The line between cyberspace and the physical world is blurring with a new search technology being demonstrated by Autonomy, a British software publisher.
The firm is demonstrating a software-based machine-vision recognition system intended for smartphones and tablet computers that embeds images and videos directly on top of the image of a real object on the user’s display.
Today so-called augmented reality is already widely available on both iPhones and Android phones through software applications like Google Goggles. Hundreds of other apps overlay geographical information on smartphone displays.
But Autonomy embeds moving imagery within the display of images of the real world in a way that’s visually convincing. For instance, a game maker might use it so that a person holding a camera phone up to a building would see the building’s image on the screen with a dragon entwined around it.
Called Aurasma, the software is based on the company’s IDOL pattern recognizer, which has been stripped down to run on an iPhone 4.
Requiring all of the computing horsepower the hand-held Apple smartphone can muster, the software makes it possible for the phone to recognize a database of about a half-million objects. It then uses the iPhone’s computing power to correctly insert a video image into the scene captured on the screen of the handset or tablet by its camera.