I am currently participating at the ‘Better Than Reality, Augmented Reality Residency’ at V2 in Rotterdam.
Augmented Reality is an umbrella term for a range of techniques that make it possible to add virtual elements to the physical world; for example, overlayed visuals or spatialised sounds. The technologies needed to create Augmented Reality environments are, however, still very experimental and therefore often inaccessible to artists. To enable more artists to create augmented reality artworks, V2_Lab has developed a software/hardware platform called VGE (V2_ Game Engine), that is based on Ogre3D, OpenAL, Blender, ultrasound positioning and SIOS (Sensor Input/Output System). The latter was also developed at V2_Lab.
In VGE, the user wears a set of stereo video displays that show a mix of 3D visuals and real world video that is received from a head mounted stereo camera. The position in space and orientation of the head are tracked. Additionally, the geometry of the real space is modelled in the virtual space. The tracking makes it possible to fix the virtual world relative to the real world. For example, a virtual object can disappear behind a real wall.
The aim of V2_Lab is to extend VGE into an accessible authoring environment for Augmented Reality environments.
Together with two other artists we explore various topics of augmented reality:
Marnix de Nijs (NL) will continue his Exercise in Immersion 4 project
Boris Debackere (BE) researches spatial sound
and I will focus on 3D and visual aspects of augmented reality.
In the fall of 2008 a series of workshops will be given, open to (art) students, artists and other professionals who are interested in artistic use of augmented reality.
More info about my results and findings soon…