Un-blackboxing Augmented Reality For Future Digital Health Applications

University essay from KTH/Skolan för elektroteknik och datavetenskap (EECS)

Abstract: Previous research on augmented reality has to great extent been focusing on exploring and expanding technical possibilities without considering what users find to be desirable and useful. By using the inspirational bits method and the limitations of current AR technologies as a source of inspiration, this research makes use of the existing technical knowledge on AR for inspiring new ideas on how to use AR. The inspirational bits method aims to increase the understanding of a material by letting the participants experience a specific feature of a technology called bit and thereby making the technology more tangible. A set of inspirational bits was designed, developed and used in workshops to inspire ideas on how to use AR for future health applications. Two technical concepts were highlighted in the bits, detection of real objects and placement of digital objects in the real environment. Two types of experiences were also highlighted in one bit each; annotation experiences where additional information is attached to physical objects and visualization experiences where users interact with a virtual object. The bits were explored in workshops followed by a rapid brainstorming session to quickly get their ideas down to paper. It seems to have been easier to come up with ideas on annotation experiences compared to visualization experiences which might be due to their initial expectation that AR will be used as a tool for adding digital interactions to the real world, similar to how annotated experiences work. Since a lot of the topics used were about external objects affecting one’s body and health, annotated experiences might be more appropriate as it can be used to attach private information to public objects.

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