Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

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C. Sandor
A Software Toolkit and Authoring Tools for User Interfaces in Ubiquitous Augmented Reality
Dissertation (PhD thesis), Fakultät für Informatik, Technische Universität München, October 2005 (online version) (bib)

Ubiquitous augmented reality (UAR) is an emerging human-computer interaction technology, arising from the convergence of augmented reality and ubiquitous computing. In user interfaces in UAR, visualizations can augment the real world with digital information, interactions can follow a tangible metaphor and both should adapt according to the user's context and are distributed on a possibly changing set of devices. In the past years, the basic technology for UAR has become fairly mature, but important challenges remain. In my dissertation, I address the challenges in developing new user interfaces for UAR systems. Since the standards for user interface elements for UAR are still immature, it is difficult to create a supporting software infrastructure. Another concern is the development process for new user interface elements. Evidence suggests that it is imperative to work in interdisciplinary teams. However, it is challenging to illustrate the design space for new user interface elements to the team members. To address these two problems, my approach consists of two steps. First, I have created the component-based toolkit AVANTGUARDE, which enables the execution of user interfaces in UAR. AVANTGUARDE supports brainstorming sessions that use a running system, through rapid modifiability of user interface elements. The core components of AVANTGUARDE include a Petri net-based dialog control management system and a viewer for augmented reality scenes. % and a set of filters to set up dataflow networks for tangible interactions, context-awareness and advanced visualizations. Second, on top of AVANTGUARDE, I have developed several tools that further ease the task of experimenting with new interaction elements. These tools employ a combination of traditional graphical user interfaces and user interfaces in UAR. To support their usage in brainstorming sessions, the main design goals were minimization of turnaround time and ease of use. AVANTGUARDE was successfully used to build several research prototypes. Since AVANTGUARDE was developed through an iterative process, valuable insights regarding the components and overall architecture have been collected. The authoring tools on top of AVANTGUARDE have been successfully used by programmers and non-programmers to modify user interfaces during system runtime.
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