LightAnchors: Appropriating Point Lights for Spatially-Anchored Augmented Reality Interfaces
Karan Ahuja, Sujeath Pareddy, Robert Xiao, Mayank Goel, Chris Harrison
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Augmented Reality allows for the overlay of digital information and interactive content onto scenes and objects. In order to provide tight registration of data onto objects in a scene, it is most common for markers to be employed, such as QR Codes and ArUco markers. LightAnchors enables spatially-anchored data in augmented reality applications without special hardware. Unlike most prior tracking methods, which instrument objects with markers, LightAnchors takes advantage of point lights already found in many objects and environments. For example, most electrical appliances now feature small (LED) status lights, and light bulbs are common in indoor and outdoor settings. In addition to leveraging point lights for in-view anchoring, we also co-opt these lights for data transmission, blinking them rapidly to encode binary data. This allows “dumb” devices to become smarter through AR with minimal extra cost. For example, a glue gun can transmit its live temperature and a security camera can broadcast its privacy policy.