Augmented reality work nets second best paper award
The MARS app in use
A paper by CEE Assistant Professor Mani Golparvar-Fard (PhD 10) has won the Best Conference Paper Award from the 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers International Workshop on Computing in Civil Engineering in Los Angeles in the area of Data Sensing and Analysis. The paper, “High-precision and Infrastructure-Independent Mobile Augmented Reality System for Context-Aware Construction and Facility Management Applications” was co-authored by Golparvar-Fard and collaborators Professor Jules White and graduate research assistant Hyojoon Bae of Virginia Tech.
The paper details the theoretical foundations of a high-precision 4-dimensional augmented reality (HD4AR) technology which is commercialized as Mobile Augmented Reality System (MARS) through a venture capital-funded start-up company, PAR Works Inc. MARS enables users to acquire information about physical objects immediately simply by taking a picture of them with a mobile device, without the need for location tracking modules such as GPS or fiduciary markers such as QR codes. In the context of construction and operation of the built environment, MARS Superintendent and Facility Manager apps support real-time field reporting and inspection tasks by allowing field personnel to capture photos, localize and orient themselves in the 3-dimensional space purely based on the content of photos with millimeter-level accuracy. Users can automatically receive information such as project specification, daily progress reports, or other pertinent information from an underlying Building Information Model (BIM) through augmented reality image overlays. The method also allows requests for information to be issued on site, QA/QC tasks to be completed, or instructions to be provided to other field personnel all through the taking and annotating of photos on mobile devices.
This is the second best paper award for this research project; it also won the best paper award at the 12th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan in November. The commercialized technology has also received the 2013 Consumer Electronic Show Innovation Award and was a finalist for 2013 Technical Achievement and Accelerator awards at SXSW.
The work is funded by the National Science Foundation.