You are here

New: See cool science in 'augmented reality'

3 May 2018
The AR app being tried out at the EU Open Days exhibition in Brussels

A suite of new “augmented reality” apps showing cool scientific research were rolled out by ERC=Science2, an EU-funded project to promote science funded by the European Research Council.

The apps were showcased on May 5th in Brussels at an exhibition organised by the European Commission, as European institutions in Brussels opened their doors to the public to celebrate Europe Day.

AR, or augmented reality, is a fast-spreading way of bringing online content to life on a smartphone. Once you download the app for it, you can point your phone at a target image – see below – and it triggers the phone to download and play content.  ERC=Science2 is using it to highlight three ERC research projects on how humans sense the world around them, and fourth on what happens when East meets West musically.

The Commission, through its research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, has financed projects that contribute to saving Europe’s cultural heritage. At the event, ERC=Science2 showcased the project ‘Beyond East & West: Developing and Documenting an Evolving Transcultural Musical Practice’, by University of Bristol researcher Michael Ellison.

The project brings musicians from East and West together with some original musical notation he developed to encompass the sounds of both worlds. "The mix of Turkish and occidental music is unusual and interesting," one visitor at the exhibition said while trying the AR app. 

Step 1.  Download and install the Admented app to your iOS or Android smartphone in Google Play or on Apple’s App Store

Step 2. Point your phone’s camera at the trigger image – on this screen if you’re doing it online.

ERC=Science2 first showcased its AR content in March 2018 during brain awareness week at the Pavilion of Knowledge in Lisbon, Portugal.

Visitors had their senses challenged and their brains tricked, and they had the opportunity to join an informal discussion with an ERC grantee Marta Moita on how the brain perceives and responds to the world around it.

Visitors also had the chance participate in an immersive multisensory food experience. A very special dinner menu triggered emotions and memories. The host of the dinner, ERC grantee Eugenia Chiappe, discussing with the participants the different paths of sensory perception.

Participants at the event were also able to learn about the science behind ERC funded projects through augmented reality in a pop-up science stand.

Robotic hands

Robots are great at building cars on factory assembly lines. But what about picking grapes or packing eggs? Antonio Bicchi’s team at the University of Pisa have designed a flexible robotic hand that can grasp anything. His bionic hand moves through 19 degrees of freedom, is simple to control and precise enough to complete most delicate tasks such as picking a fruit.

Use the Admented app to scan the image. 

Haptic technology

Ultrahaptics, a UK start-up working with Mariana Obrist of Sussex University, has developed an ultrasound projector. Obrist’s SenseX project is part of a global effort to unlock the full power of human-computer interaction, particularly when it comes to haptic technologies that manipulate the sense of touch.

Use the Admented app to scan the image. 

How the brain maps limbs

Neuroscientist Tamar Makin has been studying amputees and people born without a hand to understand how the brain is organised – and how it might incorporate additional limbs. Beyond rehabilitation, understanding of how to improve embodiment of technology might help future efforts to incorporate additional hands.

Use the Admented app to scan the image. 


Can you play Turkish?

Listen to how ancient Turkish music uses slightly different pitches, or microtones, than Western music. The notation system shown here was developed by ERC grantee Michael Ellison and colleagues, as part of their effort to study East-West musical differences.

Use the Admented app to scan the scales.







Subscribe to read about Europe's next eureka moments!