Supporting Remote Design Critique of Physical Objects through Collaborative Augmented Reality
Design critique sessions among students and faculty are a critical part of the learning process for Industrial Design students. Often, these rich sessions focus on viewing and discussion of physical artifacts (mockups or prototypes) created by the students to represent their designs. However, in times of remote learning, available tools (such as videoconferencing) are insufficient for design critique sessions, because it is difficult for participants to see and understand the artifact’s size and 3D shape, and because it is difficult to communicate about particular features or regions on the artifact. Our team aims to address this problem by developing a remote collaboration tool based on handheld augmented reality (AR). Students can scan their artifact and share the resulting 3D model with others, and all participants can then view the 3D model simultaneously in their own physical context, view from independent points of view while maintaining awareness of others’ viewpoints, and point to features on the model to aid communication. The system uses common smartphones for both object scanning and AR viewing. We envision that it can be used for education in other design disciplines, and for remote collaboration around physical artifacts in any domain.