Building Immersive Visualizations for Welfare, Awareness, and Comprehension

Augmented Reality Waste Accumulation Visualizations

The negative impact humans have on the environment is partly caused by thoughtless consumption leading to unnecessary waste. A likely contributing factor is the relative invisibility of waste: waste produced by individuals is either out of their sight or quickly taken away. Nevertheless, waste disposal systems sometimes break down, creating natural information displays of waste production that can have educational value. We take inspiration from such natural displays and introduce a class of situated visualizations we call augmented-reality waste accumulation visualizations or ARwavs, which are literal representations of waste data embedded in users’ familiar environment. We implemented examples of ARwavs and demonstrated them in feedback sessions with experts in pro-environmental behavior, and during a large tech exhibition event. We discuss general design principles and trade-offs for ARwavs. Finally, we conducted a study suggesting that ARwavs yield stronger emotional responses than non-immersive waste accumulation visualizations and plain numbers.
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