Using Augmented Reality to Measure Vertical Surfaces 1222105/... Augmented Reality Augmented Reality

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  • Linköpings universitet SE–581 83 Linköping

    +46 13 28 10 00 ,

    Linköping University | Department of Computer and Information Science Bachelor thesis, 16 ECTS | Datateknik

    2018 | LIU-IDA/LITH-EX-G--18/050--SE

    Using Augmented Reality to Measure Vertical Surfaces

    Robin Bergquist, Nicholas Stenbeck

    Supervisor : Erik Berglund Examiner : Anders Fröberg

  • Upphovsrätt

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  • Using Augmented Reality to Measure Vertical Surfaces Robin Bergquist Rydsvägen 260A

    58434, Linköping, Sweden

    Nicholas Stenbeck Lennings Gata 2

    60237, Norrköping, Sweden

    ABSTRACT Augmented Reality is commonly used for entertainment pur- poses on today’s smartphones. We intend to aid the evolution of Augmented Reality as a tool as opposed to a toy. With the use of Apple’s ARKit 1.5 release, which features vertical surface recognition, we implement and evaluate a solution to a target problem which aims to contribute to the knowledge of Augmented Reality’s strength and weaknesses. The imple- mentation allows an iPhone user to measure surface areas by placing anchors to mark an area to be measured. We find that our Augmented Reality tool does not provide the same pre- cision as manual measurements but is still reasonably within boundaries if an estimation is acceptable.

    Author Keywords Augmented Reality; AR; Demo; Measurement; Surface Area; Vertical Surface

    INTRODUCTION It has been debated how long Augmented Reality (AR) tech- nology has existed but a few early systems[5, 12] appeared in the 1960’s which appear similar to today’s definition of Augmented Reality. The term ’Augmented Reality’ was not coined until the early 1990’s by Professor Tom Caudell and David Mizell at Boeing Computer Services in Seattle[2]. The first fully functional Augmented Reality system,Virtual Fix- tures [11], was developed by the U.S. Air Force’s Armstrong Labs that same year and in 1997 Feiner et al introduced the first outdoor AR system; it was called the Touring Machine [4]. The system required the user to wear a backpack holding a computer, a tablet for input, and various sensors [6]. With recent advances in technology, AR has become more prevalent and smaller devices support it. Today, every person with a smartphone has access to AR and it has seen widespread pop- ularity in recent years with mobile games such as Ingress or Pokémon GO, the latter having more than 100 million down- loads worldwide [10]. AR has also seen implementation with devices such as Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLens which are both headmounted displays instead of handheld devices.

    AR is generally known for its entertainment value due to its popular usage in games but has seen use in helping subjects perform certain tasks[7]. We base our thesis around the idea of Augmented Reality as a tool and seek to contribute research towards Augmented Reality’s applicability as a solution to different problems.

    Motivation In recent years, Augmented Reality has gained popularity; mainly as a gimmick used in entertainment media. We believe that the technology has greater potential as a utility tool, as a means to improve effectiveness or provide easy access to information. This has previously been proven to be the case[7] for certain types of assembly tasks. We aim to contribute to the field by evaluating the feasibility of measuring the surface area of flat real world objects.

    Purpose The goal of this thesis is to evaluate the feasibility and preci- sion of measuring using Augmented Reality while utilising the recently released vertical plane detection in ARKit 1.5. This will be achieved by developing and evaluating a proof of concept for an Augmented Reality based tool that measures the surface area of a given vertical surface.

    Research Questions Is it possible to measure the surface area of a vertical wall using Augmented Reality? Will the measurements gener- ated from the application be within reasonable bounds to be considered representative of the object’s real dimensions?

    How much do measurements of a surface area obtained through our Augmented Reality tool differ from manual measurements? Depending on what field one seeks to use our tool in, the acceptable margin of error will differ. Before we are able to determine if the tool is suitable for a task, knowing its approximate precision is important.

    Limitations This paper will not discuss any extensive market analyses and will focus on the development and evaluation of the Aug- mented Reality tool. The tool will only be implemented and tested on an iPhone SE running iOS 11, and not any other platforms. The tool will not be a general framework, but rather a solution for a specific task. We will not perform any usability evaluations, and will only focus on the technical aspect.

  • THEORY In this section we present keywords that are relevant in order to better understand this thesis, as well as studies and articles related to our work.

    Augmented Reality Augmented Reality is a technique for presenting computer- generated information to a user by superimposing it on the user’s perception of the real world. As opposed to Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality does not replace the user’s world with a new one, but "augments" their existing environment. It is mainly done visually, but can also include auditory or haptic information.

    ARKit ARKit1 is a tool for the development of Augmented Reality for Apple’s iOS. In Mars 2018, ARKit 1.5 was released. The significance of this is that the tool now supports vertical surface recognition; this is crucial for our Augmented Reality tool to work. Using ARKit we can detect a wall as a vertical surface and estimate our distance to the surface. Determining the surface area of the wall is then simple.

    Feature points While plane detection is activated, ARKit will continuously look for feature points; they are features in an image that are considered interesting for world tracking. This means that blank surfaces or white walls will typically have very few feature points while a colored wall with a pattern will have many feature points. Lighting also has a huge effect on how many feature points ARKit can identify, where a bright lit room is a recommended environment to get the best experience.

    Plane detection If ARKit detects enough feature points on any plane, an ARPlaneAnchor object is added to its list of anchors. The anchor provides information about the location and estimated shape and size of the plane. ARKit will continuously try to improve the position of the anchor as it learns more about the environment during a session. As plane detection can be quite battery consuming, it is recommended[1] to turn off plane detection once the needed information has been gathered. This can be achieved during a session by setting PlaneDetection in the ARWorldTrackingConfiguration-object to False.

    ARHitTest Hit-testing is the process of resolving if a ray along the normal of a screen, from a set position on said screen, intersects with one or more objects that are rendered in the application. ARHitTests are designed to do this, but limits the results to intersections with objects generated from plane detection. This helps find the objects in the real world that detected feature points and planes describe.