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Augmented Reality with Hololens: Building Evacuation

Current Students: Sri Teja Bodempudi (Doctoral Student) and James Stigall (Doctoral Candidate)

Status: Current

Early hands-on experiences with the Microsoft Hololens augmented/mixed reality device have given promising results for building evacuation application. A range of use cases are tested, including data visualization and immersive data spaces, in-situ visualization of 3D models and full scale architectural form visualization. The Hololens is a remarkable tool for moving from traditional visualization of 3D objects on a 2D screen, to fully experiential 3D visualizations embedded in the real world. This work comprises an AR application being built to help users evacuate a building. The application was built for Microsoft HoloLens, a device offering users a 3D, holographic view of building floor plans so that they can have a better perspective of the building, making it easier for them to find a way out of the building during the evacuation. Pilot studies were conducted with the system showing its partial success and demonstrated the effectiveness of the application in an emergency evacuation.

Our Hololens application gives a visual representation of a computer science building in 3D space, allowing people to see where exits are in the building. It also gives path to the various exits; shortest path to the exist as well as directions to safe zone. Currently, our Hololens application supports the following features:
• scaling models
• loading 3d models of each floor plan of the building
• Including smoke and fire as well as animations.
• positioning models relative to real markers
• user customizable tracking patterns
• support GPS capability for calculating path to exit.

Decision Making System

We are currently working on the following
• Develop decision making system to give user specific directions (w.r.p. to GPS) for evacuation.
• Using GPS capability to recommend shortest path or recommended path to the user.
• Using IBM analytics to develop voice commands for evacuation

Screen Shot from HoloLens: showing building floor plan with fire and smoke Screen Shot from HoloLens: showing building floor plan, fire and smoke triggered through a marker.
Closer view of campus library building Side view of Computer Science Bldg.


  • Stigall, J., Bodempudi, S.T., Sharma, S, Scribner, D., Grynovicki, J., Grazaitis, P., "Building Evacuation using Microsoft HoloLens", Proceedings of 26th International Conference on Software Engineering and Data Engineering (SEDE 2018), New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, October 8-10, 2018. (Accepted)
  • Stigall, J., Sharma, S, "Mobile Augmented Reality Application for Building Evacuation Using Intelligent Signs", proceedings of ISCA 26th International Conference on Software Engineering and Data Engineering (SEDE-2017), pp. 19-24, San Diego,CA, USA, October 2-4, 2017.
  • Sharma, S, Jerripothula, S., "An indoor augmented reality mobile application for simulation of building evacuation", proceedings of SPIE conference on the Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2015, paper 9392-7, San Francisco, CA, USA, 9 - 10 February 2015.