Augmented reality (AR) is an intriguing user interface technique that combines the properties of the real world with information processed by a computer. By augmenting the experience of the real world with computergenerated sensations, e.g. through the use of head mounted displays with optical combiners, virtual information can behave like a real object and users can leverage their knowledge of the real world to interact with that information. The development of augmented reality systems encompasses a large number of areas in computer science. Sensor technology is required to measure the state of the real world such as the position and gaze direction of a user. Advanced computer graphics are necessary to render convincing images of virtual information. Mobile applications with a focus on location-based information require large data sets to adequately model the large area they are deployed in. Finally, collaborative applications are implemented using distributed systems to support several users. Therefore, a comprehensive AR system needs to address all of these aspects and build upon a scalable design that combines the individual areas. The topic of this dissertation is a set of designs each of which address a part of an augmented reality system that combines collaborative and mobile applications. The individual designs focus on flexibility and high-level programmability to allow rapid incremental development of applications. The combination of high-level configurations with optimized implementations can provide the required performance while being flexible and extensible. The areas that have been addressed are configuration and manipulation of tracking inputs; flexible scene graph management combining visual and semantic model properties; a three-tier architecture managing and using large data sets with a data-driven application design; flexible session and space management for complex collaborative applications. The individual designs are implemented as part of the Studierstube framework and are demonstrated by a set of applications which focus on mobile augmented reality systems that provide location-based navigation aids and information displays to the user. These applications are based on a mobile AR setup developed for indoor and outdoor use. The setup is also shown in a set of collaborative applications supporting multiple mobile users. The combination of these designs allows for rapid development of flexible and scalable applications. A generic software architecture is presented to illustrate the optimal combination of the individual solutions into a coherent application. The architecture is demonstrated by a tourist guide system which incorporates mobile and collaborative aspects.
G. Reitmayr: "On Software Design for Augmented Reality"; Supervisor, Reviewer: D. Schmalstieg, G. Klinker; Institute for Software Technology and Interactive Systems, 2004.
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