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Augmented Round Table for ArcHitecture and URban Planning

Objective

ARTHUR aims at the development of an interactive task oriented collaboration environment based on augmented reality technology. An augmented round table scenario will enhance the physical working environment by manipulate virtual components, preserving existing verbal and non-verbal communication and natural interaction mechanisms. ARTHUR will provide a user-friendly environment by the development of new projection glasses and intuitive non-intrusive user-interface mechanisms. We will provide natural mechanisms to interact with virtual objects by using arbitrary real-world items as tangible interfaces. While providing a platform for a wide range of applications, we will demonstrate the power of the approach in the area of architecture and urban planning. The overall approach will be based on standard and lightweight components to ensure usability, user-friendliness and affordability for a wide range of commercial and private users.

Objectives:
ARTHUR contributes to action line IV.4.2 Mixed realities and new imaging frontiers for innovative applications and services. It will bridge the gap between real and virtual worlds by enhancing the users' current working environment with virtual 3D objects. Our development will focus on providing an intuitive environment, which supports natural interaction with virtual objects while sustaining existing communication and interaction mechanisms. Real world objects will be used as tangible interfaces to make 3D environments attractive even to non-experts.
ARTHUR will develop new types of user-friendly see-through displays, non-intrusive object tracking mechanisms and intuitive user interface mechanisms within a location independent multi-user real-time augmented reality environment. It will focus on affordable components to address a wide area of applications.

Work description:
ARTHUR will develop a new type of augmented reality environment in order to support common round table meetings. Virtual 3D objects will be projected into the common working environment of the users by wearable stereoscopic 3D displays. Within the project see-through stereoscopic displays will be developed and enhanced to meet the requirements of the users concerning the quality of the visualization, the weight, size and handling of the display, and the usability in a common working environment. ARTHUR will also develop new interaction mechanisms based on arbitrary real world objects to realize tangible and intuitive interfaces for the manipulation of 3D objects. For this purpose we will realize the concept of interaction units, which are based on the principal of visually superimposing real world items by virtual objects. This presumes a flexible and sophisticated object tracking mechanism. We will develop tracking mechanisms based on computer vision, which will additionally allow us to recognize user gestures without disturbing the user in his or her natural behaviour by cumbersome hand tracking devices. In order to support common round table meetings involving several people, the developed AR environment will provide multi-user capabilities to guarantee consistent views among the participants. Additionally a network based persistence mechanism will ensure that the round table environment will be accessible anytime and anywhere. The power of the augmented round table approach will be demonstrated by an architectural design and urban planning application. This application will support the intuitive collaborative design of multiple users. The application scenario will also be used as a starting point for a commercial exploitation of the environment with CAD and architecture software houses.

Milestones:
The result of this project will be an AR environment based on advanced semitransparent stereoscopic displays combined with innovative and intuitive interaction mechanisms. This will be achieved through three milestones: year one results in a first demonstrator based on enhanced existing components; year two results in the first prototype of the AR environment including some application specific functionalities; after year three the application prototype and the evaluation will be available.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
Address
Hansastrasse 27C
80686 Muenchen
Germany

Participants (5)

AALBORG UNIVERSITET
Denmark
Address
Fredrik Bajers Vej 5
9220 Aalborg
FOSTER AND PARTNERS LIMITED
United Kingdom
Address
Riverside Three, Albert Wharf, 22 Hester Road
SW11 4AN London
LINIE 4 - ARCHITEKTEN
Germany
Address
Jakobstrasse 181-183
52064 Aachen
SAABTECH AB
Sweden
Address

17588 Jarfalla
UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
United Kingdom
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London