Saturday, March 29, 2014

Augmented Reality and Disability

TED2014 : The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance*
A talk from Hugh Herr, Bionic Designer has been published yesterday on TED.  Hugh Herr is a bionic designer who lost his legs. It is inspiring that he could design the bionics for his own legs for any purpose. He uses what he designs and he can also evaluate it.

That is
prosthetic technology. What about augmented reality? Will it help people with disability? Will it make our life better?

There are many of augmented reality applications for marketing and education that surely will answer these questions. We do enjoy augmented reality games as well. An article from Mashable entitled "7 Ways Augmented Reality Will Improve Your Life" wraps up this topic beautifully. 

Hugh Herr also stated that the technology will someday make people with visual impaired will see. In fact, we have computer vision study that is aiming to make computer to see. The next level is making human to see using computer vision.

Nowadays, mapping the environment using Simultaneously Localization and Mapping (SLAM), GPS, and depth cameras can help people with visually impaired people to recognize their environment. Let's not forget about how Project Tango by Google that definitely will take part in this area. In augmented reality for visually impaired, the feedback is not visual. Audio or hap-tic (touch) feedback are likely used instead.

Researcher also studies how augmented reality can help people with autism. A study finds that using Augmented Reality will help children with autism can improve their engagement during the pretend playing. The study reports their finding in International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality Conference 2012 and 2013. The paper can be downloaded here.

The possibilities are limitless. The point is augmented reality will not only for shopping and entertainment, but also for helping others. And that is what innovations are for.

*image from

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