User Expectations and Experiences of Mobile User Expectations and Experiences of Mobile Augmented...
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Tampere University of Technology
User Expectations and Experiences of Mobile Augmented Reality Services
Citation Olsson, T. (2012). User Expectations and Experiences of Mobile Augmented Reality Services. (Tampere University of Technology. Publication; Vol. 1085). Tampere University of Technology.
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Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto. Julkaisu 1085 Tampere University of Technology. Publication 1085 Thomas Olsson User Expectations and Experiences of Mobile Augmented Reality Services Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission for public examination and criticism in Tietotalo Building, Auditorium TB109, at Tampere University of Technology, on the 9th of November 2012, at 12 noon. Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto - Tampere University of Technology Tampere 2012
ISBN 978-952-15-2931-3 (printed) ISBN 978-952-15-2953-5 (PDF) ISSN 1459-2045
Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) as an emerging field of technology has the potential to engender
services that demonstrate novel aspects like enriching the reality with digital information, location-
based interaction, and tangible user interfaces. The early visions of MAR anticipated it to revolutionize
the way of accessing and interacting with information in mobile contexts. However, one hindrance in
this path is the lack of research understanding of the subjective user experience (UX) resulting from, e.g.,
the novel interaction metaphors and the mixing of realities that MAR embodies. What is more, little is
known about users’ expectations of the futuristic concept of MAR and the experiences it could evoke.
Because of the increasing importance of UX as a quality attribute in products and services, there is a
need to understand the characteristics and expectations of UX in specific emerging fields like MAR.
The goal of this thesis research is twofold: (1) to understand potential users’ expectations with regard
to UX of future MAR services and (2) to understand the actual UX of the recent first-generation MAR
applications like Junaio and Layar. By understanding the scope of expectations and experience that
can take place in the field of MAR, it is possible to help the design and engineering of AR-based
services to consider also the experiential aspirations of potential end users.
This compound thesis belongs to the research field of Human-Computer Interaction. It contains
four studies, in which altogether 401 persons participated in either interviews or online surveys. The
empirical findings on expected and actual experiences are reported in six publications. The theoretical
contribution is mostly conceptual, culminating to a framework that describes the facets of UX and
categories of meaningful experiences in MAR. Based on the empirical findings and the framework, the
practical contribution is concretized in the form of (1) design implications and (2) subjective
evaluation measures to help designing future MAR services with an experience-oriented approach.
According to the results, potential users (early adopters) expected MAR services to create a great
extent of pleasurable experiences, such as empowerment, surprise, awareness, liveliness, playfulness,
tangibility, collectivity, inspiration and creativity. Furthermore, the expectations were attributed to a
variety of service components, also relating to other ubiquitous computing aspects (e.g., the
augmentation as an output, proactive functionalities, and embedding of digital content to the reality).
This implies that emerging technological concepts like MAR are perceived in very diverse ways and
that people’s expectations of them consist largely of general needs and desires.
The existing first-generation MAR applications, however, seem generally not to fulfill the
expectations, showing a much narrower extent of actualized experience characteristics. This
experiential gap, as well as the narrower extent of functionalities in current applications, contains
much potential with regard to pursuing a rich and pleasurable UX in future design of MAR services.
The empirical results, conceptualizations and practical implications can be utilized and built on in
academic research as well as in development of MAR. The novelty and complexity of both MAR and
UX as concepts elicit an extensive breadth of aspects to be studied in detail in future research and
development – regarding both MAR as a field of technology and UX as a field of theory.
This research journey started in fall 2008 as a part of the DIEM/MMR project – albeit it was only in
late 2010 when I recognized it as one that could actually result in a doctoral dissertation – and
culminates in this piece of literature I am so fondly proud of. Looking back at this journey, I feel
privileged for the support and possibilities I was given by so many people.
First and foremost, I am grateful to my supervisor Prof. Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila for her
inspiring support and the practice of optimal guiding: giving space to explore what I please and get
motivated by but, at the same time, giving subtle pushes towards the path that most probably leads
also to a dissertation. I want to thank the pre-examiners of the thesis, Mark Billinghurst and Mark
Blythe, for very detailed examination and the insightful and constructive comments in the finalization
phase of the thesis. I am honoured to have Associate Professor Thomas Pederson and Docent Jonna
Häkkilä agreed to act as the opponents in the public defense.
I owe a lot to my co-authors and colleagues. All of you deserve a great deal of my gratitude for
helping out in conducting the research and making the best of the research results: Tuula Kärkkäinen,
Else Lagerstam, Pirita Ihamäki, Markus Salo, Tuomas Vaittinen, Leena Ventä-Olkkonen, and Tomi
Haustola. In addition, Minna Kynsilehto is not a co-author in any of the papers here but has been a
truly inspirational colleague over the years. The context of the research, the Tekes-TIVIT project
‘Devices and Interoperability EcosysteMs’ (DIEM) / ‘Mobile Mixed Reality’ (MMR) – with all the
researchers and colleagues involved – deserves to be acknowledged. I am grateful to the project for
the opportunity to focus on my research topic for three years, as well as to Tekes for funding it. I
want to thank especially Ville-Veikko Mattila, Charles Woodward, Timo Tossavainen, David Murphy,
Niko Frilander, Esin Guldogan, Marketta Niemelä, Olli-Pekka Pohjola, and Sari Wallden for the
opportunity of working with top-notch researchers and following the development of interesting
enabling technologies for Augmented Reality from the best possible position.
When trying to figure out the big picture and refining the narration of the thesis, I received
excellent comments from Sari Kujala, Teija Vainio, Minna Kynsilehto, Markus Salo and Heli Väätäjä. I
owe you one. Fellows at IHTE, you are simply awesome, and perhaps the main reason I got carried
away with research in the first place. In addition, I am happy to have been involved in the community
of UCIT doctoral school and grateful for the travel funding to two conferences to present my papers.
During these years, I received grants from Nokia Foundation and Elisa-HPY, which helped me to
advance the research and especially to take the required time for finalizing the thesis.
The greatest gratitude belongs to my family: Jaana, our cats, Mom, Dad, Nikke & family, Linda.
Thank you for the past and future years, for making this possible in so many ways, and for not
questioning why on earth am I doing this. I can never express my love and gratitude enough.
Tampere, 7.10.2012 Thomas Olsson
Supervisor: Professor Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila
Department of Software Systems - Human-Centered Technology
Tampere University of Technology
Pre-examiners: Professor Mark Billinghurst
Human Interface Technology Laboratory New Zealand
University of Canterbury
Professor Mark Blythe
School of Design
Opponents: Associate Professor Thomas Pederson
Innovative Communication Group
IT University of Copenhagen
Docent Jonna Häkkilä