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AR Pit
A prototype to examine the effects of presence in Augmented Reality


The AR Pit experiment is a demonstration about the rapid prototyping capabilities of AR Second Life. The experiment is based upon an attempt to objectively measure the effects of ``presence'' in Augmented Reality applications. Presence is the subjective feeling of "being there.'' The more presence a participant of an AR Experience feels, the more convincing the augmentation - up to a point were the user forgets about the artificial nature of the scene. The experimental setup to measure presence was pioneered by Meehan et al. in the context of Virtual Reality. The researchers around Meehan built a deep virtual pit that participants of the experiment had to face. Sensors attached to the participants measured any physiological response users had when looking down into the pit. In theory, a convincing simulation would trigger fears of height and anxiety in the participants, which then can be measured and translated into an objective metric for presence. The original experiment succeeded in measuring these physiological responses.

In our efforts, we have applied the same principles to Augmented Reality. AR still lacks an understanding of what factors lead to a convincing experience. All past conclusions have been based on assumptions. The quality of the graphics might be of importance, but other factors like responsiveness of the tracking might be even more influential. By measuring presence while adjusting these parameters, we can objectively evaluate which factors contribute to a convincing AR experience.

Our experiment requires a dedicated application to leverage modern graphics capabilities. To better assess the needs and features of this application, we have built a prototype of the AR pit experiment in AR Second Life. The feature set of AR Second Life allowed us to quickly evaluate different content designs and their influence on the user experience.

Project Lead: Tobias Lang, Blair MacIntyre
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Copyright 2007 GVU Center * Georgia Institute of Technology * TSRB/5th Street NW * Atlanta, GA 30332-0760
Ludwig-Maximilians Universität Munich