Duke Professor Working on Remarkable AR Research Win a $550,000 NSF Award
Maria Gorlatova from the Duke University

Duke Professor Working on Remarkable AR Research Win a $550,000 NSF Award

The Nortel Networks Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University, Maria Gorlatova, has been bestowed upon with the prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. The award supports remarkable young faculty members in their initiatives towards successful research avenues.

The $550,000 award will play an exemplary role in supporting Gorlatova’s innovative work in the domain of the Internet of Things to enhance the performance of augmented reality devices. The research could ultimately contribute towards the development of several new experiences and abilities for AR ranging from smart homes to the operating room.

“Augmented reality can be generated with mobile phones or headsets like a HoloLens or Magic Leap, but there are currently all sorts of challenges no matter the platform,” stated Gorlatova. “For example, virtual content does not stay in place like real objects, batteries drain too quickly or the devices can’t keep up computationally. We’re proposing to use external devices already in the environment to improve these issues.”

The capability of AR that has been discovered yet is just the tip of the iceberg. There are numerous new innovative applications of the technology such as the ability to display virtual artwork on your walls to match your mood or to help cheer you up. In the healthcare industry, a surgeon can effectively remove a brain tumor by being able to “see” exactly where to cut through a map created by a CAT scan superimposed on the patient’s body in real-time.

“We can take advantage of devices that are already generating some awareness so that AR doesn’t have to do everything,” said Gorlatova.

Moreover, user preferences are also of enormous importance while working with AR since all of them will have different goals and needs. The research will also focus on optimizing the user experience based on their preferences and activities rather than just understanding how to integrate data generated by existing smart devices into an AR experience.

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