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Shared Space

The SharedSpace project has culminated in two related technologies, the ARToolKit and the Magic Book. Each of these technologies has its own web page, and the ARToolKit has an associated mailing list.

The rest of this page describes the SharedSpace project from an earlier perspective.

The Human Interface Technology Laboratory (HITLab) at the University of Washington and ATR Media Integration & Communication in Kyoto, Japan join forces at SIGGRAPH 99:

Shared Space: Collaborative Augmented Reality is a featured demo at the SIGGRAPH 99 Emerging Technologies Exhibition.

HITLab-ATR Siggraph ‘99 Demo Website:

New Siggraph 2000 "Magic Book"

The Shared Space interface demonstrates how augmented reality, the overlaying of virtual objects on the real world, can radically enhance face-to-face and remote collaboration. For face-to-face collaboration, this approach allows users to see each other and the real world at the same time as three-dimensional virtual images between them, supporting natural communication between users and intuitive manipulation of the virtual objects. For remote collaboration, our system allows life-sized live virtual video images of remote user to be overlaid on the local real environment, supporting spatial cues and removing the need to be physically present at a desktop machine to conference. In both cases computer vision techniques are used to precisely register virtual images with physical objects, extending the currently popular "Tangible Interface" metaphor. We present our work in the context of a collaborative card-game application that allows face-to-face and remote users to collaboratively interact with each other and virtual animations.


The HIT Lab is making available the Augmented Reality tracking libraries used as the basis for the Shared Space project and SIGGRAPH demo. The libraries use computer vision techniques to precisely calculate a camera position and orientation relative to a tracking marker. The programmer can then use this information to draw 3D virtual objects that are exactly aligned with a real object. The libraries are available here for the SGI IRIX and Windows (95,98,NT) platforms a nd come with sample source code, documentation and several simple applications.


Mark Billinghurst <mark.billinghurst at>