COSC474-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021

Special Topic

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 July 2021
End Date: Sunday, 14 November 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 1 August 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 1 October 2021


Special Topic

*Mixed Reality*

Recent advancements in technologies such as mobile computing, wearable displays and real-world sensing have led to significant interest and investment in new ways of working with computers. Two examples of this include Augmented Reality (AR), where the user’s perception of the real world is enhanced by a computer, and Virtual Reality (VR), which surrounds the user with an entirely computer-generated reality. These computer-mediated realities together rely on immersive technology and are examples of Mixed Reality (MR).

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the emerging field of MR. It covers the theoretical foundations as well as practical development of MR experiences. Theoretical foundations are diverse and range from human perception and presence to tracking, registration and interaction in MR. For practical development, the course discusses which technologies make AR and VR possible, the advantages and disadvantages of using these technologies over traditional computing methods, and hands-on work towards the development of AR and VR experiences using platforms and frameworks such as Unity.

Students who complete this course will have acquired theoretical knowledge and developed skills that will prepare them for further studies, research and careers in designing and developing MR solutions.

COSC474 is available to all computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, mechatronics, and electrical engineering students enrolled in their fourth year. Others are encouraged to contact the course coordinator if interested in taking this course.

Most current MR technologies, such as Microsoft Hololens, Magic Leap, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, offer toolkits for Unity. The assignments thus focus on using Unity, and student projects need to be developed in Unity as well. Other ideas are welcome, but need to be agreed upon by the course coordinator.

• Introduction to mixed reality
• Mixed reality development tools and platforms
• Building mixed reality experiences
• Mixed reality displays
• Human Perception and Presence in mixed reality
• Tracking and registration for mixed reality
• Interaction in mixed reality
• Situated visualization in augmented reality
• Travel in virtual reality
• Collaboration in mixed reality
• Evaluating human factors in mixed reality

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of MR theory
  • Demonstrate knowledge of MR technology
  • Make informed decisions about which theories and technologies to employ for creating MR
  • Show competency in designing and building MR experiences


Subject to the approval of the Head of Department

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Stephan Lukosch


Richard Green , Rob Lindeman and Adrian Clark


Assessment will be based on the following components of the course:
• Research project (30%): In a team of max. 3 students, you will decide on a research topic, in consultation with the course coordinator, early in the course. Your research project will consist of:
1. Commented, documented source code (which you authored) and associated documentation.
2. Demonstration of your project (where demos are expected to match your conference paper results).
• Research paper (30%): In a team of max. 3 students, you describe your research project within a six-page conference style paper (not more than 4000 words).
• Exam (40%): 2 hour open book exam.

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Jerald, Jason; The VR book : human-centered design for virtual reality; First edition; Association for Computing Machinery ; M&C, Morgan & Claypool, 2016.

LaViola, Joseph J. et al; 3D user interfaces : theory and practice; Second edition; Addison-Wesley, 2017.

Schmalstieg, D. & Höllerer, T; Augmented Reality -- Principles and Practice; Addison-Wesley, 2016.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,033.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Computer Science and Software Engineering.

All COSC474 Occurrences

  • COSC474-21S2 (C) Semester Two 2021