Basser Seminar Series

User Interfaces for Augmented Reality: Interacting with Virtual and Physical Realities

Speaker: Professor Bruce Hunter Thomas PhD
University of South Australia

Time: Friday 16 August 2013, 11am

Location: The University of Sydney, School of IT Building, Lecture Theatre (Room 123), Level 1

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This talk explores current research in user interfaces for Augmented Reality. The talk will provide an overview of augmented reality. Augmented Reality is the registration of computer-generated graphical information over a user’s view of the physical world. The supplement of information that is spatially located relative to the user can help to enhance their understanding of the world around them. AR is made up of a combination of virtual and real environments, although the exact make up of this may vary significantly. Azuma defines AR systems as those that contain the following three characteristics: 1) combines real and virtual, 2) interactive in real-time, and 3) registered in 3D. This definition does not limit AR to the use of head mounted displays (allowing for projectors and handheld displays), but excludes non-interactive media such as movies and television shows. The talk will explore user interface issues for different modes of information display head mounted displays, handheld devices, projector displays. Because the user has to interact with both virtual and physical objects, unique user interface techniques have to be developed for augmented reality systems. The talk will take a look at application areas and the impact on the user interface needs. A broad overview of augmented reality will be presented to provide context. The results of set of user interface research projects from Prof Thomas’ group will be presented.

Speaker's biography

Professor Thomas is the current the Deputy Director of the Advanced Computing Research Centre, Director of the Mawson Institute SAR Visualisation Lab, and Director of the Wearable Computer Laboratory at the University of South Australia. He is currently a NICTA Fellow, Senior Member of the ACM, and visiting Scholar with the Human Interaction Technology Laboratory, University of Washington. His current research interests include: wearable computers, user interfaces, augmented reality, virtual reality, CSCW, and tabletop display interfaces.

His experience includes working at the School of Computer and Information Science, University of South Australia since 1990. He has run his own computer consultancy company. He was a Computer Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (A major US government laboratory for the Department of Commerce.), and a software engineer for the Computer Sciences Corporation and the General Electric Company.