Interaction Techniques for Children's AR Education

Blair MacIntyre
Iulian Radu, Sahithi Bonala, Andrea Lau

Augmented-reality is a technology that can revolutionize children's education and entertainment. In studies of adolescents and adults, it has been shown to have measurable benefits for advancing STEM education through situated 3D simulations, providing entertainment through whole-body interaction, and enhancing physical & cognitive rehabilitation through motivational engagement.

We are interested in bringing such experiences into the hands of elementary-school children. In this project, we are studying young children's ability to effectively use various types of handheld-AR interfaces. Handheld-AR interfaces are different from more traditional interfaces, by being small portable windows into physical spaces augmented with digital content, and their use may require more complex motor and cognitive skills than compared to traditional interfaces. Due to the novelty of the handheld-AR technology, there are no standard interaction techniques for handheld AR, and little is known about children's ability to use these interfaces.

Through this research we are generating guidelines for technology designers, answering questions such as:

  • What kinds of handheld-AR interaction techniques are suitable for young children?
  • To what degree does age influence children's ability to interact with handheld-AR interfaces?
  • What are best practices for designing handheld-AR interfaces for children?
Jay Bolter, Blair MacIntyre
Jisu Park, So-youn Jang, Hector Fan, Watson Hartsoe, Mudra Nagda, Namit Kapoor

Lab activities focus on understanding how to build interactive computing environments that directly augment a user's senses with computer-generated material. Researchers are interested in augmenting the user's perception, and place particular emphasis on the interaction between the users and their environment.