Seeing Things that Don’t Exist: Conceptualizing an Augmented Reality Atmosphere: An Abstract
Augmented reality technologies aim at integrating virtual elements into a user’s perception of the real world while keeping the experience as realistic as possible. In particular, a new technology termed augmented reality smart glasses (ARSGs) provides users with the opportunity to integrate three-dimensional, realistic virtual elements into their vision field in real time. Although AR holds great appeal within the consumer community, very little is known about how these 3D holograms influence a user’s perception of the atmosphere. Furthermore, altered sensations and perceptions within these artificially designed environments have not received much attention from researchers. Therefore, this research aims at conceptualizing augmented reality atmosphere and developing and validating a multidimensional measurement scale. This new concept can aid in better understanding how people perceive AR environments and how AR stimuli influence consumer behavior and in turn the overall consumption experience. For managers, these new developments can guide app developers in creating successful and impactful apps. Lastly, marketers can use this scale to assess if apps trigger perceptions and experience consistent with their intended brand perception. Our methodological approach integrates a very novel, cutting-edge form of augmented reality smart glasses: Microsoft HoloLens.
The purpose of this study is to approach AR from an atmospheric and sensory marketing perspective to enrich the theoretical foundation of this new literature stream. Specifically, we are developing the artificial reality atmospheric scale capable of capturing the perception of AR users. We implemented a multi-method approach to collect preliminary details related to artificial reality atmosphere. Previous studies related to AR, VR, and virtual experiences were reviewed for potential scales or scale items. The search was expanded to related areas, such as gaming, store atmosphere, customer experience, sensation, and so forth. Furthermore, in-depth interviews were conducted with users who have tried various apps on the Microsoft HoloLens device. Moreover, we extracted additional statements from self-descriptions of manufacturers and from user discussions on social media.
A final list of items was discussed with experts in atmosphere, AR, usability, or related research or management experience. Upon evaluating the expert ratings, a final set of items pertaining to enjoyment, sensation, perception, stimulation, privacy, and immersion was integrated in a questionnaire for further item purification. We then carried out an experiment consisting of physically interacting with the HoloLens and completing a questionnaire tailored toward the AR experience and the perception of the environment.
Data will be analyzed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses to identify potential dimensions of the new scale. Furthermore, item purification will continue by collecting additional data and validating the scale with a variety of samples.