Benchworks is a collaborative Augmented Reality application that facilitates in-situ and remote collaboration on urban design proposals. Two users can seamlessly observe virtual and real objects for design purposes. The system was created to test the feasibility of Augmented Reality aided design collaborations in a studio setting.
BenchWorks combines computer vision based tracking in form of the ARToolkit and optional magnetic tracking to provide a additional reference frame. AR Toolkit is utilized as a an easy means to create input devices that do not rely on wires and therefore are more convenient in a multi-user setup for design. Magnetic tracking on the other hand provides higher precision for head orientation and in consequence provides more stable augmented vision. Thus, major benefits for this early prototype are combined: the precision of a magnetic tracking systems, the freedom of tangible interfaces and it overcomes the obstacle of occlusion within the scene. This has been changed later in the development to a huge multimarker setting. It is less stable (in terms of orientation measurement) but easier to integrate with existing hardware.
- based on Lua bindings for TAP, ODE, AR ToolKit,
- rigid body simulation inside AR Environment
- realtime scenegraph syncing
- internal project webserver
- XML-RPC driven interlinking
Papers regarding Benchworks can be found here:
Benchworks: Augmented Reality Urban Design,
, Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia (CAADRIA 2004), Seoul, Korea, p.937-946, (2004)
Tangible Interfaces in Design Computing,
, in Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (eCAADe 2004), Copenhagen, Denmark, p.159-166, (2004)