Historia de la Realidad Aumentada Móvil

Fecha de publicación: Jan 08, 2014 8:23:54 AM

History of Mobile Augmented Reality


This web page summarizes the major milestones in mobile Augmented Reality. The list was compiled by the member of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Handheld Augmented Reality for the ISMAR society. Permission is granted to copy and modify. Thanks go to the ISMAR09 mobile committee and all others for their valuable suggestions.


Icon Legend


Mobile PC

Mobile Phone






Please notify Daniel Wagner if you find errors on this page.




Ivan Sutherland creates the first augmented reality system, which is also the first virtual reality system. It uses an optical see-through head-mounted display that is tracked by one of two different 6DOF trackers: a mechanical tracker and an ultrasonic tracker. Due to the limited processing power of computers at that time, only very simple wireframe drawings could be displayed in real time.

I. Sutherland, “A Head-Mounted Three Dimensional Display”,Proceedings of Fall Joint Computer Conference, 1968, pp. 757-764.




The first laptop, the Grid Compass 1100 is released, which was also the first computer to use a clamshell design. The Grid Compass 1100 had an Intel 8086 CPU, 350 Kbytes of memory and a display with a resolution of 320x240 pixels, which was extremely powerful for that time and justified the enormous costs of 10.000 USD. However, its weight of 5kg made it hardly portable.

GRiD Compass 1101




Tom Caudell and David Mizell coin the term "augmented reality" to refer to overlaying computer-presented material on top of the real world. Caudell and Mizell discuss the advantages of AR versus VR such as requiring less processing power since less pixels have to be rendered. They also acknowledge the increased registration requirements in order to align real and virtual.

T. P. Caudell, and D. W. Mizell, “Augmented Reality: An Application of Heads-Up Display Technology to Manual Manufacturing Processes”, Proceedings of 1992 IEEE Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences, 1992, pp 659-669.


At COMDEX 1992, IBM and Bellsouth introduce the first smartphone, the IBM Simon Personal Communicator, which was released in 1993. The phone has 1 Megabyte of memory and a B/W touch screen with a resolution of 160 x 293 pixels. The IBM Simon works as phone, pager, calculator, address book, fax machine, and e-mail device. It weights 500 grams and cost 900 USD.

IBM Simon Personal Communicator




Loomis et al. develop a prototype of an outdoor navigation system for visually impaired. They combine a notebook with a differential GPS receiver and a head-worn electronic compass. The application uses data from a GIS (Geographic Information System) database and provides navigational assistance using an "acoustic virtual display": labels are spoken using a speech synthesizer and played back at correct locations within the auditory space of the user.

J. Loomis, R. Golledge and R. Klatzky, “Personal guidance system for the visually impaired using GPS, GIS, and VR technologies”, Proceedings of Conference on Virtual Reality and Persons with Disabilities, 1993.


Fitzmaurice createsChameleon, a key example of displaying spatially situated information with a tracked hand-held device. In his setup the output device consists of a 4" screen connected to a video camera via a cable. The video camera records the content of a Silicon Graphics workstation's large display in order to display it on the small screen. Fitzmaurice uses a tethered magnetic tracker (Ascension bird) for registration in a small working environment. Several gestures plus a single button allow the user to interact with the mobile device. Chameleon's mobility was strongly limited due to the cabling. It did also not augment in terms of overlaying objects on a video feed of the real world.

G. W. Fitzmaurice, "Situated information spaces and spatially aware palmtop computers", Communications of the ACM, Special issue on computer augmented environments: back to the real world, 1993, vol. 36, issue 7, pp. 39-49.


In December 1993 the Global Positioning System (GPS, official name "NAVSTAR-GPS") achieves initial operational capability. Although GPS was originally launched as a military service, nowadays millions of people use it for navigation and other tasks such as geo-caching or Augmented Reality. A GPS receiver calculates its position by carefully timing the signals sent by the constellation of GPS satellites. The accuracy of civilian GPS receivers is typically in the range of 15 meter. More accuracy can be gained by using Differential GPS (DGPS) that uses correction signals from fixed, ground-based reference stations.

Global Positioning System




Steve Mann starts wearing a webcam for almost 2 years. From 1994-1996 Mann wore a mobile camera plus display for almost every waking minute. Both devices were connected to his website allowing online visitors to see what Steve was seeing and to send him messages that would show up on his mobile display.

