Machine vision technology is making an entrance into the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) markets. The potential applications of AR/VR are far-reaching - beyond their potential use for video games and entertainment. AR/VR could be used by assembly workers for real-time instructions, for training new surgeons in safer environments, for marketing and advertising on mobile apps, for more engaging educational experiences, or a number of other ways.
AR/VR may have a major impact on several different industries, but the technology is still in its infancy. Machine vision is helping advanced the capabilities of AR/VR.
3 Machine Vision Technologies Improving AR/VR
Machine vision will play an integral role in the maturation of AR/VR for many years to come. Today, there are a few key machine vision technologies pushing AR/VR forward.
1. Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM)
SLAM technology allows machine vision systems to create maps of unknown environments while determining the position of the vision system, or the machine the vision system is embedded in, within the context of the map. In this way, 3D objects can be recognized and virtual surface reconstruction can take place more accurately for AR/VR applications.
2. AR/VR-Specific Lenses for Display Inspection
In AR/VR applications, the quality of the display is a fundamental part of how closely the system can mimic reality and convincingly reconstruct virtual environments. In the manufacture of AR/VR systems, new lenses with apertures at the front of the vision system allow for display inspections at the same distance the human eye would view the display. This improvement in the inspection process allows for the production of higher quality AR/VR displays.
3. Global Shutter CMOS Sensors
Global shutter CMOS sensors are also playing an important role in the maturation of AR/VR. Rolling shutter CCD sensors are often too slow for real-time image capture, leading to distorted images. On the other hand, CMOS sensors leverage global shutters can achieve very high frame rates while maintaining ultra-high resolutions to facilitate the type of fast, quality vision that’s required for AR/VR.
Machine vision technology is playing an important role in the ongoing development of more advanced AR/VR systems. In the pursuit of more realistic virtual reconstructions of reality, the speed and quality of today’s machine vision technology is pushing the industry forward.