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User-Aware Audio Marker Using Low Frequency Ultrasonic Object Detection and Communication for Augmented Reality

1
School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju 61005, Korea
2
Future Infrastructure Research Center, Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do 10223, Korea
3
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY 10017, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(10), 2004; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9102004
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 11 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Augmented Reality: Current Trends, Challenges and Prospects)
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Abstract

In augmented reality (AR), audio markers can be alternatives to image markers for rendering virtual objects when an AR device camera fails to identify the image marker due to lighting conditions and/or the distance between the marker and device. However, conventional audio markers simply broadcast a rendering queue to anonymous devices, making it difficult to provide specific virtual objects of interest to the user. To overcome this limitation without relying on camera-based sensing, we propose a user-aware audio marker system using low frequency ultrasonic signal processing. The proposed system detects users who stay within the marker using ultrasonic-based object detection, and then it uses ultrasonic communication based on windowed differential phase shift keying modulation in order to send a rendering queue only to those users near the marker. Since the proposed system uses commercial microphones and speakers, conventional telecommunication systems can be employed to deliver the audio markers. The performance of the proposed audio marker system is evaluated in terms of object detection accuracy and communication robustness. First, the object detection accuracy of the proposed system is compared with that of a pyroelectric infrared (PIR) sensor-based system in indoor environments, and it is shown that the proposed system achieves a lower equal error rate than the PIR sensor-based system. Next, the successful transmission rate of the proposed system is measured for various distances and azimuths under noisy conditions, and it is also shown that the proposed audio marker system can successfully operate up to approximately 4 m without any transmission errors, even with 70 dBSPL ambient noise. View Full-Text
Keywords: audio marker; augmented reality; low frequency ultrasonic; ultrasonic-based object detection; ultrasonic communication audio marker; augmented reality; low frequency ultrasonic; ultrasonic-based object detection; ultrasonic communication
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jeon, K.M.; Chun, C.J.; Kim, H.K.; Lee, M.J. User-Aware Audio Marker Using Low Frequency Ultrasonic Object Detection and Communication for Augmented Reality. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 2004.

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