Nomadic Augmented Reality

Dr Barrett Ens


Dr Barrett Ens
Lecturer, Computer Human Interaction & Creativity

Dr Barrett Ens is an internationally recognised expert in Augmented and Virtual Reality interface design. He has collaborated on projects with Microsoft Research, Autodesk Research and many other international researchers, including Mark Billinghurst, an early pioneer of Augmented Reality research. His current research as a member of the Faculty’s Immersive Analytics Lab involves spatial user interface design for Augmented and Virtual Reality, with a focus on interaction design and analytic support for in-situ task work.

Co-supervisors will include Associate Professor Tim Dwyer.

The Opportunity for PhD Students

This PhD project is fully funded and includes tuition fees and a standard Monash stipend of $27,353 per annum. The student will be based in the Faculty of information Technology Monash University. Read more about Scholarships and Funding.

The Candidate Requirements:

The ideal candidate will have a background in human-computer interaction, information visualisation, electronics prototyping (e.g. Arduino), or software development for augmented or virtual reality. They will show enthusiasm for next-generation computing devices and must be willing to acquire a broad set of knowledge and skills required for this project. Candidates with a previous research experience and a record of refereed conference or journal publications are preferred.

Candidates need to be eligible to undertake a PhD in the Faculty of IT at Monash University.

Please check your eligibility on the How to apply page and if you meet the criteria please submit an Expression of Interest.

Project overview

Augmented Reality (AR) allows virtual information to be overlaid on the real world. Technologies related to AR are advancing quickly, and recent developments include fully-self-contained, wearable systems such as the Microsoft Hololens. As wearable devices progress, they will become invaluable to a variety of field workers who will benefit from easy access to information. For instance, construction workers may view future building plans superimposed on a current job site and workers roaming an industrial plant can bring a virtual control room wherever they go.

This PhD project will explore novel methods for Nomadic Augmented Reality, a class of systems, applications and interaction techniques designed to support field workers with visual information on the go. These explorations will involve the creation of new visualisations or interaction techniques, the development of prototype systems that encompass emerging technologies, and evaluation through user studies. Practical parts of this project may involve software development using the Unity development environment or prototyping with miniature sensors and other hardware such as Arduino. This project will provide an opportunity for the student to research develop a novel project direction though close collaboration with experienced supervisors. Project directions may include:

  • Building and testing new wearable input devices for mobile field workers
  • Creating novel input techniques for immersive data analytics
  • Overlaying in-situ data visualisations in a dynamic or cluttered environment
  • Exploration of flying drones for mobile tracking, dynamic scene capture or projection
  • Machine learning analysis of data from smart building systems
  • Spatio-temporal visualisation of electrical loads on smart grids using Virtual Reality
  • In-Situ AR visualisation of data from Building Information Modelling (BIM) systems or the Internet of Things (IoT)

Project Discipline group

This project falls under Immersive Analytics.

Contact and further information

Dr Barrett Ens