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UC Expert Helping Google With Its Glass Project

UC Expert Helping Google With Its Glass Project

March 19, 2013

University of Canterbury (UC) computer science professor Mark Billinghurst is on sabbatical at Google in the United States contributing to its international Google Glass project.

Google Glass is a head mounted display system being developed by Google that will enable people to have hands free access to information at any time and to connect with their friends in new ways.

``The project has received a tremendous amount of publicity since it has been announced with the displays becoming publicly available later this year. I will be developing novel user experiences using Glass and I am one of the first academics in the world to get access to the technology,’’ Professor Billinghurst said.

This morning in Orlando, Florida, he will receive the 2013 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award.

The global award was established in 2005 and is the highest and most prestigious technical award in the field of Virtual and Augmented Reality.

Professor Billinghurst has been one of the world’s leading researchers in augmented reality (AR) which is an important emerging digital technology. AR allows computer graphics to be inserted into a view of the real world and creates the illusion of virtual content becoming part of the user’s real environment.

Over the past decade Professor Billinghurst has developed many innovative uses of AR technology. Most recently, he has used the technology in Christchurch with the CityViewAR phone application which allows people to point a phone at an empty plot of land and use AR to show a virtual copy of the building that was on the site before the earthquakes.

Last year, he received an international award for co-authoring the best paper presented at the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) conference in the last decade.

Later this year Professor Billinghurst intends to continue his ground breaking research in Augmented Reality in several areas. He will continue exploring how to deliver AR experiences on a city scale and in particular how to allow people to create their own large scale AR experiences and combining the input from multiple sensors to provide an AR view of smart city data.

``A second area of my research will be using speech and gesture to interact with AR applications in a very intuitive way, so that people can use natural hand motion to manipulate virtual content.

``I am interested in how AR technology can be used to create new types of collaborative experiences. Using the technology one person could see through a remote person's eyes, or two people in the same space could see shared virtual content on the table in front of them.

``These areas are all topics where there has been little research conducted so far in Augmented Reality and where significant results could be found in the next few years,’’ Professor Billinghurst said.

Photo: Mark Billinghurst


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