A state-of-the-art augmented reality helmet

August 6, 2012

Would you like fries with that? The stereo EyeTap welding helmet causes the eyes themselves, to, in eff ect, become both cameras and displays by providing exact point-of-eye capture for a stereo headup display in the helmet as well as for broadcasting or recording (credit: Raymond Lo, Steve Mann, Jason Huang, Valmiki Rampersad)

University of Toronto researchers (among them wearable computing pioneer Steven Mann) have developed a state-of-the-art digital camera that is able to properly adjust itself to capture an image with brights that are far too bright, and darks that are far too dark, reports Technology Review.

Mann et al. will be presenting their stereo “EyeTap welding helmet” at this year’s Siggraph conference.

The idea is to build a proof-of-concept helmet that puts two cameras right where the eyes will be, and then capturing and streaming the extremely dynamic visual information of tungsten inert gas welding. The somewhat “tamed” images of this extreme environment will present augmented-reality (and other) information more clearly than the unassisted eye could witness.

“Our goal… is to show the future development of high dynamic range eyeglasses as a seeing aid and how such technology can be used to enhance human vision in [a] extreme dynamic range scene such as welding.”

Mann wears a device called an EyeTap, a small camera and computer he has attached directly to his skull. He’s basically decades ahead of Google’s vision of Google Glass, and has himself been a cyborg of sorts for 34 years, when he first started wearing such a system. But in June, it became evident that people at a certain French McDonald’s did not agree — Mann alleges that he was assaulted at a Parisian branch of the fast food chain due to his unusual eyewear.

Let ‘em try to rip this one off his head! — Ed.