Through the Combining Glass
Reflective optical combiners like beam splitters and two way mirrors are used in AR to overlap digital contents on the users’ hands or bodies. Augmentations are usually unidirectional, either reflecting virtual contents on the user’s body (Situated Augmented Reality) or augmenting user’s reflections with digital contents (AR mirrors). But many other novel possibilities remain unexplored. For example, userÕs hands, reflected inside a museum AR cabinet, can allow visitors to interact with the artifacts exhibited. Projecting on the userÕs hands as their reflection cuts through the objects can be used to reveal objectsÕ internals. Augmentations from both sides are blended by the combiner, so they are consistently seen by any number of users, independently of their location or, even, the side of the combiner through which they are looking. This paper explores the potential of optical combiners to merge the space in front and behind them. We present this design space, identify novel augmentations/interaction opportunities and explore the design space using three prototypes.
Here are some source images from our prototypes for press coverage.