In Handheld Augmented Reality, users look at AR scenes through the smartphone held in their hand. In this setting, having a mid-air pointing device like a pen in the other hand greatly expands the interaction possibilities. For example, it lets users create 3D sketches and models while on the go. However, perceptual issues in Handheld AR make it difficult to judge the distance of a virtual object, making it hard to align a pen to it. To address this, we designed and compared different visualizations of the pen's position in its virtual environment, measuring pointing precision, task time, activation patterns, and subjective ratings of helpfulness, confidence, and comprehensibility of each visualization. While all visualizations resulted in only minor differences in precision and task time, subjective ratings of perceived helpfulness and confidence favor a 'heatmap' technique that colors the objects in the scene based on their distance to the pen.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (https://chi2020.acm.org/)