Live from ISMAR ’08: Awards, Winners, and Wrap up of the World’s Best Augmented Reality Event

They say, every good thing has an end…and this event is no exception; ISMAR ’08, the world’s most important augmented reality event, is coming to a close with in a high note and with fireworks (augmented, of course).

That’s the part where the event chairs recognize the organizers which have made it possible, and thank the keynote speakers, paper submitters, demo exhibitors, poster presenters, competition contenders, and all participants for making it such a memorable event.

Cut to…flashback. It’s last night at King’s College; Ron Azuma is the MC for the best paper award ceremony…

King's College "Cafeteria"

And the honorable mention goes to: Georg Klein and David Murray “Compositing For Small Cameras”….winners of last year’s best paper…this is excellent work…many other practitioners can use these results”

Best student paper (tied with best paper): Sheng Liu, Dewen Cheng, Hong Hua “An Optical See-Through Head Mounted Display with Addressable Focal Planes”…it’s a breakthrough…this strikes me as a memorable and important step forward for HMD technology

Best paper: Daniel Wagner, Gerhard Reitmayr, Alessandro Mulloni, Tom Drummond, Dieter Schmalstieg “Pose Tracking from Natural Features on Mobile Phones”…“WOW! SIFT and the Ferns running in (almost) real-time on mobile phones…the performance is truly impressive and opens the door to amazing future applications

Congrats. You guys are the 800 pound Gorillas in augmented reality.

Cut to…flash forward. It’s the present back in the Cambridge Engineering Department. The winners of the Tracking Competition are about to be announced by the competition team:

Tracking Competition setup

We defined the setup in a large room in the department, with reference points and coordinates and installed 8 different stations with many different objects in them. We made it really hard on the competitors. We gave them time to prepare; they got coordinates of 16 items which they had to pick using their AR tracking technology.

We started with 5 contenders: Metaio (Tobias Eble), Fraunhofer (Harald Whuest), University of Bristol (Sudeep Sundaram), Millennium 3 Engineering (Mark Fiala), and University of Oxford (Georg Klein). Mark Fiala unfortunately had to drop due to lack of sufficient preparation time. Bristol thought the room was missing some features…

And here are the results: in the second place came Metaio with 15 items picked in a little more than 10 minutes…and in first place [the audience favorite] Georg Klein who picked all 16 items in a record time 8:48!


Georg (Le magnifique) will return to Oxford with an extra 1000 pounds in his pocket. And he’s humble and gracious:

Thanks to Robert Castle for providing the method (parallel tracking and mapping) which I adapted this morning – it was greatly suitable for the task.

And for those who wonder what kind of bug drove me to write more than 10,000 words in 17 posts within 4 days – I have one word for you: passion…plus the amazing support I got from ISMAR attendees and chairs, and mostly – you guys: AR avid fans out there, that weren’t as fortunate and couldn’t attend the event this year. THANK YOU!

They also say it’s never over ’till the fat lady sings…and in this case Christopher Stapleton plays the role: he’s the last to come up on stage and his deep voice vibrates across the walls of the auditorium as he shouts into the mic:

ISMAR 2009 Experience starts right now!

If you want to be part of it, help or support it – just send a note to

Fade out. Credits. Slideshow. We’re outta here.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the wonderful posts all along the conference, I have passionately followed the event remotely with your blog ;-)

  2. Very nice blog post I like your blog keep up the great posts

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