S. Mann, “Wearable Wireless Webcam,” personal WWW page.


Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino write their seminal paper "Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays" in which they define theReality-Virtuality Continuum. Milgram and Kishino describe a continuum that spans from the real environment to the virtual environment. In between there are Augmented Reality, closer to the real environment and Augmented Virtuality, which is closer to the virtual environment. Today Milgram's Continuum and Azuma's definition (1997) are commonly accepted as defining Augmented Reality.

P. Milgram and F. Kishino, "Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays", IEICE Transactions on Information and Systems, 1994, pp. 1321-1329.




Jun Rekimoto and Katashi Nagao create the NaviCam, a tethered setup, similar to Fitzmaurice's Chameleon. The NaviCam also uses a nearby powerful workstation, but has a camera mounted on the mobile screen that is used for optical tracking. The computer detects color-coded markers in the live camera image and displays context sensitive information directly on top of the video feed in a see-through manner.

J. Rekimoto and K. Nagao, “The World through the Computer: Computer Augmented Interaction with Real World Environments”, Proceedings of the 8th annual ACM symposium on User interface and software technology (UIST '95),1995, pp. 29-36.




Jun Rekimoto presents 2D matrix markers (square-shaped barcodes), one of the first marker systems to allow camera tracking with six degrees of freedom.

Rekimoto, J. (1996). Augmented Reality Using the 2D Matrix Code. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Interactive Systems and Software (WISS'96).



Ronald Azuma presents the first survey on Augmented Reality. In his publication, Azuma provides a widely acknowledged definition for AR, as identified by three characteristics:

R. Azuma, “A survey of augmented reality”, Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 1997, pp. 355–385.

Steve Feiner et al. present the Touring Machine, the first mobile augmented reality system (MARS). It uses a see-through head-worn display with integral orientation tracker; a backpack holding a computer, differential GPS, and digital radio for wireless web access; and a hand-held computer with stylus and touchpad interface.

S. Feiner, B. MacIntyre, T. Höllerer and A. Webster, “A touring machine: Prototyping 3D mobile augmented reality systems for exploring the urban environment”, Proceedings of First IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC '97), 1997, pp 74–81. Cambridge, MA.



Thad Starner et al. explore possible applications of mobile augmented reality, creating a small community of users equipped with wearable computers interconnected over a network. The explored applications include an information system for offices, people recognition and coarse localization with infrared beacons.

Starner, T., Mann, S., Rhodes, B., Levine, J., Healey, J., Kirsch, D., Picard, R.W., Pentland, A., Augmented Reality Through Wearable Computing, In Presence, Special Issue on Augmented Reality, 1997.

Philippe Kahn invents the camera phone, a mobile phone which is able to capture still photographs. Back in 1997, Kahn used his invention to share a picture of his newborn daughter with more than 2000 relatives and friends, spread around the world. Today more than half of all mobile phones in use are camera phones.




Bruce Thomas et al. present "Map-in-the-hat", a backpack-based wearable computer that includes GPS, electronic compass and a head-mounted display. At this stage the system was utilized for navigation guidance, but it later evolved into Tinmith, an AR platform used for several other AR projects.

B. H. Thomas, V. Demczuk, W. Piekarski, D. Hepworth and B. Gunther, “A wearable computer system with augmented reality to support terrestrial navigation”,Proceedings of Second IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC '98), 1998, pp. 168-171.



Hirokazu Kato and Mark Billinghurst presentARToolKit, a pose tracking library with six degrees of freedom, using square fiducials and a template-based approach for recognition. ARToolKit is available as open source under the GPL license and is still very popular in the AR community.

H. Kato and M. Billinghurst, Marker tracking and HMD calibration for a video-based augmented reality conferencing system, Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE and ACM International Workshop on Augmented Reality (IWAR 99), 1999, pp. 85-94.


Tobias Höllerer et al. develop a mobile AR system that allows the user to explore hypermedia news stories that are located at the places to which they refer and to receive a guided campus tour that overlays models of earlier buildings. This was the first mobile AR system to use RTK GPS and an inertial-magnetic orientation tracker.

T. Höllerer, S. Feiner, and J. Pavlik, Situated documentaries: Embedding multimedia presentations in the real world, Proceedings of the Third IEEE International Symposium on Wearable Computers (ISWC 99), 1999, pp. 79-86.

Tobias Höllerer et al. present a mobile augmented reality system that includes indoor user interfaces (desktop, AR tabletop, and head-worn VR) to interact with the outdoor user. While outdoor users experience a first-person spatialized multimedia presentation via a head-mounted display, indoor users can get an overview of the outdoor scene.

