Augmented Reality Design
Abstraction creates emotional distance in a presentation
We designed an immersive, collaborative presentation tool for the Hololens.
Object Library UI/UX, Animation, Prototype, Sound Design, Narration
Design a compelling product/idea/solution that utilizes Microsoft’s Hololens.
Users of all levels of technical proficiency who want to create, edit, and present their story for maximum emotional impact, all within the Hololens.
Oscar Marczynski, Kelsy Aschenbeck, Spencer Weglin, Henry Davis
AR in Movies
Hollywood has long been an inspiration when designing products for new technology. In our popular media scan of AR gestures, two scenes stood out.
Minority report is commonly referenced in AR interface design. These images were revolutionary and continue to be visually stunning. However, the user experience could use improvement. Having to hold arms perpendicular to the body to initiate all interactions can cause tremendous strain for the user.
This scene from bladerunner is an improvement on the minority report user experience, in that the "dream designer" is using an ergonomic controller to manipulate her assets. However, the truly revolutionary aspect of AR technology is the movement away from the reliance on physical artifacts/controllers.
AR in reality: Microsoft Hololens
The University of Washington made available 2 Hololenses for our team try out. We focused on becoming familiar with their universal gestures to perform simple tasks, such as recalling and reviewing pictures in the photo library, and making simple scaling manipulations.
The "bloom" gesture is required to initiate any interaction with the Hololens UI. I found that after the initial excitement/delight from recreating some of my favorite sci-fi scenes wore off, it was frustrating to rely on gestural cues to get things done. This is in part due to the limitations in gaze tracking, the Hololens forcing users to turn their whole head towards an object they'd like to select. In this way, it feels more like the forehead is in charge of selecting assets/buttons, rather than the hands. I found myself using Cortana, Microsoft's voice activated digital assistant, to get me to the screens I needed, and more and more, found myself just saying "select" when facing a button, rather than using a gesture.
Rapid prototyping in AR
Key findings: Life-size > Hi-Res
There were some unavoidable road blocks while testing in Unity. The more realistic a 3d asset was designed to be, the more unusable the interaction due to polygon count related lags in Unity's holographic emulator.
However, through rapid iterations, we learned that the simplification of assets actually lead to a clarification of UI and greater user satisfaction.
In summary, the impact of seeing an asset in it's real-life scale far outweighs the desire to see that asset in real-life resolution.
Let users voice-initiate tasks
Allow creation of scenes/slides in any sized room
Utilize Microsoft's extensive object library to present scenes/collections of related objects upon user search
Allow users to edit their presentations in AR, on the spot (stay away from holograms that imitate flat screens)
This is a collaborative tool
Voice Activated Placement
After defining a working area with an artboard, users can simply ask Cortana, Microsoft’s voice assistant, to place an object. From there, users can select and edit.
Once a user requests an object, related objects appear on a dock-able and moveable shelf, allowing the user to build out whole scenes in the time it would take to design a single slide in a traditional presentation platform.
Once scenes are created, users can drag and drop them in any order, giving an instant visual overview of their presentation.
Users can assign assets as trigger points, making presentations uniquely dynamic and adaptive to their audience.
Final Prototype Video
Stage ar | Maximum audience impact
In our concept video, we feature two designers who are building a presentation to advocate for safer bicycle lanes in their neighborhood. Walking through a life-sized scene of an easily avoidable accident allows the viewing audience to truly internalize the presenters' talking points, leaving a lasting emotional impact.