This Watch Is A HoloLens For Your Wrist
The device is made to make augmented reality more accessible in everyday use
Developed by Digital Media Lab (TZI), Google and Hasselt University, the WatchThru allows its user to experience holographic images without the need to wear augmented reality glasses. The device builds on a typical smartwatch by adding a “fold-out, semitransparent display,” according to Co.Design. That display can function simply as a second screen, allowing the wearer to video chat with a friend while simultaneously clicking through links or scrolling through photos. However, the display can also operate in a “peek-through” mode, in which it is able to display 3D, augmented content, a la the HoloLens.
For example, instead of relying on the Google Maps app to navigate to a restaurant or a friend’s house, the user could employ the watch’s second screen to display a 3D arrow pointing him or her in the right direction.
The watch can also be programmed to incorporate any number of augmented reality applications, including the ability to reveal hidden aspects of certain environments, such as showing where the light sockets are in a room.
Because your wrist moves independently from your face, the WatchThru is a more complex piece of technology than augmented reality glasses (that sit on the bridge of your nose). However, while the watch currently requires external cameras to track the device and the wearer’s face in order to operate correctly, researchers hope that those tracking applications will later be incorporated directly into the WatchThru itself in further iterations of the gadget.