BenchWorks - Augmented Reality Aided Collaborative Design

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.



Hartmut Seichter
Professor of Computer Graphics

My research interests are Augmented and Virtual Reality in combination with Tangible User Interfaces.


There has been a growing research interest in investigating techniques to combine real and virtual spaces. A variety of …

Traditionally urban design is perceived, communicated and created using physical and digital media. However, these realms are handled …

Sensorial richness is essential in the design process, yet digital design tools do not respond to this need. Tangible interfaces offer …

The problems of inspecting urban design proposals are different to that of architecture. The larger context is a crucial aspect in …