Best Practices for Optical See-Through Digital Eyewear Experiences

This article provides recommendations for designing and implementing optical see-through digital eyewear user experiences.

Staging the Experience

It's important to provide users with guidelines on how to stage and execute the experience. Before starting the experience, instruct the user to do the following:

  • Ensure that adequate lighting exists
  • Find a convenient seated or standing position for comfort and safety
  • Place the targets at an appropriate distance before putting on the viewer

Once they've initiated the app session, provide the users with clear indications of where they should focus their attention. Guide them through the modes and phases of the experience so that it can be executed successfully.

Distance and Motion Considerations

App experiences that rely on digital eyewear differ from those that use handheld devices in two important ways:

  1. Greater target distances. In handheld device AR experiences, users hold a device directly in front of themselves. The cameras on a digital eyewear device however are located on the user's head. Therefore, targets need to be detectable and trackable from greater distances. This greater distance can be accommodated by increasing the size of the target and bringing the user nearer to the target. Increased target distances also mean that the far clipping plane of the 3D camera in your scene may need to be adjusted to render content. Adjust the position of the far clipping plane using the Vuforia Engine APIs. In Unity, for each camera instance in the Hierarchy window, set the clipping plane distances in the Inspector window.
  2. Reduced range of motion. Users can manipulate a handheld device with more flexibility than a digital eyewear device. So design the digital eyewear app experience to accommodate the range of movements comfortable for your user.

Performance Optimizations

Optical see-through experiences generally run on devices with lower power or capabilities than traditional high-end mobile devices or desktop solutions. Be aware of these restrictions to avoid any throttling during the experience.

For specific information on optimizing the performance of your apps, refer to the Optimizing graphics performance and Light troubleshooting and performance articles in the Unity library.