SlidAR: A 3D positioning method for SLAM-based handheld augmented reality

Handheld Augmented Reality (HAR) has the potential to introduce Augmented Reality (AR) to large audiences due to the widespread use of suitable handheld devices. However, many of the current HAR systems are not considered very practical and they do not fully answer to the needs of the users. One of the challenging areas in HAR is the in-situ AR content creation where the correct and accurate positioning of virtual objects to the real world is fundamental. Due to the hardware limitations of handheld devices and possible restrictions in the environment, the correct 3D positioning of objects can be difficult to achieve we are unable to use AR markers or correctly map the 3D structure of the environment.

We present SlidAR, a 3D positioning method for Simultaneous Localization And Mapping (SLAM) based HAR systems. SlidAR utilizes 3D ray-casting and epipolar geometry for virtual object positioning. It does not require a perfect 3D reconstruction of the environment nor any virtual depth cues. We have conducted a user experiment to evaluate the efficiency of SlidAR method against an existing device-centric positioning method that we call HoldAR. Results showed that SlidAR was significantly faster, required significantly less device movement, and also got significantly better subjective evaluation from the test participants. The SlidAR method also had higher positioning accuracy, although not significantly.