Augmented reality will change the way we use technology and see the world around us. By using an array of sensors to intelligently interpret location, position, and context; augmented reality has the potential to visually enrich our experience of the real world with timely and useful information. As our recent announcement at MWC showed, Hillcrest is excited to be working with ST-Ericsson and VENTURI to develop a next-generation augmented reality (AR) paradigm.
Apps such as Layar and Google Sky Map introduced the public to basic location awareness, and more recently Google Glass and Kopin’s Golden-i have expanded on the concept. However, pervasive, enjoyable augmented reality is hard. This blog has discussed some of these challenges before. The specific challenges related to motion – including variable performance of motion sensors due to age and temperature, magnetic interference and sensor fusion instability – require considerable expertise to overcome. That’s why Hillcrest is excited to be collaborating with ST-Ericsson and VENTURI’s other thought leaders.
Our role in the project is to improve the motion performance through the use of our Freespace® MotionEngine™ Mobile sensor fusion software. Fortunately, this is an area where we have a lot of experience. We’ve been working with MEMS inertial and magnetic sensors in consumer electronics for a decade now, and have partnerships with innovative companies such as Kopin to solve the specific issues associated with motion tracking for augmented reality.
This experience means that our MotionEngine Mobile sensor fusion software, which we ported to ST-Ericsson’s NovaThor platform, is able to significantly enhance the motion performance of the platform. It does this by providing the most responsive, most stable, and most accurate heading, position and 3D motion tracking available. What does this mean from the AR user’s perspective? It means that the application will know exactly what you are looking at. It means that performance will not be affected by changes in temperature or magnetic distortions caused by other electronic devices and metal objects. Lastly, it means when moving the phone around quickly there will be no drift, jumps or jitters as the application quickly identifies where you are looking.
So we’re excited to be working with VENTURI and ST-Ericsson to move augmented reality forward, and to be a part of some of the most innovative applications being developed for smartphones, tablets and HMDs (Head Mounted Displays) today.