Augmented reality in a public space using infrared tracking and openCV.

For my final openFrameworks project in Zach Lieberman’s setPixel course at Parsons MFA DT, I worked with Clay Ewing and Joon Moon on a public space computer vision augmented reality projection project. We undertook the challenge of “seeing” the infamous movable cube at Astor Place in NoHo, NYC. We devised a system which used a hacked PS3 eye camera and cleverly diffused infrared LEDs to “see” the cube at night. The idea was to track it with openCV, and then project onto each surface of the cube as it was rotated in real-time. Featured on hackaday.

Here is a demo vid of the app we wrote in OF for the cube. You can see the mouse “drawing” (in green) the specific areas to be CV’d. This way we can ignore the extraneous sources of IR light (headlights, streetlights, etc) and only track the points we want to track.

The most unique aspect of the project was the system I developed for diffusing the IR light.  I discovered that styrofoam balls diffuse LED light extremely well, even with extremely directional superbright LEDs. Thanks to GRL for the LED Throwie precedent, which we modified slightly with this diffusion and IR light.

Presentation with a breakdown of the process:

December 2009.