NUS researchers among most prolific in Augmented Reality

Prof Nee (far left) and Assoc Prof Ong demonstrating an AR-finite element analysis simulation of a digital twin mimicking a real structure.

Two NUS Mechanical Engineering scientists have been listed among the world’s top academic researchers in Augmented Reality (AR), based on a recent survey conducted by University of South Australia Professor Mark Billinghurst, one of the most renowned researchers in the field. Emeritus Professor Andrew Nee and Associate Professor Ong Soh Khim were ranked among the top 15 AR researchers across the globe in terms of number of papers published per academic.

Some 160 academic researchers and their institutions with the highest number of publications in AR were highlighted, with both NUS and Singapore “red dotted” on the world map. The University ranked third in the world in terms of average number of papers per researcher, just behind the Technical University of Munich in Germany and the Graz University of Technology in Austria. Individually, Prof Nee and Assoc Prof Ong ranked 11th and 12th respectively.

“AR is not just a gaming tool, it has tremendous applications in almost all fields. Together with the Internet of Things, it is one of the strong pillars of Industry 4.0. We pursue AR research with hopes of realising its potential in shaping the future of the manufacturing industry,” said Prof Nee and Assoc Prof Ong.

The presence of AR has been increasing in the last 10 years, most notably in gaming, advertising and other visualisation applications. Prof Nee and Assoc Prof Ong embarked on AR research in 2003, and launched their first edited book on the subject in 2004. Since then, for the last 15 years, they have worked on various applications in manufacturing, aiming to speed up operations and improve efficiency and productivity.