Virtual Reality

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 250–259 | Cite as

Evaluating the effectiveness of augmented reality displays for a manual assembly task

  • K. M. Baird
  • W. Barfield


The focus of this research was to examine how effectively augmented reality displays, generated with a wearable computer, could be used for aiding an operator performing a manual assembly task. Fifteen subjects were asked to assemble a computer motherboard using four types of instructional media: paper manual, computer-aided, opaque augmented reality display, and see-through augmented reality display. The time of assembly and assembly errors were measured for each type of instructional media, and a questionnaire focusing on usability was administered to each subject at the end of each condition. The results of the experiment indicated that the augmented reality conditions were more effective instructional aids for the assembly task than either the paper instruction manual or the computer-aided instruction. The see-through augmented reality display resulted in the fastest assembly times, followed by the opaque augmented reality display, the computer-aided instruction, and the paper instructions respectively. In addition, subjects made fewer errors using the augmented reality conditions compared to the computer-aided and paper instructional media. However, while the two augmented reality conditions were a more effective instructional media when time for assembly was the response measure, there were still some important usability issues associated with the augmented reality technology that were not present in the non-augmented reality conditions.


Augmented reality Manual assembly Wearable computer 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringVirginia Polytechnic InstituteBlacksburgUSA

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