A prototype of an optical extension for table-like rear-projection systems is described. A large, half-silvered mirror beam splitter is used as the optical combiner to unify a virtual and a real workbench. The virtual workbench has been enabled to display computer graphics beyond its projection boundaries and to combine virtual environments with the adjacent real world. A variety of techniques are described and referred to that allow indirect interaction with virtual objects through the mirror. Furthermore, the optical distortion that is caused by the half-silvered mirror combiner is analyzed, and techniques are presented to compensate for this distortion.
This work was done when the first author was at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics in Rostock, Germany.