Augmented reality system let you play hands-on with virtual objectsA new augmented reality system called Portal-ble developed by Brown University places virtual objects in the hands of the user by using a smartphone. The source code is now available for Android and the iPhone version is on the way. Jeff Huang, an assistant professor of computer science at Brown who developed the system with his students, explains the benefits in the following way:

“AR is going to be a great new mode of interaction. We wanted to make something that made AR portable so that people could use anywhere without any bulky headsets. We also wanted people to be able to interact with the virtual world in a natural way using their hands.”

Augmented reality system for artists, designers and others

The main target groups for the new AR-system are artists, designers, game developers and others to experiment with augmented reality (AR). Where the technology is using a small infrared sensor mounted on the back of the smartphone. The team is working to make the system work only with the phone. The sensor identifies the position of people’s hands in relation to virtual objects. This makes it possible for the user to pick the virtual item up and move them around in the real environment. Another possibility is to virtually paint the physical surroundings. The source code can be downloaded free here. Below follows a Portal-ble in action:

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