To many people, augmented reality (AR) is still a science fiction-like concept; Something they´ve seen in the movies. Objects seemingly conjured out of thin air, while overlapping and interacting with the reality that is recognized by a portable device’s camera or GPS-system. Google’s wearable augmented reality glasses can be used for instant navigation, while some smartphone apps could be of great importance while fighting crime. What would superheroes use? Today: X-ray vision.
Most people would like to have x-ray vision for one simple reason: to be able to see through other people’s clothes. Having x-ray vision, however, can also come in handy if you’re not a pervert.
The notion of having X-ray vision, the or the ability to virtually “see through” one surface to what is hidden from view, is one of the most intriguing capabilities of augmented reality systems. Google is currently developing wearable augmented reality glasses, which will enable the user to “see” reality with an extra layer of information on top. Imagine for example looking at the Coliseum in Rome. Without the glasses, you will just see bricks and stones; a ruin. But look through the glasses, and the Coliseum will appear the way it once was during Roman times.
But “x-ray vision” applications can be used for more than just sight seeing. In 2009, researcher Yaser Sheikh developed a technology that makes it possible for a driver to see what’s around the corner. The system uses two cameras to make this X-ray vision trick possible. One is placed around the corner and captures the street view over there. The other one needs to match the driver’s view, so it is preferably placed in the car. When both images are synced together and super-imposed, the driver can actually see through the wall. The technology is not on the market yet, but might be in the future.
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