Our MirrorWorld system combines virtual environments that are analogues of real physical locations with various content and information sources that have a spatial or location component. This MirrorWorld allows us to create applications that combine the virtual and physical worlds for mobile users. The goal is to allow groups of affiliated people (e.g. Georgia Tech football fans, Facebook friends, College of Computing researchers, visitors to Atlanta etc.) to create and consume location based augmented reality content.
Ultimately, this system will allow remote visitors to access the MirrorWorld via a collaborative VR world (i.e. MMO) and interact with mobile users who are experiencing the virtual world overlaid on the physical world via a mobile AR client.These mobile users will see augmentations created by other users or drawn from online sources overlaid graphically with the world around them. Many types of augmentations may be available for a particular area (e.g., the alumni association has created "Go Jackets!" themed graphics which are overlaid on campus buildings, your friend's Flickr feed is overlaid on the actual locations where the pictures were taken, you can see the current locations and FaceBook status of members of your research lab, a Facebook game can be played by visiting different campus locations, your friend has created a collaborative graffiti canvas on the side of the TSR building etc. ).
The interface will let you to choose the augmentations you are currently interested in (and that you are allowed to see). WHile a security layer restricts certain augmentation streams (e.g. the location of your coworkers) to groups of certified users. Object and location based interactions will allow augmentations to be linked to the physical world in a meaningful (e.g. Attaching graffitti to a "room", rather than to an absolute GPS location) and efficient (e.g. automatically projecting a 2-D sketch onto the 3D shape of this building) manner. Virtual and mobile visitors will have awareness of each other. Virtual users will see avatars representing mobile users in the virtual version of the world and mobile users will see their physical world populated with virtual avatars. These virtual users will be able to move their own avatar around the virtual scene inspecting augmentations and creating them.
Prototype systems based on this MirrorWorld concept have been demonstrated at CTIA 2009 and the Broadband Media Summit 2009.
A collaboration with Blair MacIntyre and the Augmented Environments Lab (AEL)
Funded by Alcatel Lucent.