This development opens up new possibilities in engineering and art. For instance, architects can check the structural health of an old building or a bridge. Low-budget filmmakers can also trade in green screens and complex computer graphics for IDV.

“We’re not so good things in getting real things and virtual thinks interacting with each other,” Abe says in the video. Think floating Pokémons in AR game Pokemon Pokémon Go. Dropping virtual characters into real-world environments can be enhanced by actually enabling them to realistically interact with their environment. Davis demonstrated how the technique could be used to let Pikachu bounce around on a bush or a jungle gym.

Davis, who found that the technique also works on existing YouTube videos, published a paper about IDV earlier this year. The research will also be included in his dissertation to be published at the end of this month.

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