What are the next steps in your project?
Assländer: We have just obtained funding for the next two years. We must work on content based on the first proof of concept, demonstrating that the wearable AR system is effective if we superimpose additional information for improving balance. We are currently designing technical enhancements to cover a wide field of view. Our research also aims to expand the capabilities of augmented reality. Virtual reality already allows us to achieve a lot, but the next step is to overlay additional information onto the real-world environment using AR technology. The goal during the two-year period of project funding is to develop a prototype that works as a user-friendly tool.
How could AR glasses be further enhanced?
Assländer: Falls are a complex issue. For now, our AR glasses project only studies one specific area in which falls can occur. One of the most obvious applications of AR glasses in the future pertains to identifying trip and fall hazards and making them more visible. This may involve cameras that detect potential trip hazards and flag them visually with bright warning signs.
Could the technology be applied in other areas of healthcare?
Assländer: Sensor technology in everyday life is another great option. To superimpose the respective image, you must first measure and track the head position and movement in space. Given the requisite sensors, AR glasses could also be used as a tool for diagnostics, similar to a smartwatch or a cell phone. This would allow you to measure head position and movements and collect data that might benefit preventive health and diagnostics. The technology could also support other sectors and be used in balance and coordination sports.