Partitioning open-plan workspaces via augmented reality

Hyelip Lee, Seungwoo Je, Rachel Kim, Himanshu Verma, Hamed Alavi, Andrea Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Open-plan workspaces are becoming common because of their compact footprint, economic advantages, and capacity forfostering communication. However, users of open-plan workspaces often report a high level of distraction, undermining theirperformance especially on individual cognitive tasks. Existing common solutions require recurrent physical changes, which areneither practical for companies and employees nor desired by interior architects. In this paper, we examine the use of augmentedreality (AR) midair pervasive displays and visual separators to address the problem of visual distractions in open-planworkspaces. While past applications of AR in workspaces mostly focused on content creation and manipulation, we use ARto superimpose visual barriers—what we refer to asvirtual partitions. To evaluate the impact of virtual partitioning on theoccupants’cognitive performance, we conducted two user studies with a total of 48 participants. The design of assessed virtualpartitions was informed by interviews that we conducted with 11 professional space designers. The analysis of collected datasuggests that virtual partitions can reduce visual distractions and enable users to personalize the visual attributes of their spaceleading to an improved experience of shared workspaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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