COSC477-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Special Topic: Mixed Reality

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


Special Topic: Mixed Reality

2022 Covid-19 Update: Please refer to the course page on AKO | Learn for all information about your course, including lectures, labs, tutorials and assessments.

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.

COSC477 is available to all computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, mechatronics, and electrical engineering students enrolled in their fourth year. Students 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
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


COSC262 or approval by the Head of Department RP: COSC363, COSC368, COSC411, COSC428


Equivalent Courses

Recommended Preparation

Timetable 2023

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 11:00 - 13:00 Jack Erskine 242
17 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 22 Oct
Computer Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 14:00 - 15:00 17 Jul - 27 Aug
11 Sep - 22 Oct

Timetable Note

Please note that the course activity times advertised here are currently in draft form, to be finalised on Monday 30 January 2023 for S1 and whole year courses, and Monday 26 June 2023 for S2 courses.
Please hold off enquiries about these times until those finalisation dates.

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Stephan Lukosch


Richard Green , Rob Lindeman and Adrian Clark


Covid-19 Update: Please refer to the course page on AKO | Learn for all information about your course, including lectures, labs, tutorials and assessments.

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.

Additional Course Outline Information

Grade moderation

The Computer Science department's grading policy states that in order to pass a course you must meet two requirements:
1. You must achieve an average grade of at least 50% over all assessment items.
2. You must achieve an average mark of at least 45% on invigilated assessment items.

If you satisfy both these criteria, your grade will be determined by the following University-wide scale for converting marks to grades: an average mark of 50% is sufficient for a C- grade, an average mark of 55% earns a C grade, 60% earns a C+ grade and so forth. However if you do not satisfy both the passing criteria you will be given either a D or E grade depending on marks. Marks are sometimes scaled to achieve consistency between courses from year to year.

Students may apply for special consideration if their performance in an assessment is affected by extenuating circumstances beyond their control.

Applications for special consideration should be submitted via the Examinations Office website within five days of the assessment.

Where an extension may be granted for an assessment, this will be decided by direct application to the Department and an application to the Examinations Office may not be required.

Special consideration is not available for items worth less than 10% of the course.

Students prevented by extenuating circumstances from completing the course after the final date for withdrawing, may apply for special consideration for late discontinuation of the course. Applications must be submitted to the Examinations Office within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,079.00

* 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 COSC477 Occurrences

  • COSC477-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023