AREEF (Augmented Reality for Water-based Entertainment, Education and Fun) is a joint R&D project funded under the International Collaborative Research and Development Programme by Minister of Knowledge Economy (MKE) through Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT).

AREEF aims to shift computer games and edutainment from the traditional desktop-based context into the fascinating medium water using Augmented Reality (AR) technology. This will ultimately result in an increasing attractiveness of public swimming pools or fun water parks offering people the chance to discover the richness of the underwater fauna and flora including, but not limited to virtual coral reefs and fishes in a playful and physically active way.

With the AREEF project we continue the previous work of Fraunhofer FIT on Augmented Reality under water which was started by the development of the first prototype of a mobile underwater Augmented Reality system consisting of a semi-transparent display in front of a diving mask and a computer worn in a backpack. While this system achieved international attention and received plenty of positive feedback from the public, the hardware used is too expensive for widespread commercialization. Therefore, in AREEF we will focus on the use of mass-market mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to achieve our vision.

In summary, the main objectives of the proposed project are:

  • The development of an integrated underwater AR system based on mass-market mobile devices
  • The development of underwater AR-applications for entertainment and game-based learning
  • The development of appealing 3D contents dedicated for interactive underwater applications
  • The presentation of the system and its applications to water parks in Korea and Germany
  • The demonstration and evaluation of the solution at international public events