Our exploration of AR technology has reached the limit level. In front of the beauty lens of the iPhone, our faces do seem to look better, but all the possibilities of changing the world -- AR's promise to add a new digital interface to our analog world -- remain elusive. Many people believe that AR will develop rapidly with the introduction of "Magic Leap" or "Hololens". But it may suggest that we need another AR, which can be used as a substitute for "smart glasses".
Lumen is a creative application. It's an AR flashlight. It's very simple to use. Targeting it at any object, whether scissors, PCB or stereo, Lumen will provide relevant information, from simple annotated charts (e.g. components that annotate PCB) to fully interactive controls (e.g., allowing you to turn on or off stereo or change songs).
Lumen was designed and built by Arvind Sanjeev, a student at the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design, in just 10 weeks. It has a depth sensor camera and an object recognition algorithm to recognize what you are looking at. It combines with a projector to illuminate objects intelligently and wrap pixels around any particular 3D object, just like a customized digital jacket.
I believe that unlike traditional headphone isolation, Lumen can support collaborative immersion learning by allowing more people to experience the same reality without headphones," Sangeev said.”
Combining these technologies, creating more social functions on the AR interface and integrating them into a retro flashlight can make the perfect user experience more perfect. Especially when compared with super-large smartphones, flashlights are comfortable to hold --- Lumen's gestures don't need any explanation --- just aim at what you want to "light up". You can see what you point at.
Admittedly, Lumen has a big practical disadvantage. Because you have to hold it in your hand, you can use it with one hand. Imagine how bad it would be if Lumen suddenly ran out of control in your garage, projecting repair instructions on your car's engine, leaving you alone to repair the transmission. But as a tool for exploring new environments, it's full of poetry, isn't it? Lumen is the light that symbolizes knowledge in your hands.
Sanjeev is not the only designer of flashlights. NewDeal Design designed the first Lytro camera with the same shape. Local Projects has a project closer to Lumen AR: Jake Barton's team is helping to develop the Faith & Liberty Exploration Center in Philadelphia, where you can interact with similar digital lanterns to explore exhibits. After trying, I can assure you that this concept works perfectly.
Of course, maybe Lumen won't interfere with the appearance of AR glasses. This idea is in line with basic ergonomics, suitable for people pursuing a comfortable life, liberating our hands and respecting the space we live in. If we don't explore it, it will be a pity, because we will simply tattoo digital screens on our eyeballs. That's why Sanjeev wants to see his project continue.
Sanjeev said: "I'm trying to find a way to turn Lumen into a real consumer platform, hoping to see it used by developers for educational and entertainment applications. I also plan to reconsider the existing design and form factors to make Lumen more ergonomically fit. It's hard to achieve, but it doesn't mean he'll give up the glamorous flashlight aesthetics of the 1980s.