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Kaist Developed an Extremely Low-Powered, High-Performance Head-Mounted Display Embedding an Augmented Reality Chip

A test subject wearing the K-Glass head-mounted display.

The new K-Glass head-mounted display developed at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology incorporates Augmented Reality capabilities.

Credit: KAIST

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed the K-Glass head-mounted display (HMD) with an augmented reality (AR) processor.

The researchers say K-Glass enables users, for example, to walk up to a restaurant and look at the sign to view images of the menu, food photos, and information about currently available tables.

Many current HMDs use location-based services that work with markers or barcodes printed on objects. However, the new AR chip does not require markers because it is based on the Visual Attention Model (VAM), which mimics the human brain's visual data processing. VAM extracts the most relevant information about the environment and eliminates extraneous data, significantly accelerating the computation of complex AR algorithms.

In addition, the researchers say the artificial neural network enables parallel data processing, which minimizes data congestion and significantly cuts power consumption. The ultra-low-powered AR processor provides a 76-percent improvement in power conservation over other devices.

HMDs will eventually overtake smartphones, as mobile users embrace the technology for daily use, says KAIST professor Hoi-Jun Yoo. "Through augmented reality, we will have richer, deeper, and more powerful reality in all aspects of our life from education, business, and entertainment to art and culture," Yoo says.

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