Glanceable AR: Evaluations in Authentic Everyday Uses

In the near future, augmented reality (AR) glasses are envisioned to become the next-generation personal computing platform. They could be always on and worn all day, delivering continuous and pervasive AR experiences for general-purpose everyday use cases. However, it remains unclear how we could enable unobtrusive and easy information access without distracting users, while being acceptable to use at the same time.

To address this question, we implemented two prototypes based on the Glanceable AR paradigm, a promising way of managing and acquiring information through glancing at the periphery of AR head-worn displays (HWDs). We conducted two separate studies to evaluate our designs. In the first study, we obtained feedback from a broad sample of the general population about a video prototype that showcased some envisioned scenarios of using Glanceable AR for everyday tasks. Below is the video prototype, in which an actor used the system while working in front of a desktop, cooking, and walking outside.

In the second study, we asked participants to use a working prototype during authentic real-world activities for three days. The working prototype is linked with users’ own Google accounts and is able to display Gmail, Google calendar, Google fit, to-do list together with real-world information such as news, weather, and time to users via glanceable widgets. The widgets can be world-fixed or body-fixed depending on contexts of use. Below is a demonstration of using the system while working in front of a desktop, cooking, and walking outside. We found that users appreciated the Glanceable AR approach. They found it less distracting or intrusive than existing devices in authentic everyday use cases, and would like to use the interface on a daily basis if the form factor of the AR headset was more like eyeglasses.

An illustration of using Glanceable AR in three everyday scenarios: (a) working in front of a desktop computer with glanceable widgets residing at the edge of the physical monitor; (b) cooking with recipe and timer widgets following the user for hands-free access of information; (c) walking outside with music, activity and map widgets following the user; a notification notifies the user about accomplishing the daily step goal.

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