technologies, this DIY system overlays imagery directly onto surfaces

Leo Lutero

Augmented reality is a technology that brings together the real and ‘unreal.’ However, there’s always that nagging sense of fakery since you’d have to look through a pair of expensive glasses or through a phone screen to see the magic. Now, creative studio Convivial has created a DIY tutorial on how to make an AR book that you can look directly at.

On an Instructable, they reveal how they built this digital screen-free AR experience. Although the instructions are clear, be warned that the process requires heavy coding especially on tracking and augmentation. Although the AR system relies on openFrameworks and different add-ons from that community, complex coding is still necessary.

ar book screen free 2.pngIn the software, patches from the images of the pages are recorded and turned into markers for the ferns. This lets the computer identify the page and track its relative location and position through the cameras on the Kinect. After the markers are in place and the tracking is reliable, the augmented reality content must be added to the software.

This setup has obvious limitations such as the size of the entire AR center and limited coverage. If anyone is interested in building this, it should be in a permanent area as moving it around and calibration can take a lot of work.

This system relies on three main parts: The Kinect, the projector and a computer.

In the end, the results are beautiful and exactly how augmented reality is imagined to be: right there and visible to the naked eye. There are no glasses or limiting LCD displays to contend with. The digital content was actually on paper, albeit temporarily. Of course, mapping and projection aren’t new but this project presents a viable alternative to current AR methods. It’s also impressive how the entire setup was built with familiar devices without any soldering or hardware tampering.

PSFK has previously reported on other innovative uses for 3D mapping including in fine dining and gameplay.

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