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Studierstube: Bridging Multiple User Interface Dimensions with Augmented Reality

Project start:1999 
Contact: Dieter Schmalstieg
Studierstube is an experimental user interface system, which bridges multiple user interface dimensions. At its core, it uses collaborative augmented reality to incorporate true 3D interaction into a work environment. This concept is extended to include multiple users interface dimensions into a single system:
  • multiple users (for collaborative work, both co-located and remote)
  • multiple networked hosts and platforms (IRIX, Windows, Linux)
  • multiple display types (head-mounted display, Virtual Table, projection wall, ...)
  • multiple concurrent applications (for multi-tasking work, drag and drop, ...)
  • a multi-document interface for 3D data
All this happens almost totally transparent to the application programmer, so it is convenient to write applications that use all these dimensions. With this architecture, we can explore the user interface design space between pure augmented reality and the popular ubiquitous computing paradigm.
As an application scenario we demonstrate a Storyboarding application for collaborative cinematographic design and state layout. 


Some results...

Hardware platforms
Studierstube with Head-Mounted Displays
Two users wearing head-mounted displays are collaboratively working in Studierstube on a 3D painting application (3D window in center, with focus) and a medical object viewer (lower right, without focus)
Studierstube on the Projection Wall
Two Studierstube users working jointly on multiple applications in front of a large stereo screen.
Studierstube on the Virtual Table
A third possible platform that can host Studierstube is the Virtual Table, a large workbench with stereo graphics output.
Storyboard Application
Heterogeneous Displays
To demonstrate our framework, we chose the application scenario of Storyboard design. This application is a prototype of a cinematic design tool. It allows multiple users to concurrently work on a storyboard for a movie or drama. Individual scenes are represented by their stage sets, a kind of "world in miniature". Every scene is represented by its own 3D-window. Users can manipulate the position of props in the scene as well as the number and placement of actors (represented by colored board game figures), and finally the position of the camera. The system simultaneously renders graphics for multiple users wearing head-mounted displays and for a large "movie screen" on the wall created with a video projector. Additionally, graphical output is combined with live video on a third workstation to create these images. 
Hardware Setup
This image shows the hardware setup we used for the Storyboard application.
System Diagram
This diagram shows how the various hardware parts of the Storyboard setup are connected to each other.
Download a video (AVI, 2 MB) showing the system in action!

This page is maintained by Dieter Schmalstieg. It was last updated on June 8, 2000.
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