AR Landscape/Draft

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Editor: Jonghong Jeon (hollobit@etri.re.kr)

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Abstract

Status of the Document

Table of Contents

Intro

The purpose of this document is to provide a holistic overview of the AR space and provide information to aid in standardization process of AR by the Points of Interest Working Group. This document surveys the AR landscape by examining how market-leading AR user agents address issues around:

  1. contents representation
  2. registration and augmentation
  3. user interface and accessibility
  4. authoring
  5. internationalization and localization
  6. 3rd party channeling
  7. Sensing information and hardware


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Objective & Scope

This "Landscape document" is designed to describe the current state of the various options that exist for providing AR technologies to enable AR services. As such, this document provides:

  1. A consistent set of terms that can be used throughout the standardization process, including in specifications.
  2. A definition of what constitutes an AR content and an AR user agent for the sake of standardization (and what does not constitute an AR service).
  3. A discussion of what role various technologies play in the lifecycle of an AR service.
  4. Comparison matrices that clearly demonstrate fragmentation and interoperability across the AR landscape.
  5. A list of standardizable aspects of AR.


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Audience

This document is to be read by a generally technical audience. In particular, we expect that readers are familiar both with Web and existing AR technologies.


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Terms

This section defines some of the key terms related to AR.

AR and AR User Agents

AR(Augmented Reality) is getting a lot of attention these days - particularly the use of AR with smartphones. The main hardware components for augmented reality are: display, tracking, input devices, and computer. Combination of powerful CPU, camera, accelerometers, GPS and solid state compass are often present in modern smartphones, which make them prospective platforms for augmented reality. GPS technology combined with mobile camera can do wonders in bringing augmented reality experience. There are many applications which can interact with the video being streamed through mobile camera to the database present in the Internet about the location of the mobile phone. Amidst the popular rise of AR services and AR engines lay a number of issues for users, developers, current vendors and new vendors wanting to enter the market. By surveying various aspects that pertain to AR user agents, this document discusses these issues so they may be resolved through the W3C standardization process.

Comparison Taget

A "AR(Augmented Reality) browser(user agent)" is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources via Augmented Reality Interface. Mobile AR browser(user agent) have these features :

  1. Pulling in and managing data from both in-app sources and third party data sets.
  2. Linking to web services or phone functions such as voice communications, text or email
  3. Rendering 2-D and 3-D objects
  4. Interfacing with the smartphone's camera for displaying output
  5. Browsing information resources that ties the sensor data with digital contents


The market-leading Mobile AR user agents that are included in the survey are listed below. The Mobile AR user agents were subjectively chosen because of their perceived prevalence in the market place. This survey was conducted independently of any vendor and no vendor explicitly requested they be included in the survey.


No Mobile AR User Agent Vendor HQ Location Homepage Support Platform
1 Argon (KHARMA) Georgia Tech USA https://research.cc.gatech.edu/polaris/ iPhone
2 Acrossair Acrossair UK http://www.acrossair.com/ iPhone
3 Google Goggles Google Inc. USA http://www.google.com/mobile/goggles iPhone, Android
4 InstantReality FraunhoferIGD Germany http://www.instantreality.org/ ??
5 Junaio metaio GmbH Germany http://www.junaio.com/ iPhone, Android
6 Kooaba Kooaba Switzerland http://www.kooaba.com/ iPhone
7 Layar Layar B.V. Netherlands http://www.layar.com iPhone, Android, Symbian, Bada
8 LibreGeoSocial Spain http://www.libregeosocial.org/ Android
9 mixare Italy http://www.mixare.org Android, iPhone
10 Ovjet Kiwiple Inc. Korea http://ovjet.com/ iPhone, Android
11 Point and Find Nokia Finland http://pointandfind.nokia.com/main_publisher Symbian
12 ScanSearch OlaWorks Korea http://www.scansearch.com/ iPhone, Andorid
13 Sekai Camera Tonchidot Corp. Japan http://sekaicamera.com/ iPhone, Android
14 Wikitude Mobilizy Austria http://www.wikitude.org/ iPhone, Android


Overall features

This part of the table provides the brief summary of overall features of Mobile AR browsers.


Data Representation
How to represent the AR Contents and AR Data.
Using POI
Is it using POI
AR content type
The AR content type that supported by the widget user agent (2d, 3D, 3D-anim, ….)
SDK support
Is it provide to SDK(Software Development Kit) for developer
Interface Type
Supported User Interface Type
3rd party channeling
How to support 3rd party and content channeling ?
User Interaction
What kind of User Interaction method is available ?
Air tagging support
How to support Air tagging(or user commenting) function ?
I18N support
How to support Internationalization (I18N) and L11N (Localization) feature ?
Device Capability
What Hardware capabilities (GPS, camera, accelerometer, gyro sensor… ) used


Mobile AR User Agent Data Representation Using POI AR content type SDK support Interface Type 3rd party channeling User Interaction Air tagging support I18N support Device capability
Argon (KHARMA) KML plus HTML
Acrossair Proprietary/unknown
Google Goggles Proprietary/unknown
InstantReality unknown
Junaio XML-based
Kooaba REST API for image lookup, returns XML
Layar JSON
LibreGeoSocial unknown
mixare JSON
Ovjet Proprietary, visual search
Point and Find Proprietary, ??
ScanSearch visual search and geo.
Sekai Camera Social AR, geo. JSON.
Wikitude ARML, based on KML (XML).


