With VENTURI's project Très Cloîtres Numérique, residents and visitors in Grenoble, a city in southeastern France, can soon use a tablet or smartphone to see the city in its past. The city scene is overlaid with historical photographs and 3-D reconstructions of ancient buildings.
Companies like Volkswagen, Audi and IKEA are working with project partner Metaio to create exciting new tools. For example, Audi customers can take a virtual tour of their new vehicle; Volkswagen allows users to customize a car before ordering; and IKEA and Mitsubishi both allow customers to see how their products would look in their homes or offices, before buying.
But VENTURI researchers want people to experience augmented reality without tablets or smartphones. Their goal is to create a seamless augmented reality environment that leverages smart glasses, watches and earpieces.
"In VENTURI, we have been exploring cutting edge 'reality sensing' through computer-vision and sensor fusion, and have tied this together with intuitive 'world augmentation' through 3D audio, Smartwatch interaction and HMDs like GoogleGlass," says VENTURI Project Coordinator Paul Chippendale.
VENTURI is working with Metaio and Sony to create the first generation of ubiquitous AR tools.
"Thanks to Sony's participation in VENTURI, we have had privileged access to their future vision of wearable devices, ranging from smart life logging bands (wrist-worn devices that log a user's activity) to advanced head mounted displaysm," Chippendale said. "We have been using this insight together with Metaio's strong market knowledge, to create personalised AR content according to a user's social profile, the current environmental and what it is that they're currently doing."