The Feeling of Immersion in Location-Based Augmented Reality Setting : Case: City Stories Helsinki
Jäntti, Eeva (2019)
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The market of virtual technologies (Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality) is anticipated to grow exponentially. Technological development and high-speed 5G mobile connections will accelerate the growth within the next few years. More content and concepts need to be created and tested for these technologies. One of those concepts is City Stories, a location- based Augmented Reality experience. A pilot of it is examined in this study. It was pro-duced during spring and summer 2018 by the funding of Media Industry Research Foundation of Finland. This study is also part of the project. Virtual technologies are often referred to as immersive technologies. Immersion is mostly associated with a desirable state and something worth to go for. By designing immersive experiences to immersive technologies, high immersion levels should be achieved. This study examines how immer- sive Augmented Reality (AR) experiences can be designed, what immersion is, how it can be measured in a location-based AR setting and most importantly, how immersive is the City Stories pilot. The purpose of this study is to find out if this and similar concepts are worth developing further from the immersion point of view. In this study the early history of AR technology is summarized, the XR industry is analyzed briefly, previous research on immersion and AR design is examined. The level of immersion of the City Stories is measured with ARI (Augmented Reality Immersion) questionnaire that is designed for a location-based augmented reality setting. It is found that the level of feeling immersion was quite high according to the ARI questionnaire, and the conclusion is that City Stories and similar concepts are potentially viable concepts for further development. It is also con- cluded that the taxonomies of immersion and flow should be clarified and the instruments for measuring these should be tested more. Further studies with different methods on these topics are needed.