There have been many exciting developments in the field of augmented reality (AR), particularly with regards to hardware devices like SmartGlasses, but in some ways the software side is still lagging behind as it gets to grips with the rapid pace of change. The CSIRO Lab in Canberra, Australia is trying to redress the balance.
The CSIRO Date61 innovation group has launched a new immersive environments lab, as part of the CSIRO research hub on Black Mountain. The lab is home to cutting edge immersive technology that will be used to develop new immersive software.
A senior research engineer and experimental scientist named Matt Adcock indicated that the lab would be spearheading research into AR, with projects already underway in fields such as retail, agriculture, manufacturing, health and construction.
One of the projects currently being worked on would allow paramedics and other emergency responders to connect remotely to an emergency scene and provide help such as guidance on how to perform first aid by using AR smartglasses.
“These technologies really get their strength from how well they understand the physical environment, which helps them deliver holographic data right where and when it is needed most,” Adcock said.
This is just one example of what the technology could be capable of with the proper development, according to Adcock: “Some smartphone apps already let users see, for instance, what furniture would look like in their own home. But while the hardware is evolving at a rapid pace, the digital services that can run on that hardware are just beginning to be explored.”
Data61 chief executive Adrian Turner is enthusiastic about what the research can accomplish: “Augmented reality now is where the [World Wide] Web was several decades ago — on the cusp of broad adoption,” Turner said, “The immersive environments lab will facilitate collaboration between industry, government and universities, which will reinvent our industries and create new ways of working and playing.”
For further news on research into AR and VR technologies, keep checking back with VRFocus.