News Story

Boo! says the KMi AR Ghost

Chris Valentine, Monday 06 October 2014 | Annotate
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Just in time for Halloween, the Knowledge Media Institute of The Open University is proud to announce the release of its first ghost, "Cuthbert 1.0", who now spooks the institute’s hallways. “Cuthbert is state-of-the-art, not one of these timeworn second hand ghosts, who’ve been around for a couple hundred years”, says Fridolin Wild, the principal investigator.
 
“He is very 2014 and he is visible to anyone with paranormal sensitivity”, Paul Hogan, ghost coder, adds jokingly, “for example, anyone wearing the Epson Moverio BT200 augmented reality glasses”.
 
Cuthbert is very attached to the room he resides in, the institute’s media lab, but he interacts with his environment, in particular with people approaching him (see video). Attached is to be understood in a literal sense here, as the technology behind his presence is channeled utilizing optical features of (and computer vision over) a fiducial marker calibrated on objects in the room.
 
“The working principle for the ghost is pretty much the same one we apply in our TELLME project in industry”, says Wild,  “in that work, we are enabling ‘learning by experience’ in diverse manufacturing environments from helicopter maintenance, bespoke furniture production, to textile weaving. There is an immense potential in this approach to deliver instruction 'to the point of impact', as it says in the new tech trends report of Deloitte, which we were interviewed by about our work in wearables-enhanced learning".
 
In TELLME’s ‘ARgh!’ application (appropriately named for our Cuthbert prototype!), cheap, printed markers are used to track and connect objects in the real world to virtual learning activities, thus providing feedback and guidance where required, superimposed over what human eyes naturally perceive.
 
Or super-naturally perceive.
 
Muahaha.
 
Happy Halloween!

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