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Mobile AR Framework



Augmented Reality (AR) on mobile platforms has been one of the major research topics at the HIT Lab in recent years. The research team has decided to open up and share the underlying technologies so that the research community could benefit from what has been achieved, and accelerate the development of the technology.

The Mobile AR Framework is a development platform built and used at the HIT Lab NZ to build mobile AR applications and prototypes for researching human interface technology. The framework consists of various libraries and tools to help developers creating their own mobile AR experience.


  • Outdoor AR Library

oalib_iconA software development library for building outdoor AR applications on mobile platforms. Using the built in functions in the library, developers can focus on designing and developing the user interface and content without spending too much efforts on the fundamental technologies. Currently the library only supports the Android platform, we are looking forward to have iOS support in the future.


  • Outdoor AR Server

oasvr_iconA server platform for hosting mobile AR contents on the network. Mobile AR applications can connect to the server through the Internet and download the contents available based on location information. In addition to providing online content repository for mobile AR applications, the server platform will also provide web based interface for managing AR content.


  • Computer Vision based Tracking Library

A computer vision based tracking library for mobile AR applications. The library implements robust, yet effecitve natural feature tracking algorithm optimized for running on a mobile platform.



  • Outdoor AR Library v1.0 r2 released to solve build issues - 7 Feb 2014
  • Outdoor AR Library Tutorial at MGIA - SIGGRAPH Asia 2013, Hong Kong - 21 Nov 2013
  • Outdoor AR Library updated with support for Google Maps Android API v2. - 17 Nov 2013
  • Outdoor AR Library beta 4 released with more tutorials. - 15 Nov 2012
  • Outdoor AR Library beta 3 released. - 29 Oct 2012
  • The second public beta version of the Outdoor AR Library for Android platform is now available for download. - 6 Aug 2012
  • The first public beta version of the Outdoor AR Library for Android platform is now available for download. - 9 May 2012



The HIT Lab NZ has been working on various projects for developing mobile AR applications. Many of these projects took benefits from the framework, and also has been contributing to the framework in terms of building and testing it, as well. The following list shows some projects that has been actively using the framework.


Development Team

Project Director: Mark Billinghurst

Gun Lee, Leigh Beattie, Huidong Bai, Alaeddin Nassani, Robin Watson, Tristan Scott, Rowan Livingstone, David Merrick, Seungwon Kim, Aswin Akhilesh, Rahul Krishnan Pathinarupothi, Raphael Grasset, Tim Hobbs, Jacob Ervin, Hartmut Seichter, Yorick Maziere, Hannes Gamper



If you have any questions or suggestions about the Mobile AR Framework, please visit the Mobile AR Framework Support Forum.



The Mobile AR Framework has different licensing policies for each modules and based on the purpose of use. Please refer to the list below to see the options each module provides.

Outdoor AR Library is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. OutdoorAR Library is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details. You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with Outdoor AR Library. If not, see



  • Outdoor AR Library for Android v1.0 r2 - download
  • Outdoor AR Server - TBA
    • Web-based Authoring Tool Closed Beta - sign up



0. Getting Started (update for v1.0 r2) pdf -
1. Basics of AR, Map and List Components pdf code
2. Preparing 3D Models using Blender pdf -
3. Preparing 3D Models using SketchUp Pro  pdf -
4. Displaying tags in AR view pdf code
5. Point-to-select in AR view pdf code
6. Notification Bubbles in AR and Map views pdf code
7. Creating custom scene classes pdf code
8. Simple animation of 3D models in AR pdf code
9. Location events pdf code

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