BRIDGE Publications

Ubiquitous Annotation Visualization - Concept and Rapid Prototyping Framework

Marc Jentsch, Fraunhofer FIT



Ubiquitous computing is about blurring the boundaries between virtuality and reality. Computers and virtual content are merged with the real world. For instance, ambient displays use the entire physical environment as interface to digital information or augmented reality systems show virtual content over real world objects. Gaining knowledge of commonalities among these technologies would reduce their development eort. This thesis investigates the ubiquitous computing domain regarding similarities in visualization methods. The identication and classication of the most important approachesreveal a recurring concept: Real world objects are visually augmented by virtual information. We call this novel umbrella concept ubiquitous annotation visualization (ubiAV). As advantage of knowing of commonalities among these visualization methods, application developers can choose from similar visualization options for their application. But they do not always know which approach ts best for a particular application. Hence, if they want to evaluate a visualization's eect on a particular application, they have to try different ubiquitous annotation visualization approaches. This can be time-consuming and cumbersome because the application might need to be adapted to each visualization. Moreover, a developer might lack the knowledge how to implement the visualization, and getting to know the technology takes time. As a consequence, she might refrain from comparing and instead choose a maybe suboptimal visualization arbitrarily, which could decrease the quality of the user experience.This thesis species the UbiVis software framework, which aims at facilitating this kind of rapid prototyping. The framework's architecture separates the application logic and visualization into encapsulated components and denes a standard interface between them. This allows developers to exchange and evaluate visualizations without having to adapt the application logic. A standard procedure defines how developers can quickly and easily apply the framework. So, lengthy familiarization with the technology is not necessary. This thesis also species a technical environment so that UbiVis can be applied in practice. UbiVis intends that visualization components are encapsulated as exchangeable libraries. If the libraries are freely available, developers can apply a visualization for their application without knowing implementation details. A major contribution of this thesis is the delivery of a set of libraries for supporting the most important ubiquitous annotation visualization approaches. We also specify a concept for extending this initial set of libraries. This specication allows every application developer to add further libraries,which opens the framework to support new ubiquitous annotation visualization technologies. In order to validate whether UbiVis supports rapid prototyping of ubiquitous annotation visualization applications, we develop several examples in dierent domains. Then, we show how the provided libraries can be used for exchanging ubiquitous annotation visualization approaches without having to change application code. We further demonstrate the extensibility of the set of libraries by developing a new library within the rules of the framework and by applying it to the developed applications. Finally, we evaluate in a set of practical user workshops to which degree the framework is easy to apply.


Full thesis


RWTH Aachen University, Diss., 2015.






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