Augmented Reality (AR) Mirror on Mass Market Hardware : Considering Mass Market AR on Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Hardware like Laptops, Tablets and Phones
Abstract: Augmented Reality (AR) is studied in this thesis from a desire to deploy AR products in large scale within a few years. This assumes a plain software solution, using Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) hardware as existing laptops, tablets and phones. The thesis scope is a mirror metaphor, the device mimics a mirror and AR is presented in the mirror. The mirror is from looping video from the camera facing the user to the screen and real-time AR graphics is added to the video stream. A video mirror is slightly different from a physical mirror and the consequences in this context are considered. The more obvious video mirror from operating a device in selfie-mode – recording a video of oneself – is recognized to be used for AR features in large scale without being marketed as an AR product. This is seen as sign of AR maturity in the discussion. A less recognized video mirror, by looping video from a work area on a physical desk and apply AR on objects in the work area is studied. The focus is the potential of using a device’s face oriented camera to create an AR mirror from unmodified COTS hardware. Even if AR is a well researched area, the mirror metaphor by video loop has been almost neglected. This can be explained by a) physical mirrors are generally better for AR, especially in lab situations or unique equipment, b) the AR research field matured long before common COTS screen devices had cameras and c) AR in mirrors has less immersion than AR in a direct view. The basic properties of an AR implementation in a laptop and a tablet are studied, obstacles are found and possible ways to handle them are presented. The general recommendation though is to add a USB camera to the laptop or a tiny mirror to the tablet. Literature research indicates that AR using the mirror metaphor offers a noticeable improvement compared to screen or paper based presentations when used in relevant situations. It is concluded that AR is maturing. There will not be an AR revolution but we are in the beginning of an evolution where AR is included for its ability to improve user interaction rather than for being impressing technology.
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