Agent Augmented Reality: Agents Integrate the Real World with Cyberspace

Katashi NAGAO
Center for Information Media Studies, Nagoya University


Agent augmented reality is proposed as a new research area that uses agenttechnologies for the augmentation of our real world environment byactively integrating information worlds. A special agent called a realworld agent is introduced. A real world agent is a software agent that cansupport the user in performing tasks in real world environments, such asplace-to-place location guidance, instruction in physical tasks, and theaugmentation of human knowledge related to the physical environment. Inorder for the agent to achieve these tasks, the agent should be aware ofthe user's real world situation. The detection of real world situations isperformed through the integration of various methods, includinglocation-awareness using a global positioning system, object recognitionthrough machine-recognizable IDs (barcodes, infrared rays, etc.), and theprocessing of visual/spoken inputs. IDs of static objects (e.g., doors,ceilings, walls, etc.) can also give clues to the location-awarenesssystem. When a real world agent correctly deduces the real world situationand the intentions of the user, it can access information worlds (e.g.,the Internet) in the same manner as other software agents. In this way,the real world and information worlds can be dynamically integrated. Realworld agents can detect real world situations, interact with humans, andperform tasks in information space. The agents also work as facilitatorsof human-human communication, because they can exchange information ontheir users' current situation and the users can be mutually aware oftheir contexts.