winchester iTACITUS review

in november we had our second review of the iTACITUS project. therefore i finished an augmented reality applications for winchester castle’s great hall. it shows overlay information about three points of interest: arthur’s round table, the court and an outside scene with the sheriff of hampshire.


the main task was to present these scenes on the sony ux ultramobile pc. additionaly i showed the outside scene on the iphone with my snapshot augmented reality application.


the project finishes in may 2009.

$1 gesture recognizer in X3D

just implemented the “The $1 Gesture Recognizer” in X3D. the original code is written very well in javascript (without dom / html specific code). that’s why it’s easy to imlement in X3D.

it works amazin accurate! download instantplayer and open the file to test it. next i will put it into a proto for better integration.


yvonne added a PaintTexture for debugging:

iPhone snapshot augmented reality

“snapshot augmented reality” on iPhone let’s you take a photo and augmented it with virtual objects or geolocated information. therefore the application sends the image to InstantVision server via Wifi or UMTS. the overlayed image is sent back to the iPhone and displayed some seconds later.

this lightweight solution eliminates the major problems of augmented reality on mobile devices: hardware availability, computing power and battery life. and it is compatible with Apple’s iPhone SDK, where live video streaming is still forbidden. the client is a very slim application that takes a photo and sends it to an InstantVision server. this server extracts the geolocation of the image and runs a database-driven postertracking on it to calculate the iPhone’s camera pose. therefore a reference image and a prepared 3d scene of each point of interest (POI) is needed. a flickr image and a small X3D scene is enough.
due to the distributed architecture the slim client can be ported to android, symbian, etc.


more about the project:

see also: instantmini X3D browser on the iPhone

WEB3D & SIGGRAPH 2008 – part two

the presentation of the paper “Adapting X3D for Multi-Touch environments” at WEB3D conference and our demos at the WEB3D showcase were really successful. tobias showed his mixed reality light simulation and i presented the radiohead iphone experiment.


finally i met don brutzman and leonard daly who wrote the first X3D book X3D: Extensible 3D Graphics for Web Authors. Now i have a signed one.


at SIGGRAPH johannes and dirk gave their “Don’t be a WIMP” class. we showed some stereo rendering, wiimote 6DOF and augmented reality demos afterwards. inbetween we had to run to fetch the google t-shirts..


together with “Rome Reborn” we exhibited the iTACITUS technology. via instantvision’s markerless tracking we showed 3d models of roman monuments on top of a floor map and posters of Rome.

next years WEB3D conference will be at IGD in darmstadt!

instantmini and beta5

we are about to release our x3d player for the iPhone! patrick just finished the OpenGL ES based application today. it is build with the official iPhone SDK and will be available in the AppStore soon.


beta5 of instantplayer will be released today, too. the experimental BrowserTexture is one of my favorite features. XMLHttpRequest was postponed to beta6. meanwhile i found a solution via TCPClient backend for loading and parsing XML.

all news and interesting demos will be presented at WEB3D and SIGGRAPH next week. see you there..


1. Die Welt and thingsmagazine are covering SurveillanceSaver. maybe we should finally start the follow-up project..

2. the Thom Yorke Hologramm video was seen over 18.000 times on youtube and is the second highest ranked in Radiohead’s youtube group after their own video

3. our multi-touch papers have been accepted by WEB3D2008, VRST2008 and INTUITION2008

4. instantplayer beta5 will be released soon with one of my favorite features: BrowserTexture – display interactive webpages on a texture

5. my students finished their projects: minimal interfaces

python eai for x3d proof of concept

jython also works for EAI (external authoring interface) for X3D browsers like instantplayer. this is a 5 minute proof of concept.

code example (

from import InetAddress
from vrml import *

      address = InetAddress.getByName(“localhost”)
browser = eai.BrowserFactory.getBrowser(address, 4848)


1. just download and install jython:

2. put you instantreality lib (instantreality.jar) into java classpath or modify the startup file (jython) in order to do so:


# This file was generated by the Jython installer
# Created on Mon May 19 20:25:40 CEST 2008 by me

if [ ! -z “$CLASSPATH” ]
“/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5.0/Home/bin/java” -Dpython.home=”/Users/me/jython2.2.1″ -classpath “$CP” org.python.util.jython “$@”

3. start the python file in your shell: