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Augmented reality using personal projection and retroreflection


The support of realistic and flexible training simulations for military, law enforcement, emergency response, and other domains has been an important motivator for the development of augmented reality technology. An important vision for achieving this goal has been the creation of a versatile “stage” for physical, emotional, and cognitive training that combines virtual characters and environments with real world elements, such as furniture and props. This paper presents REFLCT, a mixed reality projection framework that couples a near-axis personal projector design with tracking and novel retroreflective props and surfaces. REFLCT provides multiple users with personalized, perspective-correct imagery that is uniquely composited for each user directly into and onto a surrounding environment, without any optics positioned in front of the user’s eyes or face. These characteristics facilitate team training experiences which allow users to easily interact with their teammates while wearing their standard issue gear. REFLCT can present virtual humans who can make deictic gestures and establish eye contact without the geometric ambiguity of a typical projection display. It can also display perspective-correct scenes that require a realistic approach for detecting and communicating potential threats between multiple users in disparate locations. In addition to training applications, this display system appears to be well matched with other user interface and application domains, such as asymmetric collaborative workspaces and personal information guides.

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The authors wish to thank John Hart for guidance with this project, as well as Thai Phan, Brad Newman, and David Nelson for numerous contributions. This work was funded by the US Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command (RDECOM) via an Institute for Creative Technologies Seedling grant. The content of the information does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the US Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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Correspondence to David M. Krum.

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Krum, D.M., Suma, E.A. & Bolas, M. Augmented reality using personal projection and retroreflection. Pers Ubiquit Comput 16, 17–26 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00779-011-0374-4

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  • Augmented reality
  • Head-mounted projection
  • Training
  • Retroreflective screens
  • Pico-projector