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Published on May 20th, 2019 | by Emergent Enterprise

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New Stanford Research Examines how Augmented Reality Affects People’s Behavior

Emergent Insight:
As the use of AR & VR becomes more commonplace, we will have to learn how the technologies affect the users cognitively. The work at Stanford as reported by Alex Shashkevich shares some interesting results of augmented reality user experience. The end users have similar reactions and behavioral responses as if the experiences were all actual reality. AR & VR technologies may be more powerful than ever anticipated.

Original Article:

Stanford scholar Jeremy Bailenson and other researchers found that people’s interactions with a virtual person in augmented reality, or AR, influenced how they behaved and acted in the physical world.

As major technology firms race to roll out augmented reality products, Stanford researchers are learning how it affects people’s behavior – in both the physical world and a digitally enhanced one.

Augmented reality experiment

The photo shows an actor in place of a research participant and what they experienced during one of the studies. The area inside the dotted line is the field of view of the augmented reality goggles, which shows digital content such as avatar Chris.” (Image credit: Mark Miller and Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab)

In a new study led by Jeremy Bailenson, a professor of communication in the School of Humanities and Sciences, researchers found that after people had an experience in augmented reality (AR) – simulated by wearing goggles that layer computer-generated content onto real-world environments – their interactions in their physical world changed as well, even with the AR device removed. For example, people avoided sitting on a chair they had just seen a virtual person sit on. Researchers also found that participants appeared to be influenced by the presence of a virtual person in a similar way they would be if a real person were next to them. These findings are set to publish May 14 in PLOS ONE.

“We’ve discovered that using augmented reality technology can change where you walk, how you turn your head, how well you do on tasks, and how you connect socially with other physical people in the room,” said Bailenson, who co-authored the paper with graduate students Mark Roman Miller, Hanseul Jun and Fernanda Herrera, who are the lead authors.

Their findings mirror much of the research Bailenson has done on virtual reality (VR). While VR attempts to simulate a real-life environment and take the user out of the present setting, AR technology layers digital information atop the user’s physical surroundings.

In recent years, many technology companies have focused on developing augmented reality goggles and other products, shifting away from their previous emphasis on virtual reality, Bailenson said.

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Emergent Enterprise

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