Phenomenal Augmented Reality

Physical phenomena form(s) the fundamental basis of AR Situated in, and aligned with, the physical world.

Some History of Wearable, Mobile, Portable, Wireless, Free-Roaming AR, and related contributions:

Precursor to wearable ar: 1943, McCollum: Cathode ray tubes in a spectacle frame

1959, Philco introduces the Safari, the first transistorized TV set, which was also the first battery-powered TV set),

1961, Philco: HMD for surveillance through telepresence, 1961 Philco Headsight television system provides remote surveillance, CP Comeau, JS Bryan - Electronics, Nov, 1961

The Philco HMD was part of the Philco "Headsight TV Surveillance System" and was mounted in a building, not portable or wearable.

Four years later, in 1965 Ivan Sutherland conducted his seminal work on head-mounted displays at Harvard University, but Sutherland's system was also building-mounted.

Ivan Sutherland, 1968, HMD based AR:

Phenomenal Augmented Reality (PHENOMENAR / PoV-AR / S.W.I.M.)

is wearable AR that lets the wearer AND OTHERS in the vicinity see radio waves, sound waves, and other real-world phenomena situated and overlaid onto the real physical world.

It is incredibly simple: AR from light bulbs, amplifiers, switchers, and sensors. It was invented and built by S. Mann at the age of 12, in the basement of the York Radio and Television repair shop in Hamilton, Ontario, where he volunteered as a child repairing and learning about televisions. In its simplest form a light bulb is connected to a "PHENOMENAmplifier", a device that amplifies real-world phenomena with sufficient gain, and sufficient power to drive light bulbs directly.

Mann's original PHENOMENAmplifiers (made from vacuum tubes, silicon controlled rectifiers, and stepping relays).

(Steve Mann's PHENOMENAmplifier, visualizing radio waves from a surveillance camera transmitting on TV channel 7, wavelength of 67 inches = 171cm, 1974)

(Steve Mann, PHENOMENAmplification as a visual art form in the 1980s)

1990s: founding of the MIT Wearable Computing Project:

1993: Invention of wearable computational photographic vision: Wearable HDR combined with panoramics:

1993: Thad Starner's "Tin Lizzy" wearable computer:

1994-1996, Mann: Wearable Wireless Webcam worn continuously nonstop for 2 years

1996, Mann: Wearable Face Recognizer

1997, Feiner et al.: Touring Machine

(AR by Natural User Interface with 3D Gesture-based wearable computing, S. Mann, 1997, IEEE Computer, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp25-32.)

1999, Mann: Contact lens display

2000, Mann, Desjardins, and Spence: Implantable Camera System for the visually-impaired

2002, Dobelle: Artificial Vision

2010, Ori Inbar Co-Founds World's Largest AR Conference:

Metaglasses 2013

Future of AR: Jayse Hansen, Hollywood's #1 User Interface designer: Hunger Games, Ender's Game, Iron Man...

Fundamental Principles and Concepts of AR

AWE2015 conference theme: "SUPERPOWERS TO THE PEOPLE".

What was unique about Mann's system was that, although still very cumbersome, the components were portable and body-worn, thus introducing the concept of sousveillance (inverse surveillance, i.e. "SUPERPOWERS TO THE PEOPLE"). With PHENOMENAR, Mann could wander around the city streets and map out the otherwise invisible world of radio waves and television signals from hidden surveillance cameras, and not only see the radio waves, but visualize the vision from the cameras ---- metasensing ---- seeing sight and visualizing vision.

Mann's S.W.I.M. (Sequential Wave Imprinting Machine) formed the basis of his portfolio for admission into the MIT Media Lab where he founded the MIT Wearable Computing project as its first member (link), in the words of the Media Lab's founder and director, Nicholas Negroponte, "Steve Mann Persisted in his vision and ended up founding a new discipline".