Augmented Reality

The glue software had its origins in the astronomy world--and so did the glue project's first foray into Augmented Reality.    

On this page, you can find:  on-screen interactive figures;  QR codes to launch AR figures using just a smartphone camera; demo videos; and more information explaining how glue and related software is used in the production and publication of AR figures.  

If you are interested in learning more about AR applications please drop us a line. We would be happy to either collaborate (via our team's government-sponsored research teams) or consult (via glue solutions, inc.), depending on the nature of your request.

What's next? We are working on a "1-click"  AR-export path from glue and gluypter that will produce AR figures viewable direclty in a browser, with no install required.  Many thanks to NSF for their support to the collaboration at Harvard, Northeastern, Johns Hopkins, and AAS who are carrying out this work, in partnership with colleagues at Delightex and Merge-and to glue solutions for hosting this web page!

The paper that started it all...

In late 2021, the research group at Harvard from which glue solutions spun off, in collaboration with Delightex,  produced the first "augmented reality figures" to appear in a major astronomical journal.  The paper containing these figures, led by Dr. Shmuel Bialy, is entitled "The Per-Tau Shell: A Giant Star-forming Sphereical Shell Revealed by 3D Dust Observations,"  and it was published in the prestigious Astrophysical Journal LettersFigure 2 of the paper (above) points to an interactive online figure (scroll down), exported from glue, using its plug-in.  The interactive figure, as well as the static version of Figure 2 in the PDF, both offer two QR codes, pointing to AR experiences.  

As the video above shows, one of the two QR codes offers a user a way to experience the paper's findings in AR using only a smartphone and a flat surface, and the other makes use of a handheld target "Merge" cube, called, from mergeedu.  Any first-time user is prompted to download the free "Co-Spaces" software from Delightex in order to see these AR figures.  

Here's the "interactive" on-screen version of Bialy et al's "Figure 2," availalbe in the full PDF of the paper, embedded below the interactive figure.
Scan the right-hand  QR code with your smartphone to try out the AR -- and try the left-hand code if you have a Merge cube.


For the astrophysically-inclined,  3-minute video here offers some astrophysical context on the Bialy et al. results.  The paper had quite an impact, both due to its astrophysical results, and due to the novel use of AR.  Check out this article in AAS Nova for a quick summary of the paper's import in the Astronomy community. And, if you'd like a ~quantitative estimate of what an impact difference AR can make on readers, have a look at the Bialy et al.'s paper's Altmetric score.