• Blair MacIntyre,
    Office hours:  3-5 Thursday, 12-2 Friday.  TSRB 231.
  • Jay Bolter,
    Office hours: 1-4 Tuesday (confirm by email before arriving). TSRB 317
  • TA:  Hafez Rouzati,
    Office hours: TBA

General Infromation

  • Meet Tue/Thu CCB 101
  • No required textbook.  We will distribute readings via t-square or web pointers.
  • You are required to learn and master the creation of AR experiences in Argon.  This will require you to have a firm understanding of web technologies.  On the client side, this means Javascript, HTML5, CSS3 and KML.  On the server side, you can use whatever server programming tools you wish.  If you have no previous experience or preferences, we recommend Google AppEngine.


This course gives students an opportunity to learn about “Mixed Reality” (MR) (and a specific subset of MR referred to as “Augmented Reality” (AR)) as a technology, a human-computer interaction paradigm, a social media, and an electronic medium. MR refers to computer systems that combine virtual content with the physical environment, allowing users to interact with these combined physical/virtual worlds in situ. Students will use the Argon AR Web Browser technology (developed here at Georgia Tech) to experiment with MR and AR, with a particular emphasis on the creation of mobile, social AR experiences.

Students will work individually and in teams to explore the potential of MR and AR. Students with backgrounds in visual design, industrial design, architecture, video production, and visual storytelling are welcome, as are students with significant programming, HCI or computer graphics backgrounds. Above all, creative thinking with and through technology is the most important asset that students can bring to this course.

Regardless of your background, you must be comfortable working with web technologies, or learning how to develop interactive experiences with them.  We will provide some guidance, but teaching web programming will not be a focus of the class.   Argon is built on web technologies, so the project work will be analogous to building web applications for a mobile web browser.  Students will use a combination of server-side programming (in whatever server-side language and system the students are comfortable, from Java to php to app-engine) and client side scripting (using HTML5, Javascript, CSS3).  Although much of the course time will be occupied with project work of various sorts, we will also have discussions based on background reading, which will include literature on AR and VR technology as well as literature on the historical, aesthetic, social and cultural questions raised by these technologies.

This semester we will have multiple small projects (both group and individual) in the first part of the semester, and one major group project in the last half of the semester.  For the major project, each small team will design and prototype an outdoor, mobile AR experience that explores the potential of AR as a social, mobile medium.

The first half of the class will focus on lecture- and discussion-style presentations of various foundational material, mixed with some project pitches and assignments.


The grade for the class will be computed as follows:

  • Class participation: 5%
  • Midterm: 10%
  • Final: 10%
  • Individual Assignments: 20% (15% assignments, 5% for pitches and reports)
  • Project:  Total 55%
    • Group Pitch: 5%
    • Group Design Milestone: 10% (5% presentation, 5% design)
    • Alpha Milestone: 15% (5% presentation, 10% progress)
    • Final Presentation and Deliverables: 25% (5% presentation, 8% technical implementation, 4% theoretical/critical/conceptual, 8% interaction and experience)

Late Policy

Late submission will have 25% taken off the grade immediately, and an additional 25% taken off for each additional day.  A day is 24 hours from the specific time the assignment is due (e.g., if something is due at 6am Monday, and it turned in at 6:01am Monday, it is 25% off;  if it’s turned in at 5:59am Tuesday, it’s 25% off but will be 50% off at 6:00am Tuesday).


The major activity of the class is centered around the group project (below), but there will be individual assignments early in the semester.  The goal of these assignments is to ensure everyone in the class gains experience and understanding of AR and MR design and implementation, without which creating an interesting and sophisticated project will be difficult.

The Project Web Page

Each project team is expected to maintain a t-square wiki page for their project.  This page should be linked of the wiki group page where you list the group members. The wiki should have a summary of the project design idea, links to all the turn-ins and presentations, and a final video of the project.  The content should be neatly and concisely laid out on this page, with explanations of what each linked element is (i.e., do not just throw a pile of resource links on a page and expect us to figure it out).  All  projects are expected to be targeted to Argon, but depending on the project may also have a web interface;  all elements must be clearly documented and accessible from your project page.


The project will be done in groups of 2 or 3.  The graduate and undergraduate students should form separate teams, as we will have different expectations for grads and undergrads.  If the number of students is not divisible by 3, we will decide what to do when the time comes to form groups.

Teams will be formed by the third week, and an initial project pitch will be done by each team in week six.  A fully fleshed out design presentation will be done week ten, before spring break, when the last individual assignment is due.

Teams will then work on their project for the remainder of the semester, with two major milestones (the Alpha deliverable in week 14, and a final deliverable in dead week.)

The project is best thought of as a prototype that demonstrates the core concepts of your idea.  The emphasis is on demonstrating what is interesting about your experience concept, and helping the person experiencing it understand what it would be like if fully realized.  The more real the project is, the better, but you should not allow yourself to get sidetracked by issues that may only need to be dealt with by a commercial implementation:  a beautifully engineering prototype that is a poor experience or is not fully working will not earn full points, but a working prototype that may need to be rewritten before it could be distributed, but which gives that participant a wonderful experience, will earn full points.

As with engineering, polished content is not necessary, but should be clean enough to not interfere with the experience; opting for a clean simple aesthetic rather than “cobbled together mismatched content” is a good idea.  You will NOT get significant additional credit for things unrelated to your core idea: no content editors, no elaborate web services, no super-cool offline non-MR experience, etc.  When it doubt, ask.

A summary of the elements of the project are as follows (additional details will be provided in class and on separate pages):

  • The Pitch will be short (10-12 mins) and include time for questions and feedback (we will provide more detail separately).  Your presentation should include concept art and storyboards, to better convey your idea.  The focus should be on the “core idea” of the project, as well as practical issues such as who will do what, what resources you will need to use, etc.  You will hand in a more detailed version that you will have time to present.
  • The Project Proposal presentations will be a similar length to the Pitch, but should now be fleshed out such that it is clear exactly what your project is, what you will be doing for the rest of the semester.  You will only have a month (including Spring Break) to get the initial version working, so you should have already begun working on elements of the project to ensure you know where you are going with it.
  • Alpha.  The Alpha should be an initial demonstrable prototype.  It should demonstrate some central part of your project, and allow you to get an idea (and feedback) about whether you are going down a good path with your idea.
  • Final Presentation.  You will present your project, including showing a short video (less than five minutes) documenting your what you have done.  You should also present what you learned;  what did your project did and did not do;  what you would do differently.  You will be required to turn in a paper that describes, analyzes and reflects on what you have done.