Ordinary reality may be an overrated experience, so the Office of Naval Research and major vendors such as IBM Corp., Intel Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have funded research into Mobile Augmented Reality Systems.

The research builds on years of studies of wearable computers but with a twist. In AR systems, a person, say, a soldier, gets information not ordinarily detectable by human senses. Using a MARS, a soldier could look at a battlefield and perceive the positions of friendly troops and enemy forces, as well as information about buildings, roads, electrical systems or other features.

The technology relies on small PCs, data links and Global Positioning System data. Researchers face a problem: finding a way to filter information so users are not swamped with confusing data.


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