Augmented Reality on a Cell Phone

Augmented Reality on i-mate SP5

Daniel Wagner working on some innovative augmented reality projects. He has been involved in a project you may already have heard of called The Invisible Train, and now he has created a nice demo on an i-mate SP5 Windows Mobile Phone.

In this demo, the character on the display moves around based on the location, angle, etc of the phone. With the phone facing the marker, you can move around and view the character from different angles. If you turn the phone away from the marker, the character moves off the screen. This is an amazing display of Augmented Reality!

"The basic idea of Augmented Reality (AR) is that is lets people share an extended version of the "real" world. Virtual objects can show up in real space that can be viewed an manipulated by more than one person (which is often a problem in Virtual Reality).

Until now AR is usually done with expensive hardware using HMDs and PCs or notebooks for mobile setups. We focus in our work on using low-cost, mobile hardware that people ideally already possess (PDAs, mobile phones), because we believe that this is one of the few chances how AR can leave research labs and go into public."

Daniel Wagner is a computer science doctoral candidate and received his MSc from Vienna University of Technology. During his studies he worked as a contract programmer and joined Reality2, developing VR software. After finishing his Computer Science studies, Daniel was hired as a lead developer by BinaryBee working on high-quality single- and multi-user webgames. Next he was employed as a developer for Tisc Media, doing 3D engine development. Recently Daniel was hired as a consultant by Greentube for the development of "Ski Challenge ’05". Daniel currently has a job as a researcher at Graz University of Technology, doing his PhD thesis on truly mobile Augmented Reality. His current research interests are real-time graphics and massively multi-user augmented reality on mobile devices.

Why Handheld Augmented Reality?

Augmented Reality (AR) can naturally complement mobile computing on wearable devices by providing an intuitive interface to a three-dimensional information space embedded within physical reality. However, prior work on mobile Augmented Reality has almost exclusively been undertaken with traditional "backpack"-systems that consist of a notebook computer, an HMD, cameras and additional supporting hardware. Although these systems work well within a constrained laboratory environment, they fail to fulfill several usability criteria to be rapidly deployed to inexperienced users, as they are expensive, cumbersome and require high level of expertise.