In the last years, the growing diffusion of lightweight portable computing device like netbooks, tablets, and smartphones, featuring adequate processing power coupled with trackpad/touchpad interface, one or two webcams and eventually additional sensors (accelerometers, gps, gyroscopes, digital compass, etc.) has provided a low-cost platform to augmented reality applications, usually relying on more dedicated but also expensive and bulky technologies like motion tracking systems and see-through head mounted displays. In this paper we present and describe an AR application aimed to showcase how it is possible to effectively augment AV (Audio-Video) components, a kind of hi-tech gear today diffused in most home environments, by means of context dependent graphics contents. Visual aids in the form of both static and animated graphics are displayed according to the current status of the component (outputted via a serial interface) or simply based on the selection operated by the user through the trackpad. Moreover the system is able to help user to focus his/her attention on the physical interface on the AV component (e.g. a knob, a button or a connector in the back panel) either via an augmenting strategy (e.g. by adding virtual info) or by means of a diminishing approach (hiding all the other not relevant features). The proposal is easily extendible to a broad category of low-cost AR applications as it is based on cheap hardware (netbooks/tablets) and exploits marker based motion tracking through external webcam and the lcd screen as a see-through display. Â© 2012 ACM.
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