MARVIS teaser image

With MARVIS (Mobile Devices and Augmented Reality for Data Visualization), we explore concepts for combining one or multiple mobile displays with 2D and 3D augmentations around, above, and even between them.


We present MARVIS, a conceptual framework that combines mobile devices and head-mounted Augmented Reality (AR) for visual data analysis. We propose novel concepts and techniques addressing visualization-specific challenges. By showing additional 2D and 3D information around and above displays, we extend their limited screen space. AR views between displays as well as linking and brushing are also supported, making relationships between separated visualizations plausible. We introduce the design process and rationale for our techniques. To validate MARVIS’ concepts and show their versatility and widespread applicability, we describe six implemented example use cases. Finally, we discuss insights from expert hands-on reviews. As a result, we contribute to a better understanding of how the combination of one or more mobile devices with AR can benefit visual data analysis. By exploring this new type of visualization environment, we hope to provide a foundation and inspiration for future mobile data visualizations.

Media: Videos and Slides

MARVIS Full Video

Full video of MARVIS.

Watch the video on YouTube. This video shows basic concepts and the implemented prototype of MARVIS.

Talk @ CHI ’21

Pre-recored talk

MARVIS will be presented at CHI 2021. Watch the pre-recored talk on YouTube.

MARVIS in 30 seconds

30-seconds video of MARVIS.

Watch the video on YouTube.This video is a 30-seconds preview of MARVIS.

Visualization and Interaction Concepts

In our work, we describe exemplary techniques as part of several new visualization and interaction concepts.
The techniques build on visualization principles and tasks, including overview+detail, linking and brushing, data filtering, and visual comparison.
Also, MARVIS allows for adapting and enhancing existing visualization techniques.
The concepts can be organized into two categories: single mobile device with AR and two
or more mobile devices with AR

Using AR for adapting different Overview+Detail and Focus+Context techniques. (a) A typical map overview; (b) Marginal histograms around the mobile device; (c) 3D visualization of a Matrix Cube; (d) Navigation support by an off-screen coordinate origin; (e) Zoomed in bar chart with fisheye-style continuation; (f) Mobile device as a detailed lens into a larger map;
Using AR for Alternative Visualization Views, Separated Visualization User Interface Components, and Superimposed 3D Visualizations. (a) SPLOM shows alternative scatterplots configurations; (b) Distributed views of a dashboard; (c) Tilted AR views; (d) Off-loaded legend and menus; (e) Continuous 3D track above a map; (f) 3D wall visualization aligned to a map;
Using AR for Relations Between Visualizations, Combination of
, and Multi-User Support. (a) Linking and brushing supported by curved AR connections; (b) Ribbons between devices indicate the relative proportions; (c) Icon meta-visualizations reveal view relations; (d) AR bar chart summarizes calculated differences between views; (e) Merging two views in AR; (f) Personal and shared areas for collaborative activities;

Prototype Application: Implemented Example Use Cases

Our prototype application consists of six implemented example use cases and exemplifies how our proposed concepts can be realized. Each example demonstrates parts of our concepts, but also extends and enhances already existing visualization techniques.

Scatterplot Matrix Navigation

AR is used to show a SPLOM around the mobile device. The tablet shows a detailed view of one specific cell corresponding to its position in the matrix. Alternatively, only the four neighboring cells are visible in AR, but in a tablet-sized scale.

Node-Link Diagram and Attribute Visualization

AR link between two views/devices. The link shows additional information about the device connection, in this case the number of selected and filtered nodes.

Map Navigation

AR is used to continue the map using less details (street-layer and data items) or a more abstract visual style (highways, bodies of water, and data items). Also illustrates details-on-demand on both the mobile device and in AR.

Non-Planar Slices on a Map

Adaptation of the technique Great Wall of Space-Time (by Tominski & Schulz, 2012). The wall in AR details unemployment data per selected country over time (from the bottom to top).

Scatterplot with
3D Glyphs and Trajectories

Scatterplot extended with 3D glyphs and another scatterplot superimposed with 3D trajectories. These examples illustrate how existing interfaces (in this case inspired by the Gapminder bubble plots) can be extended.

Combined Bar Charts with Heatmap and 3D Stacked Bars

AR heatmap and stacked bars resulting from a combination of visualizations and devices. Since rows and columns are selected (bottom), individual cells and stacked bars at the intersection are highlighted.