Augmented and Virtual Reality

Augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) are poised to change our world in ways we only could have imagined a few years ago. At the University of Maryland we are working on several driving applications for next-generation virtual and augmented reality, including augmented navigation, medical training, virtual manufacturing, and immersive education. We are developing technologies in five interconnected thrust areas: scene capture and generation; tracking and registration; multimodal rendering; displays; and interfaces and usability.

For scene capture and generation, we are working on both mobile and stationary multi-camera arrays that enable us to capture the light fields of real-world immersive environments with resolution matching human visual acuity. Using one of these unique arrays, we have recorded live footage of actual surgeries at UMB’s Shock Trauma Center, and we are building towards high-fidelity telepresence using arrays of over 1000 cameras.

We are designing, developing, and validating both multimodal rendering algorithms and low-latency embedded systems that are extremely efficient, consume very little power, use information about the salient components of the scene and just-in-time tracking to scale up to very high resolution displays at high frame rates needed to maintain the illusion of immersion, vital to VR experiences.

To address interface and usability issues in VR and AR, we must understand the cause of psychophysical problems that arise from extended exposure to immersive environments. We are currently developing real-time algorithms for multi-stream visualization and data mining from EEG data on modern parallel environments to classify and quantify the onset of cybersickness.

More information is available at http://augmentarium.umd.edu.

Associated Faculty

Professor