Further Research of ARider

September 14, 2009

Hello, how you doing?

I mentioned the iPhone “chonmage” bike rider, or ARider on the last post. Today, I will talk about more detail and our impression of the equipment usage.

The HMD used in this experiment is T3-A by Scalar Corporation.  

The test was done between Hongo and Roppongi, Tokyo. To avoid crushes or falling down, we used a retractable HMD and used it while stopping. (Actually the HMD was being shaken so much during the ride so it is difficult to check the map even it is always shown.)

The HMD was light so it was fixed on the helmet with Scotch tape. Actually this equipment can be used not only while riding a bike, but also while walking. A GPS receiver, a compass, a main CPU, and a communication unit, all are included in the iPhone. So just connecting the HMD to iPhone, it is ready to be used.

This time, we had iPhone not on the helmet, but in a pocket, to avoid iPhone falling down.  Seen from a little far, the HMD is not so noticiable. It may be better than using other HMDs.

The screen of iPhone app is not directly displayed so we developed and used an original mapping app to display maps on HMDs. 

Our impression of the equipment usage is not bad. Rather, we felt it is more convenient to use it than to check the iPhone directly because it saves the time is to taking it out from the pocket. Thought the resolution of map on the HMD is not good, it is possible to check rough map and the direction. When the iPhone is equipped on the helmet, the map changes the direction following to the direction of your face. It can sense more slight moving than car navigation systems. 

You may think using a camera through AR is more useful. Regarding that, the camera captures images seen by either right or left eye when a HMD is used. However, if you see with both of your eyes, the image shown by the HMD is doubled on what you see really. So that is not necessary. Rather, if more simple information, such as the direction of your goal, is shown, that is enough. 

It seems to be longer to developed the “Cyberspace glasses” which themselves can receive your location and indicate the direction. However, the “Cyberspace helmet” or the “Cyberspace hat,” devices like above, would be appear before so long. 

Considering the safety, it should not be used during the ride. But as a navigation system for walkers or  bike riders these devices would be paid attention. Also, if a camera through AR is used and equip it on a backpack, the device can work as a rearview mirror.

As car navigation systems become more popular than before, the systems for other transferring, especially bike rider or walker should be, or would be developed and more popular in the future. We are also interested in it so much.

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