DistanciAR: Authoring Site-Specific Augmented Reality Experiences for Remote Environments

Abstract: Most augmented reality (AR) authoring tools only support the author’s current environment, but designers often need to create site-specific experiences for a different environment. We propose DistanciAR, a novel tablet-based workflow for remote AR authoring. Our baseline solution involves three steps. A remote environment is captured by a camera with LiDAR; then, the author creates an AR experience from a different location using AR interactions; finally, a remote viewer consumes the AR content on site. A formative study revealed understanding and navigating the remote space as key challenges with this solution. We improved the authoring interface by adding two novel modes: Dollhouse, which renders a bird’s eye view, and Peek, which creates photorealistic composite images using captured images. A second study compared this improved system with the baseline, and participants reported that the new modes made it easier to understand and navigate the remote scene.