A Client/Server Architecture for Augmented Assembly on Mobile Phones

A Client/Server Architecture for Augmented Assembly on Mobile Phones

Charles Woodward (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland), Mika Hakkarainen (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Finland) and Mark Billinghurst (The HIT Lab New Zealand, University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-655-1.ch001


In this chapter, the authors present a client/server augmented reality (AR) system for viewing complex assembly models on mobile phones. Complex model information is located on a PC, which takes care of all of the heavy AR tracking and rendering computation. A camera phone is used as a client to show this information, augmented on still images as an animated view. The mobile phone interface also supports correct masking of the assembly pieces as they come together, as well as a graphics only viewing mode intended for better understanding of the assembly process. In addition to describing the mobile augmented assembly system, the authors present results from two pilot user studies evaluating elements of the user interface.
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Several other research groups have explored the use of AR for assisting with real world assembly tasks. One of the earliest of these efforts was the augmenting of wire bundle harness at Boeing (Caudell & Mizell, 1992), using wearable PCs with head mounted displays attached. With this interface, Boeing engineers were able to superimpose virtual images over the real world showing which real wires should be bundled together. Later, researchers developed AR assisted assembly applications for putting a lock into a car door (Reiners et al., 1998), for guided assembly application (Sharma & Molineros, 1997), and assembly of architectural structures (Webster et al., 1996), among others. In most cases, these AR assembly interfaces were based around desktop computers and the user needed to wear a head mounted display to view the AR content.

Key Terms in this Chapter

3D CAD: Computer-aided design of three-dimensional virtual models, typically corresponding to industrially manufactured producs.

User Interface: The means by which people (users) interact with a system, computer program or other complex tool.

Mobile Phones: An electronic device used for mobile telecommunications over a cellular network of specialized base stations, typically including also additional functionality such as camera.

Client/Server Architecture: Distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or work loads between service providers (servers) and service requesters (clients).

Augmented Reality: Superimposing virtual objects into the user’s view of the real world, performed in real time and with correct alignment on physical and virtual components.

Computer Graphics: Graphics created by computer programs, typically used for rendering of 3D computer models on 2D computer screen.

Industrial Assembly: A manufacturing process in which parts are added to a product in a sequential manner.

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