by Miryam Muller in

Enhancing reality: The Aurasma app overlays interactive content on the real world, such as a page in a magazine. The app can recognize gestures, too, letting a user interact with virtual objects. Credit: Aurasma

To make its business software more effective, HP recently paid $10 billion for Autonomy, a U.K. software company that specializes in machine learning. But it turns out that Autonomy has developed image-processing techniques for gesture-recognizing augmented reality—the type of technology that could be more attractive to consumers than IT managers.

Augmented reality involves layering computer-generated imagery on top of a view of the real world as seen through the camera of a smart phone or tablet computer. So someone looking at a city scene through a device could see tourist information on top of the view.

Autonomy’s new augmented reality technology, called Aurasma, goes a step further: it recognizes a user’s hand gestures. This means a person using the app can reach out in front of the device to interact with the virtual content. Previously, interacting with augmented reality content involved tapping the screen. One demonstration released by Autonomy creates a virtual air hockey game on top of an empty tabletop—users play by waving their hands.

Read the complete article at Technology Review.