February 29, 2024

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U.S Researchers Create AR Headset with X-ray Vision

MIT researchers have developed an augmented reality visor that can aid in discovering concealed objects. The system uses radio frequency (RF) waves in conjunction with computer vision to locate a specific item covered. The customers are then directed to the hidden piece, stored in a box or beneath a mound.

The AR device uses RFID tag signals to find hidden deep things. The labelled tag will reflect signals from an RF antenna attached to the computer vision equipment. The AR device can see the object in everyday materials like cardboard boxes, plastic containers, or wooden dividers.

The headset takes the wearer across a room to the item’s location, a transparent sphere in the augmented reality (AR) interface. The X-AR headset certifies that the user has picked up the correct object once the item is in their grasp.

“Our entire goal with this project was to build an augmented reality platform that helps you to see things that are unnoticeable — things that are in boxes or around corners — and in doing so, it can navigate you toward them and truly make it possible for you to see the physical world in ways that were not possible before,” said Fadel Adib, an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Director of the Signal Kinetics group in the Media Lab, and the project’s principal investigator.

Develop the headset

To develop an augmented reality headset with X-ray vision, the researchers had to first gear an existing headset with an antenna capable of communicating with RFID-tagged goods. The researchers modified a lightweight loop antenna to transmit and receive signals when mounted to the headset’s visor. After constructing a functional antenna, the team deployed it to locate RFID-tagged goods.

“One huge issue was creating an antenna that would fit atop the headgear without obscuring any cameras or hindering its functions. This is critical because we need to use all of the specs on the visor,” Eid explained.

They used synthetic aperture radar (SAR), a technology similar to how aeroplanes view objects on the ground. X-AR creates a map of the surroundings and determines its placement using visual input from the headset’s self-tracking functionality. Once X-AR has located the item, and the user picks it up, the headset must confirm that the user has picked up the correct thing.

From the warehouse to the assembly line

X-AR might help e-commerce warehouse workers find products quickly on congested shelves or buried in boxes, or it could identify the exact item for an order when numerous similar objects are in the same bin. It might be used at a factory to assist technicians in locating the necessary pieces to construct a product.

To put X-AR to the test, the researchers built a virtual warehouse out of cardboard boxes and plastic bins and then filled the products with RFID-tagged. They discovered that X-AR could guide the user toward a targeted item. Users can find the article in less than 10 centimetres from where X-AR steered the user on average. The baseline methods studied by the researchers exhibited a median inaccuracy of 25 to 35 cm.

They also discovered that it accurately checked that the user had selected the correct item 98.9% of the time. Even when the thing was still in its box, it was 91.9% accurate.

After demonstrating the success of X-AR, the researchers intend to investigate how alternative sensing modalities, such as WiFi, mmWave technology, or terahertz radiation, might be used to improve its viewing and interaction capabilities. They could also improve the antenna’s range beyond 3 metres, allowing the device to be used by numerous synchronised headsets.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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