Interactive Media Systems, TU Wien

Distributed Applications for Collaborative Augmented Reality

By Dieter Schmalstieg and Gerd Hesina


This paper focuses on the distributed architecture of the collaborative augmented reality system Studierstube. The system allows multiple users to experience a shared 3D workspace using see-through head mounted displays or other presentation media such as projection systems. Multiple applications can populate this workspace simultaneously. The system design is based on a distributed shared scene graph that alleviates the application programmer from explicitly considering distribution, and avoids a separation of graphical and application data. The idea of unifying all system data in the scene graph is taken to its logical consequence by implementing application instances as nodes in the scene graph. Through the distributed shared scene graph mechanism, consistency of scene graph replicas and the contained application nodes is assured. Multi-user 3D widgets allow concurrent interaction with minimal coordination effort from the application. Special interest is paid to migration of application nodes from host to host allowing dynamic workgroup management, such as load balancing, late joining and early exit of hosts, and some forms of remote collaboration and ubiquitous computing.


D. Schmalstieg, G. Hesina: "Distributed Applications for Collaborative Augmented Reality"; in: "Proceedings of the IEEE Virtual Reality 2002", IEEE, 2002.


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