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Supporting Piggybacked Co-Located Leisure Activities via Augmented Reality

by   Samantha Reig, et al.

Technology, especially the smartphone, is villainized for taking meaning and time away from in-person interactions and secluding people into "digital bubbles". We believe this is not an intrinsic property of digital gadgets, but evidence of a lack of imagination in technology design. Leveraging augmented reality (AR) toward this end allows us to create experiences for multiple people, their pets, and their environments. In this work, we explore the design of AR technology that "piggybacks" on everyday leisure to foster co-located interactions among close ties (with other people and pets. We designed, developed, and deployed three such AR applications, and evaluated them through a 41-participant and 19-pet user study. We gained key insights about the ability of AR to spur and enrich interaction in new channels, the importance of customization, and the challenges of designing for the physical aspects of AR devices (e.g., holding smartphones). These insights guide design implications for the novel research space of co-located AR.


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