Adaptive information density for augmented reality displays

Markus Tatzgern, Valeria Orso, Denis Kalkofen, Giulio Jacucci, Luciano Gamberini, Dieter Schmalstieg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Augmented Reality (AR) browsers show geo-referenced data in the current view of a user. When the amount of data grows too large, the display quickly becomes cluttered. Clustering items by spatial and semantic attributes can temporarily alleviate the issue, but is not effective against an increasing amount of data. We present an adaptive information density display for AR that balances the amount of presented information against the potential clutter created by placing items on the screen. We use hierarchical clustering to create a level-of-detail structure, in which nodes closer to the root encompass groups of items, while the leaf nodes contain single items. Our method selects items and groups from different levels of this hierarchy based on user-defined preferences and on the amount of visual clutter caused by placing these items. The number of presented items is adapted during user interaction to avoid clutter. We compare our interface to a conventional AR browser interface in a qualitative user study. Users clearly preferred our interface, because it provided a better overview of the data and allowed for easier comparison. In a second study, we evaluated the effect of different degrees of clustering on search and recall tasks. Users generally made fewer errors, when using our interface for a search task, which indicates that the reduced clutter allowed them to stay focused on finding the relevant items.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, VR 2016 - Proceedings
EditorsTobias Hollerer, Victoria Interrante, Anatole Lecuyer, Evan Suma
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781509008360
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event18th IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, VR 2016 - Greenville, United States
Duration: 19 Mar 201623 Mar 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Virtual Reality


Conference18th IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, VR 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • augmented reality
  • computer displays
  • online front-ends
  • pattern clustering
  • user interfaces


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