Developed by researcher Rui Marques, the Projective Handheld Augmented Reality – PHAR took its starting point from an original idea of Klaus Schaefers, researcher from Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.
PHAR uses a smartphone in combination with a pico projector, external or embedded in the device, to project relevant context information of any object in a surface, just by pointing the device to the object, as you can see in the video.
PHAR is built upon OpenCV computer vision library and addresses two complex steps:
> The first step is to detect a target object for the augmentations. The detection component utilizes the so-called image descriptors and it can be easily trained to new objects by providing reference images of the objects to be recognized.
> The second step is the automatic geometric adjustment of the projection so that the augmentations are properly displayed on top of objects, while the handheld projector or Android device moves.
Both steps work transparently and need no further action from the developer.
This is a major improvement compared to the applications of Augmented Reality currently available in the market. These applications, that mainly use the smartphones' screen to show the contextual information, have certain limitations such as the limited size screen or the impossibility of sharing the information with others. PHAR overcomes these problems by projecting the contextual information directly on the surface of an object and making it accessible to others.