Friday, October 03, 2008

Science (and life??) through (augmented reality) Semantic Goggles

The FP6 CINeSPACE project, Experiencing Urban Film and Cultural Heritage project (article) creates an augmented reality by combining GIS information with semantic technology. The results are a location-/ orientation-aware binocular-like device which overlays multimedia information based on - among other things - what the user is looking at:

This is a great concept and prototype, but could we take it a little further and generalize it? Say, to semantically enhanced reality goggles that allow you to select a particular semantic view of the world, including scientific and social views? Put them on and toggle the "Biological taxonomy" semantic view while you are walking through the rainforest and you have species names overlaid on your enhanced reality; identified poisonous plants and animals are marked with a bright red "Do not eat" and "Avoid", respectively; identified endangered species are marked with an "Endangered: Do not step-on / touch / damage / pick" and when when a dangerous human-eating animal is recognized close-up, perhaps your goggles would go opaque and flash "Don't Panic". ;-)

Hop on a plane to Devon Island and switch to "Geology" and the goggles make use of its hyperspectral sensor to identify rock types as you hike, supplemented by geological ontologies of geological mapping information, as latitude/longitude second lines are projected across the landscape.

And as you are hiking across the tundra, perhaps - in an Agent-like manner - the "Biological Taxonomy" interrupts when it detects the movements of a polar bear in the distance!

Head back home and switch to the "Social Networking" view, and as you walk through the mall - through facial recognition and subsequent information gleaned from social networking sites and other human-oriented data sets and ontologies - the people walking by you are augmented by a colour coding based on some criteria you have defined, like "History of violence" or "SF likes long walks on the beach" or "Recently dissed your blog"...


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