Saturday, August 29, 2009

Doctor, I'm hearing the voices again...

Via Wikipedia : "Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a real-world environment whose elements are supplemented with-, or augmented by computer-generated imagery. The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in meaningful context with environmental elements. The term is believed to have been coined in 1990 by Thomas Caudell."

Proposed is an AR application that is capable of interpreting visual cues from the ‘real-world’ environment and making decisions based on the same. It will deal with vast amounts of data, collected from day-to-day life, and provide the user with meaningful information based on such data in the real-world, in real-time. This is an app intended for the system conceptualized by Pranav Mistry et. al. of MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group, details of which are available here.

The application, (which I'm calling 'Third-i'), would function as a virtual secretary, primarily concerned with notifying the user with relevant updates/reminders/information pertaining to appointments/deadlines/events of potential interest.

The system is customizable by nature, and the user is actively required to input his/her preferences into the database for optimal functionality. Based on the user’s preferences, the system designs an optimal schedule for him, (the schedule can be adjusted at the user’s discretion) and proactively issues ‘reminders’ to assure that the user adheres to it.

To illustrate, suppose you indicate your interest in live music. At a later date, you’re walking past a store, and you see a flyer for a rock concert. The imaging apparatus of the augmented reality system ‘sees’ the flyer, (i.e. captures an image of it) and scans it for relevant information (such as showtimes, dates, ticket pricing). It correlates and compares this information with your schedule for the day of the show, and queries you to gauge your interest. If you indicate your interest in attending the show, the system creates an entry in your schedule, checks online for the best prices, and makes a purchase based on your authorization.

The application could be customized to user-specification, as a permanent companion, able to issue alerts/reminders/event updates in real-time, either via e-mail, pop-up alerts or (my favourite) in the form of in-ear voice cues. A fully personalized 'avatar' for the application if you will, with the clipped tones of a butler; the sibilant voice of a beautiful woman; or even your dad, yelling at you to get out of bed and get your ass in gear. The options are limitless. And you'll never forget things like anniversaries, birthdays, and appointments again! XD

1 comment:

der untermensch said...

Some more links, if you liked this post :

The AR Consortium

Thomas Wrobel's Proposal for an Open AR Network

Nokia Point and Find

Also, please dont steal *this* blog post, I'm hereby asserting my moral right to be identified as the author of this little chunk of IP, even though these are just my two bits on a hugely important, emergent piece of futureTech :)