The perception of depth is an important aspect of augmented reality (AR): many AR applications have an important depth component, and AR displays do not display the depth of virtual objects with the same fidelity as real objects. Furthermore, the unique AR capability of x-ray vision, which affords many very compelling and interesting applications, has no perceptual equivalent in the real world. In this talk, I will discuss how we might measure AR depth perception at near-field distances; that is, distances where objects may be touched and manipulated by the hands. I will further discuss how depth perception has been measured by vision scientists historically, and I will talk about the small number of previous experiments that have examined near-field AR depth perception. I will then cover a number of near-field AR depth perception experiments that have been conducted in my laboratory. To date, these experiments show that a mismatch between focal depth and stereo disparity, which many AR display systems exhibit, causes systematic depth judgment errors. I will also discuss effects of perceptual feedback and perceptual learning, which to date have barely been studied in AR, but which are likely very important for compelling near-field AR applications such as medical and industrial tasks, where users are highly skilled and highly practiced.
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