27 November 2019

Look around the graveyard with AR

Have you ever been to a cemetery and not found the marker you were seeking or missed one of a relative buried nearby?

Ancestry.com has an idea to help find them as shown by this summary of patent Providing Grave Information Using Augmented Reality US2019236366A1.

Augmented reality (AR) is a simulated environment created by combining computer graphics with the real world as perceived by a user. A typical AR system includes an AR headset that provides augmented views of a physical, real-world environment with computer-generated elements (e.g., images, video, sound, etc.). With recent development in mobile augmented reality, users can experience augmented reality through a mobile device (e.g., tablet, mobile phone) instead of having to purchase AR headsets. In some embodiments, the real-world environment captured through a camera of the mobile device is overlaid with computer-generated elements. The combined augmented reality image is displayed on the display of the mobile device.

Within a cemetery, there can be hundreds of graves, and it can be confusing and time-consuming to navigate the cemetery to find a grave of an ancestor. Currently, there are written registries, traditional records, websites, and databases that contain information about the deceased, but it is time-consuming to access and make use of the information.

The present disclosure relates to presenting computer-generated graphical elements that are related to a grave overlaid on a continually updating image of real-world environment using augmented reality. The graphical elements may visually provide information such as a geographical location of the grave, an image of the gravestone or an image of an ancestor associated with the grave, a number of years of life of the ancestor, a link to a website associated with the ancestor, and a path to the grave. The continually updating image of the real-world environment captured by the camera of the mobile device is overlaid with the graphical elements. The graphical elements are updated in response to time and motion of the mobile device. The augmented reality provides easy and quick access to information about ancestors buried at cemeteries and helps users navigate to the exact location of selected graves.

Augmented reality is used to display graphical elements overlaid on a continually updating image of an area around an augmented reality device (e.g., a mobile device). The graphical element may contain geographical location information about a grave of an ancestor and/or biographical information about the ancestor. The continually updating image is captured by a camera of the augmented reality device and updates in response to time and motion of the augmented reality device. Based on orientation data and geographical location data collected by the augmented reality device, the graphical element is updated and displayed on the mobile device.

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