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VR Interfaces: CamAR


Overview of CamAR
Bad name puns aside, CamAR is exactly what it sounds like. Its an augmented reality camera system. Designed by Vuzix, it clips onto the outside of their VR920 virtual reality video eyewear, turning the 400 usd device into an augmented reality visor.

It doesn't talk directly to the VR920, so much as piggyback itself on the eyewear's data link to whatever device it is connected to, giving a two-way signal, so that the device itself can work out whether or not to superimpose physical images on the virtual data being displayed.

This jiggery-pokery approach is required because the eyewear unit was designed to be as lightweight as possible, and so lacks the computing power to process such signals. That is thus left to the ipod, or whatever else is actually connected.

Still, latency times are slight, and not enough to cause simulator sickness, under most conditions.

Debuted at GDC 2009, the camera works with magic symbol based VR - the patterned squares - to overlay virtual data upon the physical scene, or vice versa.

The product is one of two Vuzix is developing - PhasAR is the second - which the company hopes, will help remove the current issue with visual AR in that you have to wave a cameraphone or similar over the symbol to see it. If you're wearing the display like glasses, that is less of an issue.

Vuzix plans to market the devices by summer 2009.Vuzix says it also plans to offer a package deal of CamAR and VR920 for those who also lack the eyewear.

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