NavMarkAR: A Landmark-based AR Wayfinding System for Enhancing Older Adults' Spatial Learning
Wayfinding in complex indoor environments can be challenging for older adults due to natural declines in navigational and spatial-cognition abilities. To assist in improving older adults’ spatial navigation skills, we developed NavMarkAR, an augmented reality (AR) navigation system using smart-glasses to provide landmark-based navigational guidance. This project fills an important gap in design research and practice, as there have been few prior efforts to evaluate the cognitive implications of AR-aided navigational systems. We conducted an initial usability test with 6 participants, followed by design refinement of the prototype and then a more in-depth study with 32 participants, who were asked to use the NavMarkAR system while completing navigation tasks in a university building. We found that participants using NavMarkAR completed the wayfinding tasks faster and developed more accurate cognitive maps. In future research we will study the long-term cognitive skill maintenance effects of using such navigational aids.
Calvin Qiu, Mojtaba Ashour, Xiaohe Zhou, Saleh Kalantari