We’ve written a lot on this blog about Google Glass, about Microsoft Kinect, and about augmented reality in general. California’s Atheer Labs has combined these three concepts into a wearable 3D interface that responds to gestures and voice commands, and looks (to me, anyway) slightly less peculiar than Google’s head-mounted gadget.
The Atheer visor projects a display in front of the wearer, making it appear that you are looking at a large screen. The display responds to voice prompts and basic gestures, and can be used in augmented reality applications by overlaying data on items or locations in the field of view. The company officially unveiled the solution at the Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference at the end of May.
A demo app available on the prototype produces digital “bubbles” that float in the field of view, which can be “popped” when the user touches them with their finger. Another app (remember, these are all presented in 3D) allows users to slice fruit by chopping it with their hands.
“Our mobile 3D platform fundamentally alters the way people access information on the go, adding a natural interface that can be controlled with natural gestures and motions,” said Soulaiman Itani, founder and CEO of Atheer. “The possibilities and advantages of adding an interactive digital layer to the existing physical world are endless, and this is the future of not only technology, but the human experience.”
The device includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, and Wi-Fi antenna. It supports Android apps, too, and the company offers a development platform to create 3D applications for the technology. One problem still to be addressed: battery life.