University of Padova

User experience and visual fatigue in data visualization using a virtual oscilloscope


A comparison between smart glasses and monitor

In many professional environments workers rely heavily on measurement systems. Recently measurement systems have become virtual, thereby including advanced tools for data visualization, for instance augmented reality (AR) technology. The feasibility of using wearable devices for AR data visualization while engaged in measurement tasks is still unclear. Therefore, the research question leading the present project is whether using AR glasses in measurement tasks is a viable solution in working environments. To this end, a comparative experiment between AR glasses and a traditional monitor has been run.More specifically, we recruited a sample of 32 users with technical background and asked them to perform two types of tasks using a virtual oscilloscope. One task required them to measure a certain spot on the circuit and then compare the wave shape measured with a standard one (visual comparison task); in the other task participants had to make two measurement and sum up the values (computational task).
In order to resemble a realistic working environment, two settings were arranged: a basic one, in which the participant was simply sitting at the desk with all the instruments in front of her/him; and a complex one, in which the measurement was to be taken on a circuit placed on a secondary desk behind a large speaker.In addition, in one condition participants had no time limit to accomplish the task, in the other condition they were asked to complete the task within a certain time limit.Besides performance data through structured computer-supported video-analysis, self-reported metrics through questionnaires and interview were also collected. Main findings indicate that AR glasses are a feasible device to be used for measurement tasks, especially in more demanding conditions. AR glasses seem to support better users when they are engaged in more complex tasks (computational tasks) and more uncomfortable conditions (complex setting). In addition, AR glasses are positively received by users.

Supervisor: Prof. Luciano Gamberini
Co-Supervisor: Valeria Orso, PhD
Candidate: Leonardo Miglioranzi


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