Augmenting Reality and Revenue: Mobile, Sensors, Location and Layers Sept. 9, 2009

SDForum’s Emerging Tech SIG ( will be doing an event on augmented reality topic on Sept. 9 at 630PM (Presentation starts at 7PM).

Our very own Virtual World SIG Co-Chair Maribeth Back will be co-presenting!
Join us in Palo Alto (and I’m going to try to get this online too) next week!

“Augmenting Both Reality and Revenue: Connecting Mobile, Sensors, Location and Layers”

Augmented reality (AR), nurtured in academia for years, has finally become commercially viable, enabled by the power / bandwidth curve of mobile computing platforms. Meanwhile, input and display hardware has reached sufficient maturity to enable devices reasonable to use and carry.

Our lead-off speaker Clark Dodsworth, whose work on personalized, networked, mobile, location-aware systems began in 1990, predicts the result will alter the social, business, and personal fabric of our daily lives, and generate revenue streams for new and existing products, as well as whole industries that are not yet obvious.

Augmented reality, which could be said to have started with heads-up displays for aircraft pilots, has been illustrated in first-person shooter games and movies like Predator and Iron Man. But humans have been devising such augmentation for a very long time. Like the tell-tales on a sailboat that make visible the direction of the wind, the innovations of augmented reality will meld seamlessly into the devices we use every day. The first widespread users of AR won’t be wearing headgear, they’ll be using smartphones.

On September 9th augmented reality designer Clark Dodsworth, who recently worked on a mobile-ubiquitous-augmented reality project for theme parks in Dubai, will deliver a survey of the state of the art and lead a tour through the current work, vendors, and future directions in augmented reality, plus its overlap with ubiquitous computing, location-based services, machine vision, situational analysis, personalization, context awareness, privacy, and entertainment.

Clark will then introduce researcher Maribeth Back of FX-Palo-Alto Lab, who will present her current work on realtime sensor-driven integration of information into simulation environments and mobile systems, which reflects traditional, complex-system augmented reality, then talk about its future path and the future of smartphone AR.

The FX Palo Alto Laboratory is investigating virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality systems for collaboration, particularly in industrial settings. In collaboration with TCHO, a chocolate maker start-up in San Francisco, they are building virtual mirror world representations of a real-world chocolate factory and its processes, and importing real-time sensor data into the resulting virtual factory, a 3D environment designed for simulation, visualization, and collaborative tasks such as factory observation, virtual inspections, customer visits, employee education and training, process monitoring, and inventory tracking. FXPAL sees this mashup of real and virtual factories as a way to enhance collaboration and communication between physical-plant operators and engineers and remote managers; for example, factories in China with managers in Japan.

Clark Dodsworth

Clark Dodsworth, who develops digital strategies for companies facing the 24/7 global broadband culture, recently worked on a large-scale, ubiquitous mobile personalization system for Dubai theme parks. Clark’s consulting work spans product strategy, development and management for corporations and startups in high tech as well as museums, conferences and location-based entertainment. His scope in software and interfaces includes desktop, online and mobile/locational applications for devices ranging from handheld to theme park systems. Among Clark’s clients are Apple, Evans & Sutherland, Philips, SimEx-Iwerks, the city of Vienna, and startups.

Clark has worked on simulators for out-of-home entertainment and done IP assessment for consumer electronic applications. His book, Digital Illusion: Entertaining the Future with High Technology was chartered by ACM Press and published by Addison-Wesley. In 2005 Clark was program co-chair of the User eXperience conference in San Francisco.

Clark mounted his first networked, location-aware system project in 1990. In 1998, Clark co-authored the original Ambient Intelligence strategy for Philips in response to ubiquitous computing trends and the impending centrality of smartphones and location-based services in modern life. His work for Philips also included the Live Wall, a very-large-scale rear projection videophone. All his work is founded on human-centered design principles and has a visual or interface component. The product is the experience.

Clark is currently volunteering for the ISMAR 2009 International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality and is on the editorial board of the Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) Press at Carnegie Mellon and the advisory board of He has been a papers reviewer for IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications and the International Conference on Audio Display, and has guest-edited the quarterly, Computer Graphics, and the SIGGRAPH Video Review.

Maribeth Back, FX-Palo-Alto Lab

Maribeth Back is a senior research scientist at the FX Palo Alto Laboratory (a subsidiary of Fuji Xerox). Her current research focuses on the intersection of virtual environments and real-world systems for collaboration, with a bit of ubiquitous computing mixed in. She directs the Mixed and Immersive Realities team at FXPAL, investigating how the interplay of virtual environments with mobile systems and sensor-fusion networks can be useful in enterprise settings.

Previously, Maribeth’s research focus included smart environments (real and virtual), multi-modal interface design, ubiquitous computing, new forms of reading and writing, and interactive audio systems design and engineering. Maribeth holds a doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

More about this event at: (

$15 for non-members
(you can join SDForum, the parent organization, for only $125 for 12 months — and then attend all those great SIGs free and get discounts to the big meetings).
No registration required
As with all SDForum SIGs, we open with a half hour of free networking and pizza.

6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Registration / Networking / Refreshments / Pizza
7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Presentation and Q&A

IBM, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Hewlett-Packard

Pillsbury Winthrop
2475 Hanover St., Palo Alto
Map and Directions:
From 280:
Take the Page Mill exit NE into Palo Alto.
Left on Hanover, the last left before El Camino.
Pillsbury Winthrop is at 2475, with a marker in the driveway.