Augmented reality, a concept that involves using a translucent screen to display objects or information in a real world environment, is surely one of the best use cases for Google Glass and future devices like it. +Brandyn White and +Andrew Miller, a team of Google Glass Explorers, have demoed a Mirror API version of augmented reality as part of what they are calling “OpenGlass,” an open-source library for Google Glass.
While Google Glass may very well support full Android applications and access to more device sensors (gyro, accelerometer, etc.) in the near future, White intended to do what he could while staying within the bounds of the Mirror API – which is currently fully supported by Google. This meant taking a photo of the current user’s view and annotating it using services such as Picarus rather than displaying augmented information in real time.
According to White, his team plans to eventually incorporate the above Google Glass sensors and implement the idea natively with the Glass SDK. Doing so would allow users to track their field of vision in real time automatically, and would allow for a much more intuitive augmented reality experience. To get a glimpse into the initial Mirror API version of the software, however, be sure to watch the video below.
In the video, Brandyn and Andrew demo various use cases for their library, such as translating a sign and telling the user how tall a building is. It may appear to be clunky and not user-friendly, but keep in mind that this is one of the first–if not the first–demos of actual augmented reality on Google Glass that adheres to the Mirror API. This means that the below concept could, in some form, be usable right now without root access and without installing an Android APK. It runs just like any other Glassware.
OpenGlass is a project started by PhD students Brandyn White and Andrew Miller. The two have broad research interests, but have extensive experience in computer vision. They played an active role in the OpenKinect, a similar project aimed at creating open libraries for Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect sensor.
In the past, we’ve seen augmented reality demoed by the dSky9 team in the form of a sideloaded app called StarFinder. Keep in mind, though, that this is just the beginning. And this is only the first generation of the Google Glass hardware.