Next-generation micro lens array AR markers are stable and precise
AIST has developed a new type of AR marker which uses a micro lens array.
With traditional AR markers, it can be difficult to accurately track the coordinates to a high level of precision, especially when the marker is perpendicular to the camera, but with this new ArrayMark marker even the slightest movement drastically changes the pattern.
"In this structure, there's a fine cross pattern printed on the back of the micro-lens array. When the pattern is seen through the lenses, a large cross pattern appears, and it moves, depending on the angle it's seen from. So, by detecting the cross position, the system can calculate back to detect the marker's attitude."
"The blue marker is ours, and the red marker is a conventional one. The blue marker is very stable, and you get a vertical line, but the red marker flickers about."
The ArrayMark has a high level of stability even in difficult circumstances, such as when there is a significant shift in brightness or distance.
"Our original motivation for developing these markers was robotics applications. So, the first application could be AR markers to help robots move more safely and precisely. Another use, of course, could be to display CG characters along with the markers, since they are for AR, or Augmented Reality. These markers would make it possible to show stable characters that don't wobble so much."
"One advantage of conventional markers is that anyone can print them at home. But these markers use a micro-lens array, so they need to be manufactured. However, the only technology needed is printing on the lens sheet. So if special-purpose printing lines are set up, these markers could be available to anyone at very low cost."