Enabling an interactive campus life using a marker-based augmented reality interface

Jeff K T Tang and Wai-man Pang
Caritas Institute of Higher Education
Hong Kong SAR, China

In everyday life, augmented reality (AR) is a popular technology which automatically overlays additional text/graphical information and 3D visual effects on a real scene. There is a high potential to improve the quality of study life by combining the AR technology with ubiquitous mobile technology, which enables the students to access and manipulate the latest information inside the campus at any time and anywhere. We believe that the availability of such an interface can make the students more willing to stay on the campus and motivate them to attend lectures, have more gatherings and join more extra-curricular activities the essential blocks of whole-person development. In this paper, we present a prototype system of an augmented reality campus at the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). It is a mobile app that consists of three parts, targeting different scenarios that may happen in the campus. Firstly, our app displays the timetable for a classroom which is identified by an AR marker, so the students can check a vacant classroom, or confirm whether they are going to the right room. Secondly, the app also simplifies the enrolment for extra-curricular activities: when a student scans the AR marker on a poster, our app pop up an interface for him/her to confirm enrolment by inputting his/her personal information. Finally, the app simplifies the food ordering process at the canteen (OU Club). A printed menu with food images and their corresponding AR markers is produced, and students can order food through the app and confirm the order by paying at the cash desk. A preliminary evaluation is being conducted, in which ten OUHK students are surveyed on their feelings about our app. All questions have received an average score of 5 (or more) in a 7-point scale, which shows they are quite satisfied with our app.