Recently I came across one of the coolest applications of augmented reality ever. Couple of researchers from UC Davis Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences have developed a sandbox that acts as a real-time interactive, topographical map with contour lines and color shading. When ever you change the topography by moving the sand, the new isolines will be projected on the sand.
[iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/j9JXtTj0mzE” width=”100%” height=”380″]
The project uses Microsoft Kinect camera coupled with topographic visualization software and a 3D data projector. The Kinect takes stereoscopic images of the topography of the sandbox and sends the data to a computer. Researchers applied the Vrui VR development toolkit in conjunction with the Kinect 3D processing framework to compute the visualisation from a specific point of view of the data projector fixed above the sandbox.
[iframe src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ki8UXSJmrJE” width=”100%” height=”380″]
If you see one of those in a science museum somewhere in the world let us know!