Glanceable AR: Towards a Pervasive and Always-On Augmented Reality Future

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Virginia Tech

Augmented reality head-worn displays (AR HWDs) have the potential to assist personal computing and the acquisition of everyday information. With advancements in hardware and tracking, these devices are becoming increasingly lightweight and powerful. They could eventually have the same form factor as normal pairs of eyeglasses, be worn all-day, overlaying information pervasively on top of the real-world anywhere and anytime to continuously assist people’s tasks. However, unlike traditional mobile devices, AR HWDs are worn on the head and always visible. If designed without care, the displayed virtual information could also be distracting, overwhelming, and take away the user’s attention from important real- world tasks. In this dissertation, we research methods for appropriate information displays and interactions with future all-day AR HWDs by seeking answers to four questions: (1) how to mitigate distractions of AR content to the users; (2) how to prevent AR content from occluding the real-world environment; (3) how to support scalable on-the-go access to AR content; and (4) how everyday users perceive using AR systems for daily information acquisition tasks. Our work builds upon a theory we developed called Glanceable AR, in which digital information is displayed outside the central field of view of the AR display to minimize distractions, but can be accessed through a quick glance. Through five projects covering seven studies, this work provides theoretical and empirical knowledge to prepare us for a pervasive yet unobtrusive everyday AR future, in which the overlaid AR information is easily accessible, non-invasive, responsive, and supportive.

Pervasive Augmented Reality; Input & Interactions; Mobile Computing; Glanceable Displays