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Augmented Reality

Ubisense Case study

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The institute for Computer Graphics at Graz University of Technology is focusing its research on Augmented Reality (AR) in which computer-generated graphics and sounds can be added to a real-world environment by superimposing virtual objects into the real environment. With the use of Ubisense ultra-wideband real-time location system, a hand-held augmented reality platform is developed to track a mobile user and augment the user's indoor views with virtual information. By knowing the accurate position and orientation of the user, an overlay of virtual information over the real-world video stream, can be achieved. Two applications are illustrated how an environment can be exploited this way and can be set up. Firstly, a ‘technician-support' application provides instructions how a wide area tracking system should be configured. Secondly, a ‘navigation' application utilises this newly configured tracker.

ResearchThe University has developed and built a prototype hand-held system, consisting of a Sony VAIO U70 and sensors and tags attached to the mount which makes the information about the surrounding real-world of the user interactive and digitally manipulatable. A Ubisense tag is attached onto the camera, providing position location, and an Intersense InertiaCube3 tracker is also attached which provides orientation estimates. The use of both systems provides the full six degrees of freedom necessary for tracking rigid bodies.

The ‘technician support’ application aims to start the process of building components of a ‘Ubi-comp’ environment, from within the environment itself. Ubisense sensors and tags are tracked using fiducial markers (see Fig 1). The Angle of Arrival (AOA); bearing measurements  made by the sensors can be directly compared with those measured determined by visual tracking, and the information overlaid in the user’s view. In this way, the accuracy of bearing estimates, signal strength and reflected signals can easily be analysed hands-free in an intuitive context.

ConclusionAdvantages of Ubisense:

  • Works well without direct line of sight to sensors
  • Satisfying position accuracy for many indoor AR    applications
  • Ability to track many people at once

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