Jarkko Polvi, Takafumi Taketomi, Atsunori Moteki, Toshiyuki Yoshitake, Toshiyuki Fukuoka, Goshiro Yamamoto, Christian Sandor, and Hirokazu Kato.
Handheld guides in inspection tasks: augmented reality versus picture.
IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics, 24(7):2118–2128, 2018.
(Invited TVGC article).
Inspection tasks focus on observation of the environment and are required in many industrial domains. Inspectors usually execute these tasks by using a guide such as a paper manual, and directly observing the environment. The effort required to match the information in a guide with the information in an environment and the constant gaze shifts required between the two can severely lower the work efficiency of inspector in performing his/her tasks. Augmented reality (AR) allows the information in a guide to be overlaid directly on an environment. This can decrease the amount of effort required for information matching, thus increasing work efficiency. AR guides on head-mounted displays (HMDs) have been shown to increase efficiency. Handheld AR (HAR) is not as efficient as HMD-AR in terms of manipulability, but is more practical and features better information input and sharing capabilities. In this study, we compared two handheld guides: an AR interface that shows 3D registered annotations, that is, annotations having a fixed 3D position in the AR environment, and a non-AR picture interface that displays non-registered annotations on static images. We focused on inspection tasks that involve high information density and require the user to move, as well as to perform several viewpoint alignments. The results of our comparative evaluation showed that use of the AR interface resulted in lower task completion times, fewer errors, fewer gaze shifts, and a lower subjective workload. We are the first to present findings of a comparative study of an HAR and a picture interface when used in tasks that require the user to move and execute viewpoint alignments, focusing only on direct observation. Our findings can be useful for AR practitioners and psychology researchers.