This paper presents a system for collaborative design applications based on distributed augmented reality. Augmented reality interfaces are a natural method for presenting computer-based design by merging graphics with a view of the real world. Distribution enables users at remote sites to collaborate on design tasks. The users interactively control their local view, try out design options, and communicate design proposals. They share virtual graphical objects that substitute for real objects which are not yet physically created or are not yet placed into the real design environment.
We describe the underlying augmented reality system and how it has been extended in order to support multi-user collaboration. The construction of distributed augmented reality applications is made easier by a separation of interface, interaction and distribution issues. An interior design application is used as an example to demonstrate the advantages of our approach.