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Resolving multiple occluded layers in augmented reality

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8 Author(s)

A useful function of augmented reality (AR) systems is their ability to visualize occluded infrastructure directly in a user's view of the environment. This is especially important for our application context, which utilizes mobile AR for navigation and other operations in an urban environment. A key problem in the AR field is how to best depict occluded objects in such a way that the viewer can correctly infer the depth relationships between different physical and virtual objects. Showing a single occluded object with no depth context presents an ambiguous picture to the user. But showing all occluded objects in the environments leads to the "Superman's X-ray vision" problem, in which the user sees too much information to make sense of the depth relationships of objects. Our efforts differ qualitatively from previous work in AR occlusion, because our application domain involves far-field occluded objects, which are tens of meters distant from the user. Previous work has focused on near-field occluded objects, which are within or just beyond arm's reach, and which use different perceptual cues. We designed and evaluated a number of sets of display attributes. We then conducted a user study to determine which representations best express occlusion relationships among far-field objects. We identify a drawing style and opacity settings that enable the user to accurately interpret three layers of occluded objects, even in the absence of perspective constraints.

Published in:

Mixed and Augmented Reality, 2003. Proceedings. The Second IEEE and ACM International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

7-10 Oct. 2003

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