Empirical evaluation of smartphone augmented reality browsers in an urban tourism destination context
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Today, exposure to new and unfamiliar environments is a necessary part of daily life. Effective communication of location-based information through location-based services has become a key concern for cartographers, geographers, human-computer interaction and professional designers alike. Recently, much attention was directed towards Augmented Reality (AR) interfaces. Current research, however, focuses primarily on computer vision and tracking, or investigates the needs of urban residents, already familiar with their environment. Adopting a user-centred design approach, this paper reports findings from an empirical mobile study investigating how tourists acquire knowledge about an unfamiliar urban environment through AR browsers. Qualitative and quantitative data was used in the development of a framework that shifts the perspective towards a more thorough understanding of the overall design space for such interfaces. The authors analysis provides a frame of reference for the design and evaluation of mobile AR interfaces. The authors demonstrate the application of the framework with respect to optimization of current design of AR.