University of Texas pushes augmented reality with accurate positioning

A University of Texas researcher says Google's Project Glass does not push the augmented reality concept far enough, presenting a system that provides highly accurate positioning to overlay virtual 3D images on a physical environment. The prototype unit, demonstrated by Todd Humphreys at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas, is currently a bulky yet handheld unit that employs advanced positioning techniques.

Humphreys and his students at the Radionavigation Laboratory in Austin developed the precise augmented reality (PAR) system using carrier phase differential GPS (CDGPS) and an inertial measurement unit (IMU).

These advanced positioning and orientation techniques allow sub-centimetre level accurate positioning and degree level accurate attitude. The researchers say this "enables tight registration or alignment of virtual renderings and the real world."

Unlike Google’s Project Glass the system is not wearable but has the potential to be more suited to professional applications including R&D.

The University of Texas team has posted a video of the system in action that you can view here.