MRI (Mixed-Reality Interface)
|A novel approach to intuitive and self-explanatory interaction between a crowd of untrained persons and highly sophisticated software applications. The MRI project is focused strongly on usability and user-behaviour issues.|
The MRI consists of an observation unit and a navigation surface. The observation unit contains a computer and a digital camera that captures images of tracking targets as they move across the navigation surface. Technically, the MRI is a creative assembly of existing components, with some innovative modifications. The major innovation is its high usability.
To develop a simple-to-use human-computer interface suitable for a situation in which:
- Untrained persons are expected to be able to manipulate complex software.
- Dozens of visitors should be able to experience a particular presentation simultaneously.
- The situation demands a highly stabile presentation system, including the capability to withstand spilt coffee or visitors bumping into it.
- Illumination and sound cannot be fully controlled (for example, noisy places with many photographers).
In order to implement the tracking system, an existing template-based algorithm was significantly improved to meet the MRI's high robustness requirements. All visualization software is commercial. Also the MRI hardware is built from off-the-shelf components only.
The MRI is a constituent for implementing "remote applications" that do not molest the average user with technical detail. The technology behind the MRI is a sound platform for developing innovative human-computing interfaces for 21st-century demands.
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