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Evaluating the user engagement and the technology acceptance of an augmented reality pervasive game for urban awareness

Fabiano, Federico (2018) Evaluating the user engagement and the technology acceptance of an augmented reality pervasive game for urban awareness.

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Abstract:In the last decades, the technology is advancing fast-paced and over time it’s becoming more compact and ubiquitous. Thanks to some useful functionalities such as the GPS and the wireless connection, which helped the portability of the smartphones, the mobility and pervasiveness of the technology have become a central topic in the design of new digital products. In parallel to this change, the technology evolved becoming an integral component of the environment where we are living; now, more than ever, we are residing in a deeply connected urban environment, where the virtuality is well integrated into the real world. The evolution from a physicallylimited technology into a pervasive scenario, had also affected the concept of cities and their design turning most of them into Smart entities, that is more intelligent, interconnected, and instrumented (Harrison et al., 2010). However, this progress towards intelligent cities assisted another evolution concerning the citizens, in fact, the city dwellers gained a key role by becoming nodes of a wide network and being capable to have a direct impact in the city-making (Ampatzidou et al, 2014). This progress has had an impact also on digital games and their design. In fact, the idea of games passed from being static and tied to the console to a mobile and pervasive experience, where the game is not played only digitally on a console but it’s experienced in the physical environment and the game information is well-integrated in the physical space. These types of games are called pervasive. They are used not only for the mere enjoyment of the player, rather for meaningful purposes such as civic engagement, informal learning or environmental awareness (Neuenhaus et al., 2017; Humphreys et al., 2011). One of the main issues concerning pervasive games is the union of the virtual environment of the game and the physical one where the games actually occur. In order to tackle this issue, different solutions have been thought out, but the most effective is the adoption of Augmented Reality (AR). In fact, AR allows to place the virtual information of the games consistently with the physical space (Wang et al., 2013). The research presented in this thesis took place in the Interactive Systems laboratory of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid1 and contributed to Project PACE (TIN2016-77690-R), which investigates citizen engagement in different forms. One of the goals of the project is to analyze how to engage citizens in meaningful experiences using affordable pervasive technologies. In particular, an AR pervasive game has been designed for raising awareness about the urban environment and the history of a building of the university (i.e. the Sabatini building) that otherwise goes unnoticed by most of the people that dwell in that space. Hence, the goal of this game is promoting the urban environmental awareness through an engaging informal learning experience. This research has the purpose to evaluate to what extent the pervasive game engages the users (i.e. citizens) and to assess the level of acceptability of the chosen technology, namely an AR pervasive game running on a smartphone. Besides these two evaluations, the research aims at contributing to the definition of user engagement for pervasive games in the context of playable cities. According to the study of the literature, it is hypothesized that two diverse factors (i.e. Urban Environmental Awareness and Perceived Walked Distance) might be considered as measures of the user engagement (Howe et al., 2016; Bursztyn et al., 2017).
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:01 general works
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/76180
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