Color-Correction for See-through Augmented-Reality Head-Mounted Displays

UPDATE: I have created a video example showcasing the real-time implementation.

Last year we published a paper at the Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST ’13) conference on the topic of color correction for see-through displays. The paper proposes a solution to color blending, which is the phenomenon where colors in transparent displays look “washed-out”; i.e. the perceived color is a combination of the display and background colors. Our solution is called “color correction”, and the paper presents it in a very technical way as it’s necessary to describe a new understanding of the blending problem and to put forth some numbers of how accurate color correction can be. Please check our the paper here:

Srikanth Kirshnamachari Sridharan, Juan David Hincapié-Ramos, David R. Flatla, and Pourang Irani. 2013. Color correction for optical see-through displays using display color profiles. InProceedings of the 19th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST ’13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 231-240. http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2503713.2503716

Color correction is really really important for HMDs, as color blending affects the usability of such devices specially in the outdoors. Time after time field-studies of HMDs reveal that users have a hard time accessing the display content having to look for dark spots or covering the lens with their hand (not so good for AR ;)). With a coming wave of HMDs for the consumer market such as Meta, Atheer One, Moverio BT-200 and Ora-S, color correction will certainly receive a lot of attention. Our results for a projection display (EPSON 3700 on Lumisty film) show that color correction produced 36% more accurate colors. Similar results can be achieved for HMDs. This is a significant result because platform or application developers can get better colors without any hardware modifications.

One thing I really wanted to include in the paper, but ran out of space, is examples of how good graphics can get after being color corrected and that’s what I plan to do in this post.  The two pictures below will be corrected in different backgrounds (the accuracy of this samples is confirmed in section 5 of the paper):

color-correction-base

The following images shows the correction accuracy achieved with the binned profile approach. This is how an IronMan model looks on a HMD over different backgrounds without (left) and with (right) color correction.

iron_man_yellow
iron_man_blue_1
iron_man_blue_2
iron_man_brown

And this how our rhino model looks on a HMD over different backgrounds without (left) and with (right) color correction.

rhino_red
rhino_brown
rhino_green
rhino_purple

This images show how color correction greatly improves the quality of the graphics perceived by the user. We are very encouraged by our results and continue to work on this area, I will be publishing new results as soon as we get them published/patented.

Resources

  • Sridharan, S.K., Hincapié-Ramos, J.D., Flatla, D.R. and Irani, P. 2013. Color correction for optical see-through displays using display color profiles. In Proc VRST ’13. ACM. [pdf (7.2MB)]
  • Hincapié-Ramos, J.D., Ivanchuk, L., Sridharan, S.K. and Irani, P. 2014. SmartColor: Real-Time Color Correction and Contrast for Optical See-Through Head-Mounted Displays. In Proc. ISMAR ’14. ACM. [pdf (1.7MB)]
  • Hincapié-Ramos, J.D., Ivanchuk, L., Sridharan, S.K. and Irani, P. 2015. SmartColor – Real-Time Color and Contrast Correction for Optical See-Through Head-Mounted Displays. Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on. To Appear.
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2 thoughts on “Color-Correction for See-through Augmented-Reality Head-Mounted Displays

  1. Pingback: Color-Correction for See-through Augmented-Reality HMDs – Video | Peripeteia

  2. Pingback: tPad: Designing Transparent-Display Mobile Interactions | Peripeteia

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