Before yesterday, I hadn't realized that above-water augmented reality had been developed, so this was doubly exciting news for me. Apparently, you wear special heavy goggles and a backpack with a computer in it, and the system takes in information about your surroundings, and adds stuff in visually using the goggles. What researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology have done is to take the system and make it usable underwater.
The current program demoing their technology involves swimming around a pool virtually augmented to look like a coral reef, opening oyster shells to retrieve numbers, and using the numbers to solve a code in order to open a treasure chest. The description is slightly reminiscent of the first water level in Super Mario 64
, where the clam shells hide goodies such as red coins and 1-ups. However, I don't believe the shells in the augmented reality demo slam shut, injuring the player.
It is being shown as a possible tool for teaching new rescue scuba divers, but also as a possible water park attraction. What do you think, would you rather swim with dolphins
au naturale, or would it punch up the experience even more if you were swimming with zombie cyborg dolphins who spit shurikens at you?
[Via Science Daily
, image courtesy of Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Angewandte Informationstechnik]