Augmented reality might be all the rage these days, but when you take a closer look at the technology, you will find that these sorts of optical illusions are not new at all.
Artist [Sebastian Schmieg] was pondering augmented reality for a bit and decided he could replicate the effect using old and obsolete technology. His creation, called “81 Points of View”, uses an old Kodak slide projector and an elaborate mechanical setup to simulate the effect.
The slide projector resides on a platform that can be rotated around its center in 81 steps. After each movement, the mechanism swaps out the current slide, selecting the next image depending on which direction the user turns. The resulting effect is similar to the implementations of augmented reality you might see today, with a 3d visualization superimposed on the surrounding room.
The concept dates back all the way to the 1860’s, when [John Pepper] first demonstrated the technique. Using mirrors and panes of glass, he was able to project translucent images in front of his audience, which is the same idea [Sebastian] uses in his project. You are likely quite familiar with the effect, if you have ever visited the Haunted Mansion at a Disney theme park.
It’s a neat project, though the resultant augmented reality display is obviously not quite as smooth as you would see from a smartphone. Either way, it is definitely worth checking out. Keep reading to see a video of the project in action.