handheld augmented reality

Augmented Reality Anywhere and Anytime   


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The Handheld Augmented Reality
Project is supported by the
following institutions:



Christian Doppler Forschungsgesellschaft


Graz University of Technology




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Information Presentation for Augmented Reality


Different visualization methods have been developed to achieve certain goals in Augmented Reality (AR). These methods are often tailored to the environments, they operate in. Hence, they are always well visible and able to convey the relevant information to the user. Furthermore, the final presentation is often reduced to the required amount of information using simple filtering techniques to avoid cluttered screen-space.


For instance, stationary maintenance AR applications guide a mechanic through a maintenance cycle by displaying the relevant steps to take to perform a repair. Because of the stationary setting, the visualizations are always exposed to the same environmental conditions and one style of presentation is well visible all the time. In addition, the presentation is filtered by only showing the required next steps, which are also known beforehand. Another class of AR applications are mobile applications, which are designed to fulfill a distinct task. Such applications also select from a limited set of handcrafted visualizations, which always fit to the environment. A street-side x-ray application may expose underground structures like water pipes. The provided visualizations of the pipes have a high contrast to the gray concrete ground they are overlaid on. Therefore, they are always visible for this application scenario. Clutter is avoided by manual filtering of the information by the operator.


However, now that mobile phones are on their way to become the main platform for AR applications, AR becomes available for the broad masses. This trend poses new challenges for AR visualizations. First, the environment is not known beforehand anymore. Thus using predefined visualizations may conflict with the current environment, making them barely visible or creating unaesthetic presentations. Second, the screen-estate of mobile phones is very small, which requires compact presentations so that the relevant information fits onto the screen. Hence, AR visualizations must have a compact style similar to mobile version of a webpage. When users start contributing to the AR world, the volume of data dramatically increases, making compact presentations even a greater issue.


The following projects deal with the two topics of integrating information in real world environments, and compact information presentation for small screen-estate.


Summary: Color harmonization is a technique used to adjust the color of still images or videos following aesthetic guidelines. We implemented a real-time color harmonization approach for video based AR. With this solution, it is possible to re-color virtual and real-world items, achieving overall more visually pleasant results. Additionally, we introduce the concept of constraint color harmonization for managing cases where the original color has to be preserved. Furthermore we discuss several application scenarios for color harmonization in AR.

Color Harmonization for Augmented Reality. Lukas Gruber, Denis Kalkofen, Dieter Schmalstieg, IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, 2010


Summary: We present a system to automatically generate compact explosion diagrams. Inspired by handmade illustrations, our approach reduces the complexity of an explosion diagram by rendering an exploded view only for a suitable subset of the assemblies of an object. However, the exploded views are chosen so that they allow inferring the remaining unexploded assemblies of the entire 3D model. In particular, our approach demonstrates the assembly of a set of identical groups of parts by presenting an exploded view only for a single representative. The system generates good views on the explosion diagram and adds image annotations to the explosion diagram to increase the visibility of small or occluded parts. The presented system creates static illustrations. However, we are currently extending the work to Augmented Reality.

Compact Explosion Diagrams. Markus Tatzgern, Denis Kalkofen, Dieter Schmalstieg, Proceedings of the 8th International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering (NPAR '10), 2010
Multi-Perspective Compact Explosion Diagrams. Markus Tatzgern, Denis Kalkofen, Dieter Schmalstieg, Computers & Graphics , Issue 35, Vol. 1, pages 135-147, 2011



Summary: In Augmented Reality (AR), careless augmentations can easily lead to information overflow. Especially on small screen devices, only a limited amount of information can be displayed comprehensively. Compact visualization filters data by reducing redundancies and creating a layout of the remaining information. Previously, this approach was applied to create static compact explosion diagrams. In this paper, we extend the approach to annotations, which are a major source of information in AR, and create compact layouts of annotations and annotated explosion diagrams. We present methods to transfer compact visualizations to dynamic AR settings and achieve interactive frame rates even on limited-resource hardware, such as mobile phones. Moreover, we create temporally coherent and scene-aware layouts.

Dynamic Compact Visualizations for Augmented Reality. Markus Tatzgern, Denis Kalkofen, Dieter Schmalstieg, IEEE Virtual Reality Conference (VR '13), 2013





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