The Effect of Spatial Reference on Visual Attention and Workload during Viewpoint Guidance in Augmented Reality


Considering human capability for spatial orientation and navigation, the visualization used to support the localization of off-screen targets inevitably influences the visual-spatial processing that relies on two frameworks. So far it is not proven which frame of reference, egocentric or exocentric, contributes most to efficient viewpoint guidance in a head-mounted Augmented Reality environment. This could be justified by the lack of objectively assessing the allocation of attention and mental workload demanded by the guidance method. This paper presents a user study investigating the effect of egocentric and exocentric viewpoint guidance on visual attention and mental workload. In parallel to a localization task, participants had to complete a divided attention task using the oddball paradigm. During task fulfilment, the heart rate variability was measured to determine the physiological stress level. The objective assessment of mental workload was supplemented by subjective ratings using the NASA TLX. The results show that egocentric viewpoint guidance leads to most efficient target cueing in terms of faster localization, higher accuracy and slower self-reported workload. In addition, egocentric target cueing causes a slight decrease in physiological stress and enables faster recognition of simultaneous events, although visual attention seemed to be covertly oriented.

Symposium on Spatial User Interaction