Blocks: Collaborative and Persistent Augmented Reality Experiences

Anhong Guo, Ilter Canberk, Hannah Murphy, Andrés Monroty-Hernández, Rajan Vaish
Event UbiComp/IMWUT 2019
Research Areas Human Computer Interaction

Abstract: We introduce Blocks, a mobile application that enables people to co-create AR structures that persist in the physical environment. Using Blocks, end users can collaborate synchronously or asynchronously, whether they are colocated or remote. Additionally, the AR structures can be tied to a physical location or can be accessed from anywhere. We evaluated how people used Blocks through a series of lab and field deployment studies with over 160 participants, and explored the interplay between two collaborative dimensions: space and time. We found that participants preferred creating structures synchronously with colocated collaborators. Additionally, they were most active when they created structures that were not restricted by time or place. Unlike most of today’s AR experiences, which focus on content consumption, this work outlines new design opportunities for persistent and collaborative AR experiences that empower anyone to collaborate and create AR content.