Date of Award

Winter 2006

Project Type


Program or Major

Electrical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Richard Messner


A prototype of a wearable computer system is proposed and implemented using commercial off-shelf components. The system is designed to allow the user to access location-specific information about an environment, and to provide capability for user tracking. Areas of applicability include primarily first response scenarios, with possible applications in maintenance or construction of buildings and other structures. Necessary preparation of the target environment prior to system's deployment is limited to noninvasive labeling using optical fiducial markers. The system relies on computational vision methods for registration of labels and user position. With the system the user has access to on-demand information relevant to a particular real-world location. Team collaboration is assisted by user tracking and real-time visualizations of team member positions within the environment. The user interface and display methods are inspired by Augmented Reality1 (AR) techniques, incorporating a video-see-through Head Mounted Display (HMD) and fingerbending sensor glove.*.

1Augmented reality (AR) is a field of computer research which deals with the combination of real world and computer generated data. At present, most AR research is concerned with the use of live video imagery which is digitally processed and "augmented" by the addition of computer generated graphics. Advanced research includes the use of motion tracking data, fiducial marker recognition using machine vision, and the construction of controlled environments containing any number of sensors and actuators. (Source: Wikipedia) *This dissertation is a compound document (contains both a paper copy and a CD as part of the dissertation). The CD requires the following system requirements: Adobe Acrobat; Microsoft Office; Windows MediaPlayer or RealPlayer.