Social Augmented Reality: Communicating via Cultural Heritage

Eugene Ch'ng, Shengdan Cai, Pinyuan Feng, Danzhao Cheng

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


Social communication around art and cultural heritage objects occurs mostly on location in the museums and between in-group acquaintances. Such discussions are often brief as competing array of displays and time constraints propel the social arrangement of groups of visitors forward to the next object. Discussions are more often than not fleeting and superficial, and rarely expand beyond the boundary of the group. We postulate that the interactivity afforded by augmented reality that allows the inspection of cultural heritage objects projected onto the real environment of users can be a better experience in terms of depth of viewing. We developed a mobile augmented reality application that allows multiuser interaction and propose that discussions that occur around cultural heritage objects can be replicated and that such discussions can be expanded beyond in-groups. We conducted hypotheses testing across 10 groups of 30 participants to investigate if aspects of social communication can be facilitated or impeded by the perceived realism or artificiality of objects and explore which features of Social AR are more important for communication. The research aims to understand how social communication would work for AR when co-viewing heritage objects. The results have implications for necessitating cross-border and cross-cultural exchanges in an increasingly virtually connected world.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3582266
JournalJournal on Computing and Cultural Heritage
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2023


  • Additional Key Words and PhrasesSocial AR
  • augmented reality
  • collaborative mixed reality
  • digital cultural heritage
  • virtual museum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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