T. Höllerer, S. Feiner, T. Terauchi, G. Rashid and D. Hallaway, Exploring MARS: Developing indoor and outdoor user interfaces to a mobile augmented reality system. Computers and Graphics, 1999, pp. 779–785.

Jim Spohrer publishes the Worldboard concept, a scalable infrastructure to support mobile applications that span from low-end location-based services, up to high-end mobile AR. In his paper, Spohrer also envisions possible application cases for mobile AR, and social implications.

J. C. Spohrer, Information in Places, IBM Systems Journal, 1999, pp. 602-628.


Benefon Esc! NT2002, the first GSM phone with a built-in GPS receiver is released in late 1999. It had a black and white screen with a resolution of 100x160 pixels. Due to limited storage, the phone downloaded maps on demand. The phone also included a friend finder that exchanged GPS positions with other Esc! devices via SMS.


The wireless network protocols 802.11a/802.11b - commonly known as WiFi - are defined. The original version - obsolete - specifies bitrates of 1 or 2 megabits per second (Mbit/s), plus forward error correction code.




Bruce Thomas et al. presentAR-Quake, an extension to the popular desktop game Quake. ARQuake is a first-person perspective application which is based on a 6DOF tracking system using GPS, a digital compass and vision-based tracking of fiducial markers. Users are equipped with a wearable computer system in a backpack, an HMD and a simple two-button input device. The game can be played in- or outdoors where the usual keyboard and mouse commands for movement and actions are performed by movements of the user in the real environment and using the simple input interface.

B. Thomas, B. Close, J. Donoghue, J. Squires, P. De Bondi, M. Morris and W. Piekarski, “ARQuake: An Outdoor/Indoor Augmented Reality First Person Application”, Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Wearable Computers, 2000, pp. 139-146.


Regenbrecht and Specht present mPARD, using analogue wireless video transmission to a host computer which is taking the burden of computation off the mobile hardware platform. The rendered and augmented images are sent back to the visualization device over a separate analog channel. The system can operate within 300m outdoors and 30m indoors, and the batteries allow for an uninterrupted operation of 5 hours at max.H. Regenbrecht and R. Specht, “A mobile Passive Augmented Reality Device”, Proceedings of the International Symposium on Augmented Reality (ISAR 2000), 2000, pp. 81-84.


Simon Julier et al. present BARS, the Battlefield Augmented Reality System. The system consists of a wearable computer, a wireless network system and a see-through HMD. The system targets the augmentation of a battlefield scene with additional information about environmental infrastructure, but also about possible enemy ambushes.

S. Julier, Y. Baillot, M, Lanzagorta, D. Brown and L. Rosenblum, “BARS: Battlefield Augmented Reality System”, NATO Information Systems Technology Panel Symposium on New Information Processing Techniques for Military Systems, 2000.


Sharp corporation releases the first commercial camera phone to public. The official name of the phone is J-SH04. The phones' camera has a resolution of 0.1 megapixels.





Joseph Newman et al. present the BatPortal, a PDA-based, wireless AR system. Localization is performed by measuring the travel time of ultra-sonic pulses between specially built devices worn by the user, so-called Bats, and fixed installed receivers deployed in the floors ceilings building-wide. The system can support an HMD-based system, but also the more well known BatPortal using a handheld device. Based on a fixed configuration of the PDA carried and the personal Bat worn, the direction of the users view is estimated, and a model of the scene with additional information about the scene is rendered onto the PDA screen.

J. Newman, D. Ingram and A. Hopper, “Augmented Reality in a Wide Area Sentient Environment”, Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Augmented Reality (ISAR 2001), 2001, pp. 77-86.

Hara et al. introduceTOWNWEAR, an outdoor system that uses a fiber optic gyroscope for orientation tracking. The high precision gyroscope is used to measure the 3DOF head direction accurately with minimal drift, which is then compensated by tracking natural features.

Satoh, K.; Anabuki, M.; Yamamoto, H.; Tamura, H.;A hybrid registration method for outdoor augmented reality International Symposium on Augmented Reality (ISAR), 29-30 Oct. 2001 pp. 67 - 76


Jürgen Fruend et al present AR-PDA, a concept for building a wireless AR system and a special prototype of palm-sized hardware. Basic design ideas include the augmentation of real camera images with additional virtual objects, for example for illustration of functionality and interaction with commonly used household equipment.

J. Fruend, C. Geiger, M. Grafe and B. Kleinjohann, ”The Augmented Reality Personal Digital Assistant”,Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Mixed Reality (ISAR 2001), 2001.



Reitmayr and Schmalstieg present