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DCNET99 - Using Augmented Reality to Visualise Architecture Designs in an Outdoor Environment

"Unlike VR, where the computer generates the entire user environment, AR places the computer in a relatively unobtrusive, assistance role. Using a wearable computer with a see-through HMD allows people to move freely while working. Through the use of GPS technology the computer gains an additional and important input, the user's location, and thus computer applications gain spatial awareness that remains synchronised with their own awareness.

The power of AR systems lies in their ability to help us visualise normally hidden or abstract features, such as pipes and boundaries, respectively, as shown in the underground cable example depicted in Figure 2. By providing information in a 3D form, in scale with surroundings, AR systems provide significant benefits...


An augmented reality interface requires a novel form of information presentation. Traditional user interface technology is inadequate for seethrough or small above the eye displays. In the case of seethrough displays, a major portion of the screen should not occlude the physical world. There is a need for more information with less pixels. This is possible due to the fact that the system's task is to augment the user's field of view, and not to provide all the contextual information. The registration of overlay images on a user's display is a key issue. We envision a traditional laptop computer to cope with tasks such as word processing. "

This document lays out in detail how to create an AR system to support building construction, and what kinds of technological hurdles existed at the time to building an optimal system.

These guys from the Advanced Computing Research Center at the University of South Australia wrote this article sometime in 1999.

Here was their augmented reality computer (who knows what this thing costs):

Here's Microvision's augmented reality computer 5 years later for under $4,000:

Something to think about over the weekend.

Lots of great illustrations in the article, highly recommended.


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