Conceptualisation and Realisation of a Design Space for Augmented Reality Television

Student thesis: Phd

Abstract

Over the years, a set of story-telling conventions has been established for Television (TV), between content creators and their audiences. These conventions typically involve the creation, and subsequent consumption, of 2-dimensional (2-D) imagery accompanied by sound, requiring limited, if any, interaction between the viewers and content. As consumer Augmented Reality (AR) devices become a commodity, researchers and broadcasters are investigating the ways in which AR can be used to enhance/transform a conventional TV viewing experience—a concept referred to as Augmented Reality Television (ARTV). However, the addition of AR to TV has the potential to disrupt the conventional TV viewing assumptions, since AR’s key characteristics are arguably its ability to deliver interactive 3-dimensional (3-D) imagery that is registered to the physical space; a type of content that TV viewers are likely not used to consuming. This raises the question of how to create ARTV content? This thesis conceptualises ARTV as an emerging mass medium, where content creators use both AR and TV to tell their stories to their audiences. We start by providing a few preliminary working definitions (e.g., TV, AR, and ARTV), then systematically review prior research and identify six major themes and six prominent design dimensions (namely, abstraction, interaction, time, display, context, and editorial control). These design dimensions are then used as a basis to create an ARTV design space, from which we derive a cheat sheet to support practitioners. We subsequently evaluate the intelligibility of this cheat sheet, and its impact on conceptualising novel ARTV experiences, in a user study with n = 10 participants. Our findings indicate that the cheat sheet can be useful in conceptualising novel ARTV scenarios, and prompt a series of refinements to the design space and associated cheat sheet. Given the dominance of ARTV to enhance conventional TV viewing experiences that take place in the living room, we further develop this aspect with its own conceptual framework and classification. To demonstrate the applicability of our design space and conceptual framework, we explore two specific types of living room based ARTV experiences in two user studies. In the first, we add holograms to an existing nature documentary and invite n = 12 participants to watch a six-minute ARTV content—where TV content is presented on a physical TV display, and AR content is displayed on a Microsoft Hololens head-mounted display—in a user testing facility that is designed to look and feel like a conventional living room. Our findings suggest that the viewers are likely to find such an experience engaging. However, some may feel a degree of anxiety and a fear of missing parts of the content and underlying narrative. In the second study (n = 10), we use points on the display dimension of our design space to vary presentation of a lifelike programme-related hologram as part of a nature documentary show. We explore six points on the display dimension in the context of an ARTV experience where both the TV and the living room are virtual. We investigate the impact of the hologram’s movement behaviour on the viewers. Our findings highlight the role of personal preferences and the perceived role of the hologram in the underlying narrative and TV content. Overall, the thesis highlights a need to carefully consider the impact of additional augmentations on the viewers. Furthermore, viewers should be given the ability to customise their ARTV experiences, based on personal preferences. Our contributions are the following: 1) a systematic literature review, highlighting six common themes of research in ARTV and six commonly used design dimensions; 2) creation and evaluation of a design space for ARTV and its subsequent refinement based on the evidence gathered from a user study; 3) a conceptual framework for ARTV experiences in the living room, identifying nine types of ARTV and highlighting areas for future research; 4) two user-studies investigating two types of ARTV, highlighting a need to accommodate personal preferences for ARTV content.
Date of Award31 Dec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorSarah Clinch (Supervisor) & Robert Stevens (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Augmented Reality
  • Virtual Reality
  • Design Space
  • Television
  • Broadcasting
  • Extended Reality

Cite this

'