Usability and playability in Augmented reality

The field of Augmented Reality is now turning itself to the current trend of user-centric approach (which is good). There is more and more attention an thus papers that concerns LBS/Pervasive Gaming/AR usability. The following paper is a relevant example: Usability and Playability Issues for ARQuake by Bruce Thomas, Nicholas Krul, Benjamin Close and Wayne Piekarski (University of South Australia, International Workshop on Entertainment Computing (IWEC 2002).

This paper presents a set of informal studies into the usability and playability of our ARQuake game. ARQuake is an outdoor Augmented Reality version of a first person perspective desktop application. One area of investigation was comparing playing the game along different points of Milgram’s Reality-Virtuality Continuum: Virtual Reality, Augmented Virtuality, and Augmented Reality. The paper reports on the feedback from a set of users operating ARQuake in an outdoor setting.

Why do I blog this? It's another example of a study that concerns 'user experience' in AR/Pervasive gaming, which is my area of research. Of course, in this example, the methology is quite simple. The authors recorded comments about different topics like the field of view, tracking, presence and movement. The most interesting thing is that they exemplify this by few problems that happened. With more powerful techniques and the use of the logfile I am sure they have, a lots of information could be derived from the user of this game.