March 21, 2012

Do It Yourself Augmented Reality Baseball Cap Heads Up Display

Working in the Augmented Reality field, we’re constantly evaluating new technologies, platforms, content providers, etc. and feel fairly confident that we’ve seen quite a lot, and are quite quick to spot an “OMG Awesome!” when we see it.  Therefor, you can imagine our excitement when we first heard of Matt Kwan’s Do It Yourself Heads Up Display made from relatively simple components, all strapped to an everyday baseball cap. Matt is a PhD Candidate in Geospatial Science at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.  He writes that he’s been interested in Augmented Reality for quite some time, and is always looking for a better way to present location-based information.  Given this penchant, Matt started looking into a practical HUD that could better the augmented reality motorcycle helmets and ski goggles that have, well, to be frank, been a bit disappointing. So what does a geospatial science doctoral candidate do when he can’t find what he’s looking for?  Well, build one himself, of course!  Using only an HTC Desire Z, a pair of fresnel lenses, a plastic mirror, some mirrored film, a baseball cap and regular office supplies, Matt managed to fashion a heads up display the suited his needs. After assembling and tweaking his setup, Matt chose Wikitude to put his homemade heads up display to the test.  “It’s pretty cool to run Wikitude with some duct tape over the camera lens, and see all the points of interest rotate around as you turn your head.” Speaking with Matt via email, he adds, “It was actually Wikitude that renewed my interest in augmented reality. I was playing around with the Android version, and I loved the concept but wasn’t happy with the ergonomics of holding a smartphone in front of my face. That got me thinking of ways to take the image from a smartphone’s screen and overlay it on my field of view.” Read more about Matt’s DIY Baseball cap HUD at my20percent.wordpress.com

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