The End of Hardware: Augmented Reality and Beyond

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Booksurge, 2009 - Computers - 416 pages
Drag those windows from your screen and into the air in front of you. Use a simple glance to switch lights, open doors or surf the web. Virtual devices, virtual objects will surround us, anywhere. Only one piece of real hardware will do it all, replace anything. From application concepts to technical design to even a fiction chapter carrying us into the future, "this book is a blueprint for an entire technology." The new edition has been greatly extended, with many new ideas and materials. From the foreword by Oliver Bimber, professor of augmented reality: "I was captivated by the last edition of 'The End of Hardware' on a round-trip flight to Los Angeles. This book is not only an in-depth introduction to the concept of head-attached displays for augmented reality (AR), but also a great source of inspiration for many professionals - at least it is for me. Being a technical guy, I particularly enjoyed reading the technical design chapter which, in this new edition of the book, has been greatly extended with many details on holography, light fields and MEMS. Despite a technological focus, the book is written in a popular-scientific style - and therefore allows easy access to the material - even for non-experts. If I were to characterize this book in a single word, that word would be 'inspiring'. I can only hope that one day, someone will pick up and realize these ideas. For although, this might not be the 'End of Hardware' - it could well be the beginning of many new and exciting interfaces to the digital world in which we all live in."

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As a researcher on Augmented Reality and its display technologies, I would strongly recommend this book. Actually I know several AR researchers who have been fascinated by this book. It's very stimulating and fun to read with many new ideas and visions. It is not about a scientific fantasy, but a realistic future vision of display technologies, how they can be realized and how they would change our life.
One example would be "through-the-display eye-tracker". I first wondered if this would be possible, but recently the Fraunhofer IPMS has announced the first prototype eye-tracking HMD with basically the same idea.
Scientific soundness and timeliness of this book has been very well proven by the fact that much of the content is (updated and) used in his co-authored recent book "Displays: Fundamentals and Applications" which is reputed as one of the most comprehensive reviews of the display technologies by many researchers.


Fiction Adventures of a FourEyed
Technical Design
Virtual Media

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About the author (2009)

Rolf R. Hainich is an experienced researcher with a focus on Augmented Reality and related fields. His career covers academic and industrial R&D (real time computer networks and processing, media technology, optics, sensors). He was chief consultant in public R&D funding programs, engaged in venture capital, supervised several high tech companies. Beginning in the early 90's, he developed his ideas on augmented reality with emphasis on virtual devices, wrote papers and studies (e.g. "Integrative 3D Visualization," 1994, already outlining the full spectrum of AR), helped to start projects in related fields. 2006, he published the 1st edition of "The End of Hardware," centered about the ubiquitous application of near-eye displays, required technologies, possible solutions.

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