INSTAR was a unique new approach to navigation systems (for instance, in autos) that went beyond conventional two-dimensional visualizations and utilized augmented reality.


Information and Navigation Systems Through Augmented Reality – a research project to develop mobile augmented reality applications


In order to accomplish this, a monitor on the driver’s instrument panel displayed a real-time video image from the driver’s perspective that was overlaid with graphic route recommendations that help the driver to navigate in intuitive fashion. The decisive advantage was that the driver’s view of the monitor did not force him to takes his eyes off the road, and he saw the route to his destination marked in color on a depiction of reality (live video). This special technology made it possible not only to display suggested routes but also to integrate a wide variety of additional information into the video image. The software framework developed in cooperation with the other project participants delivered the necessary preconditions for the deployment of augmented reality technologies in specific fields of application.

Planning and navigating via INSTAR. Credit: Ars Electronica
Planning and navigating via INSTAR. Credit: Ars Electronica.


Following many years of successful collaboration over the course of various different VR projects, Siemens CT approached the Department of Business Computing (Prof. Gustav Pomberger, occupant of the Chair for Software Engineering) of the Johannes Kepler University of Linz and the Ars Electronica Futurelab with the aim to create a VR application that would be of interest to the general public. During joint brainstorming sessions, the idea of INSTAR was born. The development work was carried out by a network of cooperating partners.

Keyresearcher / Interactive Spaces

Dietmar Offenhuber

Senior Executive Developer

Horst Hörtner

Keyresearcher / Visualization

Andreas Jalsovec

Keyresearcher / Virtual Environments

Christopher Lindinger

Software Development

Robert Praxmarer, Robert Abt, Wolfgang Ziegler


Reinhold Bidner

Software Engineering

Department of Business Informatics

Johannes Kepler Universität Linz

Institut für Praktische Informatik,

Gruppe Software
Johannes Kepler Universität Linz

Corporate Technology, Software & Engineering