Interactive Media Systems, TU Vienna

Robust Wide-Area Tracking and Intuitive 3D Interaction for Mixed Reality Environments

Thesis by Annette Mossel

Supervision by Hannes Kaufmann and Mark Billinghurst


Mixed reality has been a focus of research for many years and has recently gained particular importance with the emergence of powerful, low-cost input- and output devices as well as processing platforms that foster the applicability of virtual simulations for everyday usage. However, this leads to signi cant challenges since the creation of compelling mixed reality environments requires knowledge and robust techniques in the areas tracking, visualization, interaction and in the non-obligatory areas distribution and authoring. This thesis focuses on the development of novel techniques and algorithms to contribute to the solution of fundamental problems in the areas of tracking, interaction, and application development of mixed reality systems. Firstly, a novel system for wide-area optical tracking in unconstrained indoor environments is presented that is capable of stereo camera calibration and model-based tracking of rigid-body targets in environments with poor illumination, static and moving ambient light sources, occlusions and harsh conditions, such as fog. The experimental results demonstrate the system's capabilities to track targets up to 90m and its applicability to act as a mixed reality tracking system as well as a general purpose measurement tool for future (underground) surveying tasks, such as autonomous machine guidance. Secondly, we investigated concepts for intuitive 3D interaction in virtual environments, speci cally in one-handed handheld mixed reality. To address the shortcomings of state-of-the-art 3D selection and manipulation techniques, the novel algorithms DrillSample for selection, and 3DTouch and HOMER-S for manipulation are proposed. All three approaches aim at reducing the necessary input through the user's ngers to provide easy to understand and straightforward interaction. Therefore, they incorporate the 6-degree-of-freedom pose that is obtained through optical tracking, resulting in a one- nger interaction for precise selection of partly or fully occluded objects with high visual similarity. Thirdly, the novel software framework ARTIFICe is presented that facilitates the development of compelling mixed reality environments. It aims at minimizing the initial hurdles of application development as it is inexpensive and provides a powerful graphical interface to easily access and author tracking, interaction, visualization and distribution. With the presented contribution, we aim at leveraging the applicability of mixed reality into unconstrained everyday environments that are used by non-experts.


A. Mossel: "Robust Wide-Area Tracking and Intuitive 3D Interaction for Mixed Reality Environments"; Supervisor, Reviewer: H. Kaufmann, M. Billinghurst; Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems, 2014; oral examination: 11-17-2014.


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