Data Representation

This section describes the differences in data representation.


Support Specifications

Mobile AR User Agent
Argon (KHARMA)
Acrossair
Google Goggles
InstantReality
Junaio
Kooaba
Layar
LibreGeoSocial
mixare
Ovjet
Point and Find
ScanSearch
Sekai Camera
Wikitude


Registration and Augmentation

This section describes the differences in registration and augmentation.


This table indicates the methods available for aligning a virtual object with a 3 dimensional co-ordinate in the reality view. The tracking methods evaluated in the table rely either on GPS and location sensors (less accurate) or computer vision (more accurate) or both.

Marker based
How to support the marker based tracking?
  • Yes: built-in support for optical tracking using markers such as 2d matrix.
  • Src: source code available to support optical tracking using markers.
  • No: does not support optical tracking with markers.
Marker less
How to support the marker less tracking?
  • Yes: built-in support for optical tracking using natural feature detection and/or image recognition.
  • Src: source code available to support for optical tracking using natural feature detection and/or image recognition.
  • No: does not support tracking with feature detection or image recognition.
Location based
Is this support the Location based tracking and registration?
  • Yes: supports location based tracking using GPS, digital compass and accelerometer.
  • No: does not support location based tracking or limited support
3D object registration
Is this support to 3D object registration ?
  • Yes: supports 3D object registration using 3D object model
  • No: does not support 3D object rendering and registration
Tracking method
What kind of additional Tracking method is used?


Mobile AR User Agent Marker based Marker less Location based 3D object registration Tracking method
Argon (KHARMA)
Acrossair
Google Goggles
InstantReality
Junaio
Kooaba
Layar
LibreGeoSocial
mixare
Ovjet
Point and Find
ScanSearch
Sekai Camera
Wikitude Worlds


Authoring

This section describes the differences in authoring

Add single POI
If user wants to add a new POI, AR Agent allows adding single POI?
  • Yes: allow to add a new POI
  • No: does not allow adding POI
Add List of POI
If user wants to add List of POI, AR Agent provide method for adding List of POI
  • Yes: provide method for adding List of POI
  • No: does not allow
Add Custom Content
If user wants to add custom content, AR Agent allows it?
  • Yes: allow to add custom content
  • No: does not allow
Authentication
What kind of authentication methods is used?
Authoring Tool
Provide the authoring tool?
Document URL for developer
Where user can find document for authoring?


Mobile AR User Agent Add single POI Add List of POI Add Custom Content Authentication Document URL
Argon (KHARMA)
Acrossair
Google Goggles
InstantReality
Junaio
Kooaba
Layar
LibreGeoSocial
mixare
Ovjet
Point and Find
ScanSearch
Sekai Camera
Wikitude Worlds http://www.wikitude.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/docaddcontent.pdf http://www.wikitude.me/


Interface and Accessibility

This section describes the differences in user interface and accessibility

Offline support
Support that use in offline mode?
  • Online only: application requires a network connection at all time to work properly.
  • Offline: application also works offline – data is updated by obtaining a new version of the application
  • Cachble [cacheable layer]: Channels or layers can be cached while online.
Accessibility considerations
Support Accessibility?
Filtering
What kind of filtering methods is provided?


Mobile AR User Agent Offline support Accessibility considerations filtering
Argon (KHARMA)
Acrossair
Google Goggles
InstantReality
Junaio
Kooaba
Layar
LibreGeoSocial
mixare
Ovjet
Point and Find
ScanSearch
Sekai Camera
Wikitude Worlds

3rd party channeling

This section defines the differences in 3rd party channeling.

Paid contents
Support paid contents?
  • Yes:
  • No:
Publisher API
How offer for developers to publish their own content so that users can search and interact with the content in the browser application.
  • Open key: Platform provides an API that allows developers to publish their own data. For open keys there is no registration fee for developers and no practical limit on the users’ access to the published content. This also includes platforms that allow developers to publish their content without any key or registration at all.
  • Crowd [crowd sourced]: Crowd sourced content is published by regular users using facilities available in the browser itself, Typically, images, audio clips and text as well as a predefined gallery of 3d objects are available for crowd sourced content publishing. This has the disadvantage the developer has to physically visit the place where the content is tagged, but enables non-technical people to get involved in creating content.
  • Restr[icted key]: A publishing API is available but some kind of fee or restriction on use is applied by the platform provider.
  • Bndle [Bundled]: Content is bundled into the app itself. This assumes developer has access to the browser source code and can therefore create and publish their own app for download. While this has the disadvantage of cached data becoming stale if the user does not regularly update the app, the ability to search for POI offline is an advantage for some use cases where 3G connectivity is unavailable or prohibitively expensive.
URL
Where content provider can find document for 3rd party channeling?


