The Impact of Focus and Context Visualization Techniques on Depth Perception in Optical See-Through Head-Mounted Displays
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Estimating the depth of virtual content has proven to be a challenging task in Augmented Reality (AR) applications. Existing studies have shown that the visual system uses multiple depth cues to infer the distance of objects, occlusion being one of the most important ones. Generating appropriate occlusions becomes particularly important for AR applications that require the visualization of augmented objects placed below a real surface. Examples of these applications are medical scenarios in
... al scenarios in which anatomical information needs to be observed within the patients body. In this regard, existing works have proposed several focus and context (F+C) approaches to aid users in visualizing this content using Video See-Through (VST) Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs). However, the implementation of these approaches in Optical See-Through (OST) HMDs remains an open question due to the additive characteristics of the display technology. In this paper, we, for the first time, design and conduct a user study that compares depth estimation between VST and OST HMDs using existing in-situ visualization methods. Our results show that these visualizations cannot be directly transferred to OST displays without increasing error in depth perception tasks. To tackle this gap, we perform a structured decomposition of the visual properties of AR F+C methods to find best-performing combinations. We propose the use of chromatic shadows and hatching approaches transferred from computer graphics. In a second study, we perform a factorized analysis of these combinations, showing that varying the shading type and using colored shadows can lead to better depth estimation when using OST HMDs.