AUGMENTED REALITY-ASSISTED NAVIGATION IN A UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
IJAEDU- International E-Journal of Advances in Education
Augmented reality, AR in short, refers to the integration of digital information, like text, multimedia content, GPS data, etc, with the real-world user environment in real time. In this way, as the term implies, the existing, perceived environment is augmented by computer-generated sensory input overlaid in the form of new, complementary information on top of it. Augmented reality differs from virtual reality in the sense that it does not induce a new artificial environment but it enhances
... ting reality with additional elements of information real or virtual -of relative semantic content. Augmented reality was initially used in the context of military, medical and industrial applications, but soon its use expanded into several additional areas including entertainment and games, education, culture, architecture and construction, commerce, advertising. Sophisticated augmented reality applications utilize advanced technologies like computer vision and object/gesture recognition so that users can interact or even digitally alter their real environment. However, simpler augmented reality applications for smartphones exploit GPS and compass functionalities for determining user location and orientation and by means of an augmented reality "marker" they project digital information on the display of the user device. In this work, we present MyARCampus, an augmented reality application for mobile handheld devices, like mobile phones or tablets. MyARCampus uses image recognition techniques for context awareness and aims to facilitate student life within a university campus. In particular, our application provides detailed information about course timetables for classrooms as well as detailed information about bus timetables for bus-stops located within the Patras University Campus and can be easily extended to cover additional points of interest. Such information is usually provided in the form of printed, static announcements. However, updates and changes are rarely included timely in these printouts. Using MyARCampus, students can obtain anytime useful information about classroom and bus timetables which can highly facilitate course attendance and transportation within the campus and provide invaluable support for efficient schedule organization and management. Furthermore, such an application can be extremely useful, especially in the cases of users who do not speak the local language or do not even understand the signs that are distributed in the deployment location.