Exploring the Use of Augmented Reality Technology in Challenging Scenarios

December 2, 2022
12:00 pm ET
Cummings #160, Zoom
Speaker: Tooba Ahsen
Host: Fahad Dogar


PhD Defense:

This research explores the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in challenging scenarios, namely, autism therapy and network-constrained, remote collaboration.

Prior work at the intersection of AR and autism has focused on proving the effectiveness of AR in autistic contexts, but very little work has focused on designing applications that i) allow therapists to leverage the visualization capabilities of AR, ii) provide support for customization, and iii) have been designed with an autistic context in mind. In the first half of this thesis, we highlight the design and implementation of two AR applications - CustomAR and Augmented Playgrounds. The former allows therapists to augment pictures and visual supports with virtual content for use in autism-based learning exercises and the latter provides therapists with a tool that they can use to teach social skills to autistic students in their physical playground environments, using interactive social stories and 3D avatars. Our user studies focus on evaluating the applications with therapists and understanding their customization needs. We also highlight the practical challenges users may face when trying to use AR in therapy settings, or in outdoor physical environments, such as playgrounds.

Similarly, remote collaboration is an important use-case for AR as it can enable geographically distant users to collaborate using shared video feeds or interactive, content-rich 3D holograms. The challenge, however, is that today's internet is a best effort service. This means that network impairments are inevitable, and these impairments can adversely affect user experience. The latter part of this thesis, therefore, focuses on understanding how network outages affect user experience in AR-based remote collaboration. Through an in-lab study, we highlight the negative effects of outages, and the strategies users adopt to deal with them, such as batching instructions or changing spatial referencing styles. Towards the end, we present some design implications for future remote-collaborative AR applications and discuss the implications of our findings for developing regions, where network impairments are more common.

Please join meeting in Cummings #160 or via Zoom.

Zoom meeting information: https://tufts.zoom.us/j/91773132865

Meeting ID: 917 7313 2865

Passcode: See colloquia email

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