Spatial Airflow Interaction

Augmented Reality

Towards Spatial Airflow Interaction: Schlieren Imaging for Augmented Reality


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This work integrates Schlieren Imaging, a unique sensing modality, into Augmented Reality (AR) to explore ways to utilize invisible airflows for AR. Schlieren imaging is an imaging technique that visualizes the flow of fluids, which is normally invisible to the eyes. Theoretically, the technique can calculate the motion, pressure, temperature, and density of the airflow in our physical world. This unique, but less applied modality may expand interaction paradigms in AR and VR. We build a proof-of-concept AR system combined with Schlieren imaging that allows real airflow to affect virtual objects. The results of quantitative analyses show that our system can integrate different types of airflow with pressure values ranging from weak breathing actions to a heat gun up to 10m/s or 0.25m^3/min airflow. We also showcase AR use cases including blowing out a virtual candle and a heat gun.


  • Zhang Zhibin, Yuichi Hiroi, Yuta Itoh, “Towards Spatial Airflow Interaction: Schlieren Imaging for Augmented Reality”, In Proceedings of International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 2022), 9 pages, Singapore, Singapore, Oct. 17-21, 2022