CAVE-AR: A VR Authoring System to Interactively Design, Simulate, and Debug Multi-user AR Experiences
PubDate: Feb 2019
Teams: University of Illinois at Chicago
Writers: Marco Cavallo, Angus G. Forbes
Despite advances in augmented reality (AR), the process of creating meaningful experiences with this technology is still extremely challenging. Due to different tracking implementations and hardware constraints, developing AR applications either requires low-level programming skills, or is done through specific authoring tools that largely sacrifice the possibility of customizing the AR experience. Existing development workflows also do not support previewing or simulating the AR experience, requiring a lengthy process of trial and error by which content creators deploy and physically test applications in each iteration. To mitigate these limitations, we propose CAVE-AR, a novel virtual reality system for authoring, simulating and debugging custom AR experiences. Available both as a standalone or a plug-in tool, CAVE-AR is based on the concept of representing in the same global reference system both in AR content and tracking information, mixing geographical information, architectural features, and sensor data to simulate the context of an AR experience. Thanks to its novel abstraction of existing tracking technologies, CAVE-AR operates independently of users’ devices, and integrates with existing programming tools to provide maximum flexibility. Our VR application provides designers with ways to create and modify an AR application, even while others are in the midst of using it. CAVE-AR further allows the designer to track how users are behaving, preview what they are currently seeing, and interact with them through several different channels. To illustrate our proposed development workflow and demonstrate the advantages of our authoring system, we introduce two CAVEAR use cases in which an augmented reality application is created and tested. We compare the CAVE-AR workflow to traditional development methods and demonstrate the importance of simulation and live application debugging.