TR#260: Wearable, Tetherless, Computer-Mediated Reality

Steve Mann

The general spirit and intent of Augmented Reality (AR) is to {\em add} virtual objects to the real world. A typical AR apparatus consists of a video display with partially transparent visor, upon which computer-generated information is {\em overlayed}. % The general spirit of what is proposed, like typical AR, includes {\em adding} virtual objects, but also includes the desire to {\em take away}, {\em alter}, or more generally to visually `mediate' real objects, using a body-worn apparatus where both the {\em real} and {\em virtual} objects are placed on an equal footing, in the sense that both are presented together via a synthetic medium. % Successful implementations have been realized by {\em viewing} the real world using a head-mounted display (HMD) fitted with video camera(s), body-worn processing, and/or bidirectional wireless communications. This portability enabled various forms of the apparatus to be tested extensively in everyday circumstances, such as while riding the bus, or shopping. % The proposed approach shows promise in applications where it is desired to have the ability to reconfigure reality. For example, color may be deliberately diminished or completely removed from the real world at certain times when it is desired to highlight parts of a virtual world with graphic objects having unique colors. The fact that vision may be {\em completely} reconfigured also suggests utility to the visually handicapped.