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Recent advances in compute power, graphics power, and cameras in mobile computing devices have facilitated the development of new augmented reality applications in the mobile device space. Mobile augmented reality provides a straightforward and natural way for users to understand complex data by overlaying visualization on top of a live video feed on their mobile device. In our data center mobile augmented reality project, the user points a mobile device camera at a rack of data center assets, and additional content about these assets is visually overlaid on top of each asset in the video stream from the mobile device camera. This correspondence between digital content and physical things or locations makes mobile augmented reality an intuitive user interface for interacting with the world around us. This paper describes augmented reality techniques for mobile devices and the motivations around using a multimarker computer vision-based technique for visualizing asset data in the data center. Our mobile augmented reality project enables system administrators to easily interact with hardware assets while they are in the data center, providing them with an additional tool to use in managing the data center.
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Date of Publication: Sept.-Oct. 2011