Interactive Media Systems, TU Wien

First Steps Towards Handheld Augmented Reality

By Dieter Schmalstieg and Daniel Wagner


In this paper we describe the first stand-alone Augmented Reality (AR) system with self-tracking running on an unmodified personal digital assistant (PDA) with a commercial camera. The project exploits the ready availability of consumer devices with a minimal need for infrastructure. The application provides the user with a three-dimensional augmented view of the environment. Our system achieves good overlay registration accuracy by using a popular marker-based tracking toolkit (ARToolKit), which runs directly on the PDA. We introduce an optional client/server architecture that is based on wireless networking and is able to dynamically and transparently offload the tracking task in order to provide better performance in select areas. The hardware/software framework is modular and can be easily combined with many elements of an existing AR framework. As a demonstration of the effectiveness, we present a 3D navigation application that guides a user through an unknown building to a chosen location.


D. Schmalstieg, D. Wagner: "First Steps Towards Handheld Augmented Reality"; in: "Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Wearable Computers", IEEE Computer Society Press, 2003, ISBN: 0-7695-2034-0, 127 - 135.


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