2D vs 3D

September 8, 2016

Given the lack of studies that have systematically examined the perceptual cues that our brains use to rapidly process procedural tasks – META decided to partner with Accenture Labs on a pilot study examining the use of perceptual cues in AR. More specifically, they wanted to measure the effect an additional perceptual cue (motion) would have on the time it takes to complete a procedural task. The team operated under the hypothesis that integrating both stereo and motion perceptual cues could further reduce the limitations of 2D instructions – ultimately enabling people to more quickly complete a procedural task.

At this year’s Bay to Breakers pre-race expo, the colorful annual footrace in San Francisco (California), the team of Meta and Accenture researchers set up the procedural task of assembling a physical lighthouse Lego set.

They defined three conditions based on the different types of instructions participants were to receive:2D Paper, Holographic Static 3D (Stereo Cue), and Holographic Dynamic 3D (Stereo & Motion Cues).

Comparing the three instruction conditions, they found that Dynamic 3D Instructions enabled participants to more quickly complete each step. Participants using Static 3D Instructions and 2D Paper Instructions were much slower in comparison. This confirmed their hypothesis that the use of both the stereo and motion perceptual cues in AR instructions speeds up assembly time. Interestingly enough, the researchers found that participants using Static 3D Instructions were the slowest of the three instruction conditions. This was especially surprising to them because based on past studies conducted in 2003 and 2013 , they expected people using any kind of 3D instructions to perform the Lego building task more quickly than those using paper 2D Paper Instructions.

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