Glanceable AR: Exploration of Techniques for Rapid Activation of Glanceable Information

Future augmented reality (AR) glasses will provide pervasive and continuous access to everyday information. However, it remains unclear how to address the issue of virtual information overlaying and occluding real-world objects and information that are of interest to users. One approach is to keep virtual information sources inactive until they are explicitly requested, so that the real world remains visible. In this research, we explored the design of interaction techniques with which users can activate virtual information sources in AR. We studied this issue in the context of Glanceable AR, in which virtual information resides at the periphery of the user’s view. We proposed five techniques and evaluated them in both sitting and walking scenarios. Our results demonstrate the usability, user preference, and social acceptance of each technique, as well as design recommendations to achieve optimal performance. Our findings can inform the design of lightweight techniques to activate virtual information displays in future everyday AR interfaces.

This paper won the Best Paper Honorable Mention Award at the ACM SUI’21 Conference.

(a) When the user is looking in the direction of minimized virtual content, we propose five interaction techniques to activate the virtual information: (b) Fixation-Glance, in which users converge their gaze at the depth of the content; (c) Head-Depth; in which users lean backward three centimeters; (d) Hand-Overlay, in which users put their hand slightly behind the virtual content; (e) Blink; in which users blink the eye twice within one second; and (f) Dwell: in which users maintain their gaze on the virtual content for one second.
We evaluated the five interfaces under two task contexts: (a) the sitting context, in which participants were asked to sit in front of a desktop computer and access information in the real-world sticky notes or the AR widgets; (b) the walking context, in which participants were asked to walk indoor and obtain information in the real-world signs or the AR widgets.


Feiyu Lu; Shakiba Davari; Doug Bowman

Exploration of Techniques for Rapid Activation of Glanceable Information in Head-Worn Augmented Reality Conference

Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, SUI '21 Association for Computing Machinery, Virtual Event, USA, 2021, ISBN: 9781450390910.

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