Profile: Ed Swan
X-ray vision has long been the stuff of science fiction, but if MSU computer science professor Ed Swan has his way, Superman won't be the only one able to peer through concrete and steel.
Swan is researching the application of augmented reality, a technology that combines three dimensional computer-generated images with a view of the real world—essentially, x-ray vision.
While it may seem a bit far-fetched, he said most people have already seen augmented reality technology in action because it's what allows broadcast media to superimpose first-down markers on the field in televised football games and country flags at the bottom of the swimming pools in the recent Olympic Games.
Real-world applications, Swan said, would have tremendous benefits for manufacturing, the military and the medical field.
"Augmented reality would allow people to see through solid objects. By itself, it's pretty cool," Swan said. "But for a soldier on patrol to actually be able to see inside a building and identify a potential threat, or a physician to be able to see the tumor inside a human body while trying to biopsy it; that's where the true benefit lies."
Next week … David Monts !