Mobile AR User Agent Paid contents Publisher API URL
Argon (KHARMA)
Acrossair
Google Goggles
InstantReality
Junaio
Kooaba
Layar
LibreGeoSocial
mixare
Ovjet
Point and Find
ScanSearch
Sekai Camera
Wikitude Worlds


3D object rendering

This section defines the differences in 3D object processing.

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User Interaction and Air tagging

This section defines how can interact with POIs(or user’s comments/Air Tag).


-- Layar's Activity types for POI actions : http://layar.pbworks.com/w/page/30763878/Activity-types-for-POI-actions

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I18N(Internationalization) and L11N(Localization)

This section describes the internationalization of AR systems. .

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Sensors and Device Capabilities

This section defines the differences in using the sensing information.

Multi-touch gesture
Using Multi-touch gesture
Camera image/video APIs
Accessing single-image or video stream from cameras (including front and back), e.g. for compositing or QR code scans. See also media capture DAP API.
GPS(Global Positioning System) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GPS
Using GPS-senor
WPS(Wi-Fi Positioning System) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wi-Fi_Positioning_System
Using WPS
NFC(Near-Field Communication) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_Field_Communication
Using NFC reader/tag
  • Yes:
  • No:
  • Existing/Future standards:
    •  ??
Accelerometer - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerometer
Using Accelerometer sensor
Gyroscope (motion sensor)- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyroscope
Using Gyroscope sensor
Magnetometer(the digital compass) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetometer
Using Magnetometer sensor
Bluetooth - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth
Using Bluetooth interface
  • Yes:
  • No:
  • Existing/Future standards:
    •  ??
Microphone or Sound/voice Input
Using MIC or Sound/Voice input
external HMD(Head Mounted Display)
support connecting between the mobile device and the external HMD device
  • Yes:
  • No:
  • Existing/Future standards:
    •  ??

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AR and Web Standards

This section collects requiremens from what standards will changes.

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Standardizable Aspects of AR

This section defines standardizable requiremens.

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Acknowledgments

The editor would like to thank to the following people who have contributed to this document (ordered by first name):

  1. Christine Perey (Invited expert)
  2. Dan Brickley (Vrije Universiteit)
  3. Jung-Hee Ryu (Olaworks)
  4. Luca Lamorte (Telecom Italia SpA)
  5. Martin Lechner (Mobilizy)
  6. Matt Womer (W3C/ERCIM)
  7. Ronald van der Lingen (Layar)
  8. Whan-kyu KIm (EnSoft)
  9. WoonTak Woo (GIST)

The editor would like to thank to Participants in the Points of Interest Working Group also.

References

[1] W3C Workshop Report: Augmented Reality on the Web, http://www.w3.org/2010/06/w3car/report.html

[2] Points of Interest Working Group Charter, http://www.w3.org/2010/POI/charter/

[3] Points of Interest Working Group Wiki, http://www.w3.org/2010/POI/wiki/Main_Page

[4] Widgets 1.0: The Widget Landscape (Q1 2008), W3C Working Draft 14 April 2008, http://www.w3.org/TR/widgets-land/

[5] Content Transformation Landscape 1.0, W3C Working Group Note 27 October 2009, http://www.w3.org/TR/ct-landscape/

[6] Device Description Landscape 1.0, W3C Working Group Note 31 October 2007, http://www.w3.org/TR/dd-landscape/

[7] Jonghong Jeon, Sunghan Kim, Seungyun Lee, “Considerations of Generic Framework for AR on the Web”, W3C AR on the Web Workshop, http://www.w3.org/2010/06/w3car/generic_framework.pdf

[8] Ben Butchart, “Augmented Reality for Smartphones”, UKOLN, JISC Observatory report, 2011.3.1 (partially - http://mobilegeo.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/comparing-ar-browsers/)

[9] Rose, S. Potter, D. Newcombe, M. November 2011, “A Review of available Augmented Reality packages and evaluation of their potential use in an educational context”, University of Exeter. http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/augmentedreality/files/2010/11/Augmented-Realityfinal.pdf

[10] George Papagiannakis, Gurminder Singh, Nadia M. Thalmann, 2008, “A survey of mobile and wireless technologies for augmented reality systems2, in Comput. Animat. Virtual Worlds: http://www.miralab.unige.ch/repository/papers/486.pdf , Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 3-22.

[11] Augmented Planet Browsers Section, http://www.augmentedplanet.com/category/mobile/ar-browsers/

[12] Standards for Web Applications on Mobile: February 2011 current state and roadmap, http://www.w3.org/2011/02/mobile-web-app-state.html


Last Edit: 20111125085353