Arduino + Augmented Reality


In this video you can see the marriage of Arduino data collecting units and Augmented reality systems. Set up by the people at, a site for sharing sensor information from your location, this is an interesting idea. We can see that each unit has its own pattern, so it can have the data it is collecting superimposed on it in 3d. While this is really cool looking, we’re still trying to figure out what the use of this is? Who is going to be wandering around their office with a camera hooked to a computer? Maybe this is meant more for phones, so you can get quick readings off of the units without having to go access their logs. Since we know how much you guys absolutely love the Arduino, we though you might also be interested in this larger than life portrait we saw floating around.

[via littlebirdceo]

23 thoughts on “Arduino + Augmented Reality

  1. Iv been wondering how much longer it will be untill we see augmented reality games, from what i remmember the army are working on a version, last i saw they had a pic straped to a set of binoculars with a butten on them. Butten would fire rockets and could show a helicopter flying around an area

  2. The use-case I’ve heard is as follows:
    So you have the room full of pipes for your pneumatic testing lab. The pipes have pressure and flow meters at various points, and the data is collected and aggregated into a database.
    Now, put your gliphs on the pipes at the test points. And have the gliphs associated with the database elements.

    Now, let’s say you have your smart phone running some glyph tracking software with the camera. It pulls the appropriate sensor data and superimposes the data onto the pipe. You just point your phone at the pipe of interest, and you immediately know what the pressure/flow at that point is.

  3. Augmented reality it is not. Until I see it floating in my field of vision. Putting it on a Tv screen is Not augmented reality, it’s a video dog and pony show on a tv screen.

    And no it does not work on a HUD. I’ve been into wearable computing since 1997 and every HUD I have tried SUCKS for augmented reality.

    NOW, make a decent resolution tablet that can do this. Unfortunately nobody does. 720p screen with a 720p camera built into the back is the MINIMUM.

  4. I can think of one very simple use case. Look at a building, get information on what businesses are there, on what floors. Look at a bus stop, and see what busses will be there when. Look at a department store, see what sales are happening… etc.

    There’s a lot of room out there for adding useful information to reality as it stands today. Sure, all these are available separately, but being able to combine them with what you’re seeing in nearly real time is a potentially huge win in the usability department.

  5. I can see this becoming useful in the next 5 – 10 years when cell phones (esp in the US market) become more advanced with larger/higher resolution screens with higher quality cameras and lower price. Data plans would also have to drop in price to the point where everyone has it like text messaging or large area “hot spots” with phones capable of wireless connectivity.

    You could have these placed around a mall and have customers check sales thru their phones when pointed at one of the gliphs.

    In a car dealership you could get more info that what’s printed on the tag.

    All advertisements would have a marker on them for more info.

    oh wait… they already do that in Japan.

  6. Would be interesting if the glyph were a simple LCD and it changed its pixels. Suppose you wanted to look at the pressure readouts, you could switch to see how much electricity is being used or generated by having the lcd change the glyph. I can see it used in magazines and newspapers, shirts, even.

    I thin AR contacts or direct input into the brain are the best bets. glasses suck.

  7. Obviously I wasn’t too clear. Yes the glyph would show the data. Fine. Suppose there was an AR game called Wolfenstein AR, and you wanted to play Bejeweled AR, you would press a button selecting so, and the glyph would change to the glyph that represented Bejeweled AR, thus summoning that particular AR game… Advertisements could have thin, flexible lcds that switched glyphs every so often

  8. Interesting to watch their software absolutely fail at sanity checking near the end of the video, apparently thinking the camera is vibrating in space at a few dozen kilometers an hour. The glyphs obviously need a scale indicator, so the software can tell the difference between small glyphs close to the camera, which can move around quickly, and big glyphs far away from the camera, which can’t.

    Consumer AR also needs fast processors and very high resolution cameras, (not just big megapixel counts, but quality optics) neither of which is cheap enough yet.


    If you’ve got an LCD, just display the data and the glyph.

  9. I can see this being very useful for maintaining server racks. just carry something with a camera and a screen around and you can identify faulty or hot racks quickly and easily.

  10. I’m not that familiar with augmented reality, but is it possible to just use those square barcodes so you can store more data on them or are cameras not sensitive enough to read those from a decent distance?

  11. These ‘tags’ are simply acting as database queries. No challange.

    Why not have the tag display on an LCD, or a grid of LEDs, but instead of a static display the ‘tag’ would change to represent the data that needs to be displayed.

    Instead of reading a tag’s ID, doing a database querry, and displaying the data onscree, WATCH the tag, decode the data it is sending, use that to show the bars, etc.

  12. Nice idea and I’m not knocking the work, but seriously, what’s the point if they are connected via bluetooth/ethernet anyway? if all the data went to a central place, all the data could be compared in context.
    I like the augmented reality but this application seems partially unnecessary.

    a better way would be as “kd5uzz” suggested, an lcd data matrix or something so the info was sent to the device via the camera and graphically rendered therein, surely that would be simpler to implement (not needing bluetooth/ethernet)

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