Occlusion-Aware AR Interfaces for Real-World Monitoring Tasks

Context-aware interfaces must simultaneously allow effortless and active access to virtual
content and maintain users’ awareness of their surroundings. This work explores the effect
of context awareness on both information access and user awareness of the real world. To
achieve this goal, we design multiple context-aware AR interfaces for information acquisition
in RW monitoring tasks.

Interface Design Dimensions

The occlusion of important RW elements is a critical issue for Glanceable AR interfaces. We used the following design dimensions for utilizing context in occlusion management techniques.

Content Prioritization

Based on the user’s priority, a context-aware AR interface can prioritize RW content over the virtual or vice versa. When prioritizing the real world, no virtual content will occlude it by default. When prioritizing the virtual content, all the glanceable content is initially accessible by default.

Adaptation Mechanism for Resolving Occlusion

There are many possible mechanisms that could be used to resolve occlusion. We focus on two mechanisms: adapting the transparency level or the position of the occluding glanceable content [8]. From now on, these two intuitive adaptation mechanisms will be referred to as the transparency mechanism and the repositioning mechanism. In our interface transparency mechanism adapts the transparency level of the occluding glanceable content to enable the
user to see the real world behind it but also retains enough visibility to enable the user to recognize its content and boundaries. The reposition mechanism raises the occluding glanceable content above the user’s eye level to reveal the RW content behind the glanceable content.

Level of Automation

When the glanceable content occludes an RW object important to the user, occlusion management can be performed using one of the following automation levels:

Full Automation is used when a context-aware AR interface detects the occlusion and utilizes an adaptation mechanism, i.e., repositioning or translucency mechanisms, to resolve it. Automatic Detection is used when context-aware AR interfaces detect the occlusion and notify the user about the occlusion through a visual cue, i.e., a blinking red outline, on the occluding virtual content. These interfaces give the user control to choose whether they want to resolve the occlusion or continue to access the virtual content. Fully Manual is used in non-adaptive glanceable AR interfaces that neither detect nor react to the occurrence of occlusion. This baseline level of automation does not introduce any distraction and gives the user absolute control at the expense of reducing their awareness of
the surrounding real world.


Shakiba Davari; Feiyu Lu; Doug A Bowman

Occlusion Management Techniques for Everyday Glanceable AR Interfaces Conference

2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces Abstracts and Workshops (VRW), IEEE 2020.

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