Older users find augmented reality confusing, report says

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Augmented reality (AR)-based technology has helped older adults assess fall-prevention modifications for homes, reduce distractions in cars and assist with washing dishes, especially for those with memory problems.

But AR doesn't seem to suit needs and preferences of users over the age of 50, according to research by the University of Bath, U.K.

Older users who aren’t used to technology are more likely to be successful at AR-prompted tasks when the steps are demonstrated clearly instead of by simply displaying arrows.

Makers of AR-powered products are failing to factor in needs of older users while designing applications, the team of researchers said in a study titled ‘Augmented Reality and Older Adults: A Comparison of Prompting Types’.

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In the study, the team asked participants to lift, move, open and close 3D shapes on a foam board in response to four different types of visual instruction displayed on a laptop screen that ran an AR application. The participants preferred the ghosthand over other AR prompts like arrows, which made them both faster and more confident at completing tasks, it concluded.

Designers are prioritising aesthetics of an application over its ease of use, one researcher said. “This is fine if you’re a regular user of an application but it violates an essential principle of usability: you shouldn’t have to read a manual to achieve what you’re trying to achieve,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 8:32:16 AM |

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