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Wearable laser pointer versus head-mounted display for tele-guidance applications?

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Wearable camera and displechnology allow remote collaborators to guide activities performed by human agents located elsewhere. This kind of technology augments the range of human perception and actuation. In this paper we quantitatively determine if wearable laser pointers are viable alternatives to Head-Mounted Displays for indicating where in the physical environment the local agent should direct her/his attention. The potential benefit of the laser pointer would be reduced eye fatigue, due to the fact that the documented refocusing challenges associated with HMD use would be completely eliminated. 10 participants where asked to perform a short tele-guided pick-and drop task using both approaches. The quantitative analysis indicates that user performance in the laser pointer condition is higher than the HMD approach (P = .064, α = 0.1). While all 10 participants found the task easy in both conditions, 8 of 10 participants found the laser pointer system more convenient.