Developing an AR application as a tool for participation in the earlier stages of planning
By Reint Jansen
Augmented reality (AR) is an upcoming technology that is proven to be useful in many different domains. One of them being participation in different phases of planning projects. The interactive and three-dimensional nature of AR allows for better communication between the participant and the planner. However, research on the use of AR in participation is still quite limited, especially related to the exploration phase of the planning process. This research investigates how AR can be used to enhance participation in the earlier phases of the planning process through a systematic literature review (SLR). Based on the SLR results, a framework for AR in participation and a prototype are developed. The SLR reviews 35 articles to research the current state-of-the-art in planning and how AR can be used to enhance participation. Finally, a survey is used to evaluate the prototype and examine the usability and suitability of AR in participation in the earlier phases of planning. The SLR shows to be a useful tool planning and participation. In planning, AR allows for a higher user engagement and a better understanding of the plan. In participation, AR shows to be motivating and creates an overall higher acceptance and awareness of the plan, making the participants more involved and represented in the planning project. The survey confirms the results of the SLR and shows that both an intuitive interface and design are important to counter the complexity that the user experiences, being a new and upcoming technology. Overall, this research shows that AR has potential to enhance participation in the earlier phases of planning, when designed correctly. However, the results of the SLR and survey show that, due to AR being an upcoming technology, the performance regarding the accuracy and reliance of the AR projection is still in a limiting factor on personal devices, decreasing the accessibility and user experience amongst the participants.