Real time multiple participant collaborative creation using augmented reality in a mobile application

If you have the app installed on your mobile device, please download the image marker for tracking here:

Use this for a small marker. Good for using on a desktop.

Use this for a larger marker. Good for use on the floor, or for several people standing.

This mobile app is an early prototype resulting from research in enabling collaborative design and decision-making in augmented visual computing environments. In its current stage, it serves as a proof of concept for exploring collaborative interaction with building blocks and drawing tools.

The project goals include the use of two or more mobile devices with integrated cameras. Using fiducial markers for the vision system to track, a computer graphics overlay can be rendered that synchronizes with the surface geometry of the room or environment in which the users are interacting.

Users of the mobile app can collectively build a model on and above the table top space. Each mobile app is a client connected to a server application running on a laptop. In addition to displaying the models being constructed in real time, the server saves models at user-selected intervals and can retrieve the stored models for later use or display. (See the slideshow below of models saved during a four-hour public event on Saturday, Sept 20, 2014.)

Augmented reality applications have appeared in recent years as a novel means for information visualization or entertainment. Some smartphone applications have utilized the device's capabilities to demonstrate AR, but most examples add minimal usefulness to the existing application. Although some simple forms of table-top planning tools have been developed, this proposal incorporates the addition of networked multi-user interaction, with sculpting and creation of virtual geometry as an authoring tool set.

The project proposes to leverage this augmented reality system for the development of a unique authoring tool in which multiple users interact with one another in a process of creating and manipulating virtual objects that appear situated in the physical space. Users will be able to sculpt forms and draw diagrams that appear attached to the physical walls or furnishings, with the ability to move through and around the virtual objects located in the space while simultaneously observing each others actions. Users may be in the same physical space or remote locations. Applications can include scientific visualization, product and architectural design, performance choreography, and expressive communication through shared creation of virtual sculpture.

Project funded by OSU College of Arts and Sciences Creative Research Activities Grant.

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