Performance Study on Natural Marker Detection for Augmented Reality Supported Facility Maintenance

Christian Koch, Matthias Neges, Markus König, Michael Abramovici


The operation and maintenance phase is the longest and most expensive life-cycle period of building facilities. Operators need to perform activities to provide a comfortable living and working environment and to upkeep equipment to prevent functionality failures. For that purpose they manually browse, sort and select dispersed and unformatted facility information before actually going on the site. Although some software tools have been introduced, they still spent 50% of the on-site work on inspection target localization and navigation.

To improve these manual, time consuming and tedious procedures, the authors previously presented a framework that uses BIM-based Augmented Reality (AR) to support facility maintenance tasks. The proposed workflow contains AR supported activities, namely AR-based indoor navigation and AR-based maintenance instructions. An inherent problem of AR is marker definition and detection. As introduced, indoor natural markers such as exit signs, fire extinguisher location signs, and appliances’ labels were identified to be suitable for both navigation and maintenance instructions. However, small markers, changing lighting conditions, low detection frame rates and accuracies might prevent the proposed approach from being practical.

In this paper the performance of natural marker detection will be evaluated under different configurations, varying marker types, marker sizes, camera resolutions and lighting conditions. The detection performance will be measured using pre-defined metrics incorporating detection accuracy, tracking quality, frame rates, and robustness. The result will be a set of recommendations on what configurations are most suitable and practical within the given framework.


Augmented reality, Facility maintenance, Natural markers, Building information modelling, Detection performance

Full Text



Akcamete, A., Liu, X., Akinci, B. & Garrett, J.H. 2011, 'Integrating and Visualizing Maintenance and Repair Work Orders in BIM: Lessons Learned from a Prototype', Proc. of 11th CONVR, International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, Weimar, Germany.

Ayer, S.K., Messner, J.I. & Anumba, C.J. 2011, 'Determining the appropriate role for mixed reality technologies in facility management', Proc. of the 11th CONVR, International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality, Weimar, Germany.

East, E.W., Nisbet, N. & Liebich, T. 2013, 'The Facility Management Handover Model View', Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 27(1), 61–7.

Ergen, E., Akinci, B., East, B. & Kirby, J. 2007, 'Tracking Components and Maintenance History within a Facility Utilizing Radio Frequency Identification Technology', Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering 22(1), 11–20.

Henderson, S. & Feiner, S. 2011, 'Exploring the Benefits of Augmented Reality Documentation for Maintenance and Repair', IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 17(10), 1355–68.

Khoury, H.M. & Kamat, V.R. 2009a, 'Evaluation of Position Tracking Technologies for User Localization in Indoor Construction Environments', Automation in Construction 18(4), 444–57.

Khoury, H.M. & Kamat, V.R. 2009b, 'High-precision Identification of Contextual Information in Location-aware Engineering Applications', Advanced Engineering Informatics 23(4), 483–96.

Ko, C. 2009, 'RFID-based Building Maintenance System', Automation in Construction 18(3), 275–84.

Koch, C., Neges, M., König, M. & Abramovici, M. 2012, 'BIM-based Augmented Reality for Facility Maintenance using Natural Markers', Proc. of the 19th EG-ICE Workshop, 19th International EG-ICE Workshop, Herrsching, Germany.

Lee, S. & Akin, Ö. 2011, 'Augmented reality-based computational fieldwork support for equipment operations and maintenance', Automation in Construction 20(4), 338-52.

Metaio 2013, Metaio Mobile SDK, (May 2013)

Motamedi, A., Saini, R. Hammad, A. & Zhu, B. 2011, 'Role-based Access to Facility Lifecycle Information on RFID Tags', Advanced Engineering Informatics 25(3), 559–68.

Teichholz, E. 2004, 'Bridging the AEC/FM Technology Gap', IFMA Facility Management Journal. March/April.


  • There are currently no refbacks.