handheld augmented reality

Augmented Reality Anywhere and Anytime   


   Social Augmented Reality

   Information Presentation

   Real-Time Self Localization

   Structural Modelling

   AR Graphics

   AR Navigation

   Augmented Reality Games

   Past Projects



   Hybrid SLAM

   Panorama SLAM

   Planar SLAM

   Model-Based Tracking

   Marker-Based Tracking


Software Libraries

   Studierstube ES

   Studierstube Tracker










   Student projects


   Site map


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



Christian Doppler Forschungsgesellschaft


Graz University of Technology




Come to ISMAR 2011



Follow us on twitter

Mobile Augmented Reality Quest (MARQ) 2005-2007

Mobile Augmented Reality Quest aims at developing an electronic tour guide for museums based on a self-contained, inexpensive PDA, that delivers a fully interactive 3D Augmented Reality (AR) to a group of visitors.  The new PDA-based approach introduces very low costs per device and high scalability which allows for the first time the realization of applications for many concurrent users as required for an appealing museum installation.
Visitors use a mobile, hand-held, personal guide showing a 3D Augmented Reality image of the surrounding that combines real and virtual elements. Real exhibits in the museum are augmented by their virtual counterpart. The guide knows the position of its user and provides context relevant information. The guide thus becomes a kind of "magic lens" capable of visualising the otherwise hidden virtual objects. By looking at the guide's display, visitors see visualizations and animations superimposed onto real exhibits. The guide displays multimedia content, but also acts as an intelligent assistant - the modern day replacement for a guide book.

A massive multi-user communication system is built for interaction between groups of visitors, in particular multi-user location based games. Our previous work on multi-user AR has concentrated on fully synchronous collaboration, using same-time and same-place distribution of information. In this new approach, we are extending the communication to include different-place and different-time sharing of information, so that a number of new collaborative interactions are enabled, for example sharing "collected items" between separated users, or "guided tour replay" at a different time.

The AR tour is delivered in the form of a team-oriented game. An arbitrary number of teams of visitors (target age 12-16) are cast into the role of investigators trying to solve a number of puzzles to solve that involve finding specific exhibits in the museum and manipulating the 3D cyberspace that surrounds the exhibit. Successful completion of a puzzle leads to the revelation of another part of the story. An interesting aspect of our project is also that it will for the first time involve the creation of massive amounts of professional and didactically relevant content for a mobile AR application.



The Sphinx Museum Game Engine

A large application like a museum-wide game cannot be developed efficiently by creating custom code for every interaction throughout the game. We therefore decided to create a game engine, Sphinx, on top of Studierstube ES. It serves as a basis for all hotspots that players can interact with. This engine must fulfill several requirements to be practical not only during the time frame of the research project, but after the project’s end as well.

The following video shows the Mobile Augmented Reality Quest game in action.


Video recorded at the Kärner Landesmuseum in Klagenfurt/Carinthia. A
high quality version of the video can be downloaded from our media section.



Operating the virtual bellows of the real organ
to make it play again.

The player retrieves a flat iron as a reward.

A green virtual diamond hints a hotspot that
is available to play.

Answering questions by taking pictures.

Overview map of the musum. Green dots mark free
hotspots, yellow dots are currently being played,
Hotspots marked with red dots can not be played anymore.

Playing the "Silent Piano" (inside a showcase)



Project Team

Graz University of Technology: Daniel Wagner, Dieter Schmalstieg
Vienna University of Technology: Zsolt Szalavári
Imagination Ges.m.b.H.: Matthias Stifter, Chris Traxler
Landesmuseum Kärnten : Nina Mayer, Erich Wappis, Ines Kuttnig and Friedrich W. Leitner


copyright (c) 2014 Graz University of Technology