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Exploring the benefits and limitations of augmented reality for palletization

: Plewan, Thorsten; Mättig, Benedikt; Kretschmer, Veronika; Rinkenauer, Gerhard


Applied ergonomics 90 (2021), Art. 103250, 7 S.
ISSN: 0003-6870
Fraunhofer IML ()

Superimposing virtual visual information within the real world is referred to as augmented reality (AR). This technique becomes increasingly popular and due to technical advances can be applied to various purposes ranging from consumer entertainment to industrial use cases. Workplaces equipped with AR assistance-systems promise fast and accurate performance. Within the field of intralogistics, palletization constitutes a field of application which may benefit from guidance by AR. In the present investigation, participants performed a palletization task while they received instructions via three different devices (paper list, tablet, AR glasses). Performance data and subjective ratings were obtained. Participants subjectively preferred to work with the AR device. Number of errors was reduced while at the same time handling times were prolonged when the AR device was used. In all experimental conditions, performance improved in the course of the experiment. Least improvement was observed in the AR condition, which emphasizes that such applications allow decent performance without prior experience. Overall, the present results indicate that the utility of AR applications is limited when task demands are low. Such applications might be more useful in unclear and complex situations. Furthermore, AR possesses high hedonic qualities which may ease the integration of novel work processes.