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CS298 Proposal

Augmented-Life Phone Organizer (ALPO)

Chao-Hsin Shih (

Advisor: Dr. Chris Pollett

Committee Members: Dr. Robert Chun

Committee Members: Dr. Soon Tee Teoh


Augmented-Life Phone Organizer (ALPO) is an application that I will write for the iPhone platform. The app will help people get extra information through augmented reality. When the camera is directed at a building, rental information for units that are viewed through the camera would be displayed as well as its corresponding rental information. When the camera is directed to a Barcode, the item's information can be queried in real-time and compare to prices at other stores, which are nearby the user or online. When the camera is directed to a restaurant, a corresponding printable/digital coupon could be presented/queried in real-time. When the user needs directions to the nearest gas station or ATM, the arrows pointing to the target location are displayed accordingly as the user moves the camera from one direction to another. When the user parks a car, the user can save the location, which can be easily retrieved. The app is based on augmented reality technology, which provides users with an information layer on top of a view of the real world. Using auxiliary technology that is already present on the iPhone such as the GPS, and digital compass, as sources of data, augmented reality software technology allows real-time image analysis before overlaying information that is pertinent to the current geo-location and targeted phone-view spot.

CS297 Results

  • Wrote a test program to overlay image and GPS information on the top layer of camera view.
  • Built an EXIF mechanism to add extra information on photos taken by camera and store in database.
  • Utilized IQ engine API to gain information of object or title of document.
  • Utilized IQ engine API to gain information of object or title of document.
  • Dynamically overlaid the information of what building the camera is facing on the top of camera view.
  • Wrote CS297 report


Week 1-2: Jan 25-Feb 3Make CS 298 Proposal
Week 3-4: Feb 4-17Display the distance and direction by giving fake coordination data. Build membership system on server side.
Week 5-6: Feb 18-Mar 3 Find point of interest API and store in the database on the server side. Write script file (using php) to retrieve the nearest point of interests according to given coordination.
Week 7-8: Mar 4-17Utilize Yelp! API to gain all restaurant info and display key info when users direct the camera at restaurant.
Week 9-10: Mar 18-31Find barcode scanner API and combine with IQ Engine API. Both together allow users to gain either info of objects or title of documents.
Week 11-13: Apr 1-28Complete all documentation for CS298 final report.
Week 14-15: Apr 29-May 12Preform oral defense and final presentation.

Key Deliverables:

  • Software
    • Implement a web server in order to store and retrieve the data
      • Implement the feature of returning nearest point of interests information in XML/JSON type by provided GPS location.
      • Implement membership system on server side so that users can retrieve their favorite restaurants and car parking location.
    • Build iPhone app that visualizes data and allow user to interact with the server-side.
      • Implement the functionality of displaying info about the nearest restaurant.
      • Implement the feature of barcode scanner and document scanner.
  • Report
    • Detailed description of software deliverables.
    • Final report and presentation.

Innovations and Challenges

  • The server-side is the database, which allow users to store and retrieve data, has to be built and synchronize with the phone application. The challenge is that the phone need to be asynchronous download/upload the data from the server, so that the user do not need to wait.
  • The client-side is the application, which combines and utilizes IQ Engine, Google Map, Yelp, and GPS companies' APIs. By using those APIs, the user can get price comparison, car parking direction, restaurants coupons, and the nearest ATM or gas station. All those information can by dynamically overlay on the top of the camera view. The challenge is to implementing augmented reality on iPhone, combining all those functions and making it easy to manipulate.
  • Most of famous APIs' native apps are not allow users to save their favorites. By using ALPO, the user can save the information they are interested in and retrieve it later.


Yelp for Developers.Retrieved Feb 2, 2011 from Yelp Website:

IQ Engine Image Recognition API. Retrieved Feb 2, 2011 from IQ Engine Website:

Lee, I. (2009) Towards Wireless Augmented Reality A Review of its Enabling Technologies. International Symposium.

Daniel Wagner, Dieter Schmalstieg. (2009) Making Augmented Reality Practical on Mobile Phones. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications.