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01.03.2015 | Ausgabe 1/2015

Cluster Computing 1/2015

Designing interactive narratives for mobile augmented reality

Zeitschrift:
Cluster Computing > Ausgabe 1/2015
Autor:
Yanghee Nam

Abstract

An increasing number of personal mobile devices such as smartphone are playing an important role in our daily lives. Among constituing technologies for such pervasive computing environment, mobile augmented reality (mobile AR) is a technique that extends physical world with virtual objects or information in truly mobile settings. That is, away from the carefully conditioned environments of research laboratories and special purpose work areas, general people can engage in location aware or physical object related content using their portable devices. Deploying attractive mobile AR services, however, has been regarded quite difficult because computer-vision based relevant techniques are very complex. Because of that, discussions on the practical possibilities of AR have tended to stay in location-aware information delivery service or as a consumption platform of developer-supplied content. Against those popular research trends pursuing technical advances of AR, this paper attempts to explore the potential of AR as a general peoples’ creative medium. It can provide a good storytelling environment because a specific location or real-world objects can easily become story subject matters and stimulate people’s imagination. There exist, however, some barriers preventing users to actively participate in onsite creative activity constructing their own story. In mobile situation, it could be cumbersome to create a narrative at site, requiring to author some sequences of events. Therefore, the careful design regarding such situational characteristics of mobile AR is essential for realizing real-time mobile interactive AR narrative. This paper thus presented design factors for interactive mobile AR storytelling systems, and applied narrative theory to design and explore actual possibilities of interactivity levels achievable using mobile AR medium. Technical difficulties are ruled out as possible so that the design could be focused on real-time onsite story creation activity. Proposed design concepts are developed as three kinds of prototypes, each of them reflecting different level of narrative interactivity. They are also deployed in public exhibition and the suggested design factors are evaluated in terms of user experience and interviews. The result of evaluation shows that even simple AR interactive narrative setup can have strong power to allow users playful experience of in-situ narrative creation.

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