Diminished reality (DR) is the opposite of augmented reality. The process aims to virtually remove elements from a real environment. For several years, there has been a certain amount of research on the subject. In this article we first discuss the possible usages of the diminished reality, followed by an update on the progress of our R&D team on the subject.
State of the art of the uses of diminished reality
Less known than augmented reality, diminished reality is not much talked about. However, it has a very promising future and interests the medical, video production and retail worlds.
The state of the art does not record any real use of diminished reality through an application for example. The most common usage remains the object removal in live video production. An unsightly object in the field, a billboard to erase? Real-time video is one of the areas where diminished reality will become unavoidable in the coming years. We can also mention the medical sector in which this technology would represent a big step forward. Especially in the case of trauma surgery where a doctor could “erase” or “hide” unnecessary elements from his field of vision while performing a prosthesis implantation. The third area, and the one that interests us here, is retail. Deleting a piece of furniture or an object would allow the customers of the sector to project themselves more at the time of passing to the act of purchase.
The uses of diminished reality by Innersense
Innersense is an expert in digital technologies dedicated to furniture professionals and is constantly improving its tools to adapt to each client.
You don’t you see how diminished reality could be useful to you? It’s very simple : virtually remove furniture from your kitchen or living room to test a new interior arrangement in augmented reality.
But even if the use scenario is simple, the technology to be implemented is much less so! This involves removing objects or furniture and then reconstructing the wall, floor or window sections that are in the background. We then obtain an empty room ready to be newly arranged in augmented reality. Not so simple!
The erasure process is complex and requires several steps that are summarized below.
The first phase, called acquisition , consists of taking photos of the room to be emptied, recording the geographical coordinates and the inclination of the camera used during the capture. This step provides the basic elements necessary for erasing work (view perspectives, camera position in the environment, etc.).
The second step is called the understanding . From these data, we apply an algorithm that allows us to build a 3D geometric model of the scanned part. Once this step is completed, we know the position and delimitation of the planes in space.
The third phase, called diminishing , is the most complex of all. It concerns everything that is necessary to erase furniture or objects present in the room. Each image is divided into areas, each representing a plane of the space visible in the image. Then a geometric transformation is performed to remove the perspective. It is from these results that we treat the differences of luminosity to finally apply a method of erasure to the zones occupied by the furniture to be removed. The images resulting from the “perspectiveless” erasure are then copied from the original photos. This gives a synthetic photo where the desired furnituree no longer appears. The space left free is reconstructed, this is called “completion“.
Erase to rearrange
After all these steps, it’s time to redesign the space! Now that the desired piece of furniture has been erased, it is possible to put a virtual piece of furniture, in augmented reality, in its place. This is a good way to see what a room would look like with a different arrangement. A great step forward that allows customers to test a little more each time before committing to an act of purchase, especially when it is consistent!
The diminished reality will be available soon in our products, stay tuned!