The i-Air Touch glasses project a virtual 3D image about 30 centimeters (12 inches) in front of the user by supplying separate left and right images to the user’s eyes. Going one-step beyond Google Glass, the i-Air Touch also incorporates cameras mounted above the glasses to track the user’s hand movements to enable him to perform touch-activated interaction with the virtual display.
ITRI, Taiwan’s largest independent research lab, claims its i-Air Touch technology realizes the world’s first see-through, head-mounted display that allows users to freely interact with it using touch. The user can use all the same gestures used on a normal touchscreen, such as swiping to change pages, pinching to zoom, and tapping to select entries on a virtual keyboard, all of which is only visible to the person wearing the glasses. And since the glasses are see-through, the user can still walk, navigate, and interact with objects and people in her surroundings.
The camera mounted above the glasses uses ITRI’s own DDDR (defined distance with defined range) camera to track hand movements with millimeter accuracy, allowing the user to use touch to interact with the virtual display in the same manner as if a touch screen were floating in mid-air. Because the DDDR camera uses both phase-coding (for distance) and color-coding (to identify fingertips), it will accept touch input only when the user’s fingers are within a range of 28 to 32 centimeters (11 to 12.5 inches) in front of the glasses.
To conserve battery power, the camera shuts down the recognition electronics whenever the user’s fingers are not within that range.
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