Surround-See: enabling peripheral vision on smartphones during active use

July 18, 2013

Mobile devices are endowed with significant sensing capabilities. However, their ability to “see” their surroundings, during active use, is limited. We present Surround-See, a self-contained smartphone equipped with an omni-directional camera that enables peripheral vision around the device to augment daily mobile tasks. Surround-See provides mobile devices with a field-of-view collinear to the device screen.

This capability facilitates novel mobile tasks such as pointing at objects in the environment to interact with content, operating the mobile device at a physical distance, and allowing the device to detect user activity, even when the user is not holding it. We describe Surround-See’s architecture, and demonstrate applications that exploit peripheral ‘seeing’ capabilities during active use of a mobile device. Users confirm the value of embedding peripheral vision capabilities on mobile devices and offer insights for novel usage methods.

Xing-Dong Yang