Handheld Augmented Reality Gaming in Public Space


A popular commercial use case for consumer-oriented AR applications is to support casual gaming at public posters. However, usage patterns for AR applications involving print media have not been studied in depth. Therefore, we investigated the usage patterns of AR gaming at posters in public contexts. Specifically, we were interested in the effects of the social context on the user behavior and, hence, conducted repeated evaluations in two public spaces with varying spatial and social characteristics and in a laboratory setting. Handheld AR allows rich spatial interactions without revealing the effects of those interactions to the audience. The employed gestures and postures show resemblance with the acts of picture taking or mere pointing , which is an established attention getter in human communication. Hence, we also contrasted the use of AR, with static peephole interaction, a private and socially accepted interface typically with less visible gestures. Hence, in our experiments participants where free to switch the interfaces at any time. In a series of semi-controlled field studies and a laboratory study we found that for a public space where a noticeable social distance between participants and audience (as reported by participants) occurred in close spatial proximity the AR interface was used significantly less and preferred less compared to a laboratory condition and another public condition in which both spatial and social aspects where of no major concern to the users.



  • Jens Grubert & Dieter Schmalstieg. Playing it Real Again: A Repeated Evaluation of Magic Lens and Static Peephole Interfaces in Public Space. In Proccedings of ACM SIGCHI’s International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services 2013 (MobileHCI’13), August 27-30, 2013, Munich, Germany, pp. 99-103. pdf | slides (modified for online use) | doi
  • Jens Grubert, Ann Morrison, Helmut Munz &Gerhard Reitmayr. Playing it Real: Magic Lens and Static Peephole Interfaces for Games in a Public Space. In Proccedings of ACM SIGCHI's International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services 2012 (MobileHCI'12), September 21-24, 2012, San Francisco, USA, pp. 231-240. pdf | slides (modified for online use) | video | doi