August 16, 2008

Augmented round table for architecture and urban planning

Augmented Round Table for ArcHitecture and URban Planning (ARTHUR) is a collaboration environment based on Augmented Reality (AR) technology. Developed by Dr. Wolfgang Broll at the Fraunhofer Institute, ARTHUR augments the exchange of information possible at a conventional conference table with virtual models of houses, cityscapes, or specific architectural components and details. Appropriate 3D objects are projected into the space above the table and viewed through stereoscopic head-mounted semitransparent displays. Geometrically registered to their environment, the objects behave similar to real objects and allow the users to examine them from any location. In contrast to real objects, the virtual objects can easily be modified using intuitive manipulation techniques, such as voice commands, tangible objects on the table, gestures, and gazebased interaction. In this way, different planning alternatives and proposed modifications become visible immediately, accelerating the overall planning and reviewing process.

ARTHUR can support architects throughout an entire project, from early sketches, to design and review meetings, through to presentations of the final results to clients. The ARTHUR system has already successfully been integrated with the Microstation CAD system (integration with other environments upon request).

Contact: Fraunhofer IT, Sankt Augustin, Germany.

For more information, see Transmaterial 2: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment

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