Augmented Reality Framework and Demonstrator
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Augmenting the real-world with digital information can improve the human perception in many ways. In recent years, a large amount of research has been conducted in the field of Augmented Reality (AR) and related technologies. Subsequently, different AR systems have been developed for the use in different areas such as medical, education, military, and entertainment. This thesis investigates augmented reality systems and challenges of realistic rendering in AR environment. Besides, an object-oriented framework, named ThirdEye, has been designed and implemented in order to facilitate the process of developing augmented reality applications for experimental purposes. This framework has been developed in two versions for desktop and mobile platforms. With ThirdEye, it is easier to port the same AR demo application to both platforms, manage and modify all AR demo application components, compared to the various existing libraries. Each feature that the ThirdEye framework includes, may be provided by other existing libraries separately but this framework provides those features in an easy-to-use manner. In order to evaluate usability and performance of ThirdEye and also for demonstrating challenges of simulating some of the light effects in the AR environment, such as shadow and refraction, several AR demos were developed using this framework. Performance of the implemented AR demos were benchmarked and bottlenecks of different components of the framework were investigated. This thesis explains the structure of the ThirdEye framework, its main components and the employed technologies and the Software Development Kits (SDKs). Furthermore, by using a simple demo, it is explained how this framework can be utilized to develop an AR application step by step. Lastly, several ideas for future development are described.