Spatially-aware Navigation Guidance System through Augmented Reality

Augmenting reality by adding "intelligence" to digital images

As more systems and technologies utilizing geo-spatial location data are being developed and incorporated into everyday life, the need to accurately represent the real world through these digital methods is becoming critical.  However no existing augmented reality applications utilize data about the surrounding terrain in their representations of scenes. This is a significant weakness for many applications such as remote, pilotless flight.

Our software-based technology uses additional environmental information combined with traditional geo-spatial location information to correctly align virtual objects in augmented reality applications and create a seamless, realistic representation of a scene in real time. The end result is an ability to blend virtual data – information-rich media and even live-action – with what we see in the real world to deliver an “intelligent image”.

Potential Applications

  • Tourism
  • Games
  • Mapping and navigation (real-time navigation with handheld devices)
  • Military/Defense
  • Homeland Security
  • Land surveying
  • Search and rescue
  • Pilotless flight, a.k.a. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Competitive Advantages

  • Provides realtime three-dimensional assistance about the scene viewed through a digital camera, labeling features with elevation and geo-spatial position information.
  • Uses GPS coordinates, azimuth and altitude angles, and GTS Digital Elevation Model data to enhance the information available from an image.
  • Can be used in fixed and mobile applications.

Stage of Development

This invention was developed by Dr. James Mower, in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University at Albany, SUNY, and is protected by US Patent No. 6,930,715. A prototype is available for demonstration.

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