ITcon Vol. 16, pg. 493-508,

A user-centered taxonomy for specifying mixed reality systems for aec industry

submitted:August 2008
published:February 2011
editor(s):Turk Z
authors:Xiangyu Wang, Senior Lecturer,
Construction Management and Property Program
Faculty of the Built Environment
The University of New South Wales, Australia

Phillip S. Dunston, Associate Professor,
School of Civil Engineering
Purdue University, USA
summary:Compared to the attention given to Virtual Reality, the related emerging technology of Mixed Reality (MR) has been little explored, until recently, for its applications in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) arena. Observations of the limited lab-based MR applications for AEC highlight the need for a structured methodology that can address suitability and usability issues in order for the full potential of the technology to be realized. The scientific contribution of this paper is the presentation of a comprehensive multi-dimensional taxonomy for specifying MR technology and characteristics, using Milgram's general taxonomy as a springboard. Characteristics including media representation, input mechanism, output mechanism, and tracking technology are progressively disclosed regarding suitability and usability suggestions and context-driven discussion. Some of the characteristics are presented as continuums. Understanding the relationship between a task purpose and the technology’s actual position in the continua may help developers identify usability weaknesses and strengths, with the potential to suggest alternative solutions. The taxonomy provides a thorough classification, enumeration, and discussion of MR technology, which can be used to emphasize the importance of user-centered approaches to MR-based application development. The benefit to developers and researchers is a structured framework for developing prototype MR systems for industrial and experimental use. The benefit for practitioners is an enhanced understanding of how MR-based computer interfaces might be exploited to facilitate their work.
keywords:AEC, Augmented Reality, cognitive load, continuum, Mixed Reality, taxonomy, interactive systems
full text: (PDF file, 0.553 MB)
citation:Wang X, Dunston P S (2011). A user-centered taxonomy for specifying mixed reality systems for aec industry, ITcon Vol. 16, pg. 493-508,