Pedestrian navigation with augmented reality, voice and digital map: final results from an in situ field study assessing performance and user experience.

Rehrl, Karl, Häusler, Elisabeth,Leitinger, Sven, and Daniel, Bell (2014): Pedestrian navigation with augmented reality, voice and digital map: final results from an in situ field study assessing performance and user experience. In: Journal of Location Based Services 8(2): 75-96. doi: 10.1080/17489725.2014.946975.

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This paper reports on a field study comparing navigation performance and user experience of voice, digital map and augmented reality (AR) interfaces for electronic assistance in the context of pedestrian navigation. The in situ study was conducted with two subsequent experiments in the city of Salzburg along a pre-defined route using a self-implemented smartphone application running on Apple’s iPhone 4. The study involved 48 participants aged between 22 and 66 years with different experiences in using smartphones and navigation systems. Navigation performance was measured on a micro-level including information on effectiveness (number and reasons of stops, global positioning system (GPS accuracy), efficiency (walking and task completion time, duration of stops) and satisfaction (NASA Task Load Index, System Usability Scale). A final questionnaire completed the study. Between the first and the second experiment, the application was adapted considering user feedback and the previous findings. Results show that in the context of GPS-enhanced pedestrian navigation, digital map and voice-only interfaces lead to significantly better navigation performance and user experience in comparison to AR interfaces. The study also reveals similar results for digital map and voice-only interfaces given that voice instructions are carefully composed. Results lead to the conclusion that AR is still suffering from usability and hardware issues leading to higher uncertainty of navigating persons. Best navigation performance and user experience can be achieved by combining digital maps and accurate voice instructions.

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