How AR Browsers Should Be…

Frankly, I got tired with AR browsers. When Wikitude first launched I was excited. When Layar came out the whole blogosphere was thrilled. But now (only a couple of months after Layar went public), I’m feeling quite jaded. Everybody and his sister are making an AR browser application, and most of them are just he same.

Apparently, I’m not the only one harboring those feelings. The title of this post is taken from a mail sent to me by Daniel Wagner of Graz University of Technology, one of the best known names in the field of mobile AR. Wagner writes:

Rather than inventing the next (10th?) AR browser, we’ve been working on generally improving the usability of such applications. My team member Alessandro [Mulloni] has come up with some cool gestures and good ideas on how to avoid information overflow and how to let people easier navigate in a typical AR browser scenario. The result is something like. “this is how an AR browser should actually be” – without restricting to a specific application scenario.

While AR in general is from a first person perspective, Mulloni looked into extending it with panoramic and bird’s-eye perspectives, in order to enhance the user’s understanding of its surrounding. This is how it looks:

In his paper, Mulloni finds that such smooth transition into other perspectives can really help the user. So, what do you say? A new avenue for AR browsers, or is the real conclusion from this research is that AR still needs to be complemented by a top-down map view in order to be usable?

13 Responses

  1. […] Games AlFresco, via @loic). CrunchBase Information Layar tonchidot Information provided by CrunchBase […]

  2. Thank you! I was thinking the exact same!

    When will a new original use of mobile AR rise up I wonder :/

  3. Wow, something I wrote was techcrunched!
    Now, how can I get in touch with the guys from boingboing?

  4. […] 9:05 pm on September 7, 2009 Reply Tags: web (585) “Zooming panorama” and map-mode enhances augmented reality (EAR?) systems. § […]

  5. […] Games AlFresco, via […]…

  6. […] Games AlFresco, @loic). CrunchBase Information Layar tonchidot Information provided by […]

  7. It seems to me that an AR Browser simply needs a “location override” function as standard, to let people manually set their location.
    By default it would be their real one, but if they want to be 100meters in the air looking down they can too.

    I’m getting feed up with AR Browsers too, but mostly from the point of view they are all doing overlapping jobs with overlapping effort without much progress in specific areas.
    Competition is good, but only when a common standard is established so everyone can access the same data on all systems.
    Allthough webbrowsers have been correctly argued as to not being a perfect analogy, I think theres plenty to learn from the comparison. I can see thousands of facets of development, user interface improvements, functionality, plugins…..but untill the basics are done, arnt they all a bit of a distraction? If we arnt carefull people will be competing over the best “firefox plugins” before html is established.

    umm…anyway, I’m rambleing ;)

    Yes, other perspectives are good.
    And yes, working on other stuff rather then making another incompatible browser is also good :P

  8. I think, at this stage, in the development lifecycle that there’s room and strong cases for doing both. There should be different browsers, looking to serve essentially the same service but then build on top with added value.

    Why get bored by it? It’s not going to happen overnight anyway so I say enjoy the ride. Try out the browsers…some will appeal and continue while others fall short. Then as development aligns somewhat we’ll start seeing more discussions around interoperability and we’ll move into Phase 2.

    By the way….is that paper publicly available?


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