The World as Interface — A Path to “Anywhere Augmentation”

Thursday, October 18, 2007 - 4:57pm

DATE: Wednesday, October 24, 2007
TIME: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
PLACE: Computer Science Conference Room, Harold Frank Hall Room 1132


Personal computing and the user interfaces that define our computer experiences are in transition. While most office computing is locked in to the traditional 2D Desktop paradigm, we are witnessing several developments of change in personal and mobile computing: the personal desktop is experiencing a 3D graphics makeover, cameras have become commonplace communication and input devices for a lively web 2.0 community, and mobile platforms with innovative interfaces are entering the market. Newly established computing practice and patterns suggest several amendments to the original vision of ubiquitous

In this talk, I will discuss the central goals and requirements of our version of ubiquitous computing: “Anywhere Augmentation” is a powerful ubiquitous user interface, making augmented reality (AR) overlays readily and directly available in any situation and location. Instead of embedding computing and display equipment in the environment, graphical annotations are overlaid on top of the environment by means of optical see-through glasses or video overlay. Robust registration between the physical world and the augmentations is necessary. Current approaches rely on the availability of a 3D model of the environment or on its instrumentation with active or passive markers. However, AR will only become truly ubiquitous if these requirements are relaxed. I will outline an approach that focuses on three key components to bring about our vision: 1) empower the human in the loop with tools to easily browse, manipulate, and author information, 2) use computer vision as a supporting modality, constraining user input to keep augmented reality on track, and 3) exploit various GIS data sources that are becoming universally available, and grow a user-supported web of volunteered location-based information around it.


Tobias Hollerer is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he co-directs the “Four Eyes Laboratory”, conducting research in the four i’s of imaging, interaction, and innovative interfaces. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Columbia University and a graduate degree in informatics from the Technical University of Berlin in Germany. Tobias’ work has been presented in more than 50 international conference and journal publications, including several best paper awards and nominations, and has been widely covered in the public media. Tobias co-organized several workshops on augmented and virtual reality, mobile systems, and tangible user interfaces, and served as general chair for the 2006 IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality. His main research interests lie in augmented reality, 3D displays and interaction, visualization, mobile and wearable computing, and adaptive user interfaces.