Awareness of the real-world environment when using augmented reality head-mounted display

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Augmented reality (AR) systems are becoming common tools in industrial workplaces. However, factory workers are still concerned about whether head-mounted display (HMD)-based AR systems distract their awareness of the environment and therefore pose safety risks. The purpose of this study was to assess users' experience of real-world awareness when using an AR system. 19 study participants played a wooden block logic game in a laboratory with three different setups: real, AR and virtual reality (VR). Based on this study, it can be concluded that HMD-based AR systems do not decrease users’ awareness of their surroundings if the virtual content is minimal and the task is done while seated. However, it was seen that more research in this area with more interactive virtual content is required. This study is an important step in understanding how AR may affect future work in industrial and safety-critical environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103145
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This study was funded by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.


  • Augmented reality
  • Awareness
  • Workload


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