Sunday, October 30, 2011

Javascript based Natural Feature Tracking enables markerless AR in the browser

Coming back from ISMAR 2011 in Basel, I could see a very interesting project by developed by Christoph Oberhofer, Jens Grubert, Gerhard Reitmayr (ICG Graz University of Technology - Austria). It proofs that a reliable and performant natural feature based tracking can actually be implemented in Javascript, HTML5 and WebGL.

There are still a lot of issues especially with the access to live video, but results are already impressive. One has to imagine that this runs entirely on a single website.

The demo runs also on an Android phone with Firefox Beta. Of course not as fluide as on a PC, but still with reasonable interactive framerates. Chrome and Opera alpha were used for the desktop demo. Interestingly it was not running on Firefox on PC.

This work is a very good example of the pace of innovation regarding cutting edge augmented reality applications. There is no need for additional plugins, like FLARToolkit. See my post on that. It runs directly in your browser. It is clearly another possibility to bring augmented reality closer to the a broader public.

We can only imagine what will be possible, when the browser support of HTML5, WebGL and Javascript will be significantly improved and technologies like WebCL will come in play.

Great work

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