Call: Collaboration in Augmented Reality – Special issue of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)
The Journal of Collaborative Computing and Work Practices

Special Issue on Collaboration in Augmented Reality


Stephan Lukosch, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
Mark Billinghurst, HIT Lab NZ, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Leila Alem, CSIRO Computational Informatics, Australia


13 October, 2014:  Submissions due
December, 2014:  First round acceptances announced
January, 2015:  Final Drafts due
February, 2015:  Final acceptances. Issue goes to press


More than 10 years ago, (Olson and Olson 2000) analysed groupware technology in how far it allows geographically distributed teams to work together as if they were practically co-located by means of simulated presence. They came to the conclusion that “Distance matters” and that the analysed technology is not mature enough to enable “virtual co-location” yet. Olson and Olson stated that even future technology will struggle to enable virtual co-location, as providing awareness among co-workers and enabling co-reference as well as spatial referencing will remain a challenge (Olson and Olson 2000).

Considering current software support for collaboration, 10 years later this forecast is still correct. Our current world becomes more complex every day, so complex problem solving and decision-making often requires a team of experts to physically meet and interact with each other. Typical scenarios are, e.g.: complex construction problems, training the usage of complex machinery or decision-making in advanced manufacturing. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to bring such a team together due to the experts’ limited availability, critical timing issues or lack of accessibility of a location.

To address these challenges a variety of teleconferencing and telepresence technologies have been developed. However, most of them involve some variation of traditional video conferencing, which has limitations. This special issue focuses on how Augmented Reality (AR) (R. T. Azuma 1997; R. Azuma et al. 2001) technology can be used to enhance the remote collaboration experience and developed radically new types of collaborative experiences.

AR systems allow users to see the real world, with virtual objects superimposed upon or composited with the real world (R. T. Azuma 1997; R. Azuma et al. 2001) where virtual objects are computer graphic objects that exist in essence or effect, but not formally or actually (Milgram and Kishino 1994). AR systems are not limited to use of head-mounted devices and mainly have to combine real and virtual objects, as defined above, be interactive in real-time and register objects within 3D (R. T. Azuma 1997). AR systems can be used to establish the experience of being practically co-located by means of simulated presence. AR systems have, e.g., been used to allow experts to spatially collaborate with others at any other place in the world without traveling and thereby creating the experience of being practically co-located, e.g. in the field of crime scene investigation (Poelman et al. 2012). AR systems have also been used to increase social presence in video-based communication (Almeida et al. 2012) or help in complex assembly tasks (Huang, Alem, and Tecchia 2013). Such new approaches create new collaborative experiences. They allow distributed users to collaborate on spatial tasks and create a shared understanding. Thus, making distance a less important factor in collaboration.

This special issue addresses the above vision. It aims to investigate in how far the statement ‘Distance matters’ (Olson and Olson 2000) is still valid. The goal is to collect contributions from researchers who have deployed AR systems to tackle the above challenges. Submissions to the special issue should provide a strong evaluation and focus on one or several of the following topics:

  • Case studies on using augmented reality for collaboration
  • Tools for building collaborative augmented reality systems
  • Effects of augmented reality on trust, presence, and coordination
  • Interaction models for collaboration in augmented reality
  • Tools for collaboration in augmented reality
  • Collaboration awareness in augmented reality


All submissions must be in English, and should represent the original work of the authors. Improved versions of papers previously published in conference proceedings are welcome, provided that no copyright limitations exist. Submissions must follow the instructions for authors available at and must be made electronically via indicating that the submission is for the special issue on “Collaboration in Augmented Reality”.


The editors of the special issue can be contacted via:


Almeida, Igor de Souza, Marina Atsumi Oikawa, Jordi Polo Carres, Jun Miyazaki, Hirokazu Kato, and Mark Billinghurst. 2012. “AR-Based Video-Mediated Communication: A Social Presence Enhancing Experience.” In 14th Symposium on Virtual and Augmented Reality, SVR 2012, 125–30.

Azuma, R., Y. Baillot, R. Behringer, S. Feiner, S. Julier, and B. MacIntyre. 2001. “Recent Advances in Augmented Reality.” Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE 21 (6): 34 –47.

Azuma, Ronald T. 1997. “A Survey of Augmented Reality.” In Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments 6, 355–85.

Huang, Weidong, Leila Alem, and Franco Tecchia. 2013. “HandsIn3D: Supporting Remote Guidance with Immersive Virtual Environments.” In Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2013, edited by Paula Kotzé, Gary Marsden, Gitte Lindgaard, Janet Wesson, and Marco Winckler, 8117:70–77. Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer.

Milgram, Paul, and Fumio Kishino. 1994. “A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays.” IEICE Transactions on Information Systems E77-D (12).

Olson, Gary M., and Judith S. Olson. 2000. “Distance Matters.” Human-Computer Interaction 15 (2-3): 139–78.

Poelman, Ronald, Oytun Akman, Stephan Lukosch, and Pieter Jonker. 2012. “As If Being There: Mediated Reality for Crime Scene Investigation.” In CSCW ’12: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 1267–76. ACM New York, NY, USA.


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