Readings | Seeing Is Believing And Ideal Subway Seating | Week 10

Tuesday, April 9th 2019, 9:04:32 pm

This week I focused on two different articles, one academic and one “pop cultural”—the same drill as last week’s Readings post.. Though coming at it from different directions, each article got me closer to some prototyping concepts for my final class project.

Ideal Subway Seating

The first article was actually an older article from Wired about ideal subway seating arrangement. I had read this a long time ago and I scoured the internet for it again to re-read it and think about it in the context of my AR-minded project ideas. The crux of the article is that certain seating configurations inside the train cars can be more “efficient”. That is more comfortable riding experiences and minimizing the unused or uncomfortable space in the train car.

It’s worth noting that the seating study was conducted during non-rush hour times when riders had more “choices” over seating. But when given choices, the riders opted for minimizing how close they were to other riders. This study cited in the article concluded that:

a train has to be at 120 percent of its capacity for 90 percent of its seats to be in use.

And even more interestingly, it exposed certain preferences of riders:

New York transit passengers prefer standing near a door to standing in the middle of the car, even when more space is available there.

The article shows a “traditional” train car and its inefficiences:

subway layout

Then it proposes a “better” train car design that looks something like this:

subway layout

NOTE: The original source of graphics is but that is now a 404. Will treat Wired as pseudo-primary source here.

In the end this article left me thinking:

There is a better train design out there that better maximizes comfort and minimizes unused space. But how does one tune folks’ preferences against the inefficiency of clumping together by the doors in a public space such as a train car?

Naturally, this lead my to search for academic papers on the topic of augmented-reality assisted education.

Education And Augmented Reality

From the article (Seeing Is Believing: Using Virtual and Augmented Reality to Enhance Student Learning)[] by Del Siegle, I derived some breakthroughs about utilizing AR to annotate public spaces.

Siegle does a great round up of ideas of what’s possible in the education space using AR. The first portion of the text focuses on how 360-video experiences are useful for students to:

observe a scene in whatever direction they wish. This permits the student to virtually explore the world recorded on the 360-degree video.

This is nice. But not entirely practical for the “in the field” type of AR project I am leaning towards.

The second portion of the text deals with AR directly and mentions using Google Photos app (or its APIs) to annotate every day objects. Siegle uses images such as this:

ar education

Taken from here so as not to post media directly from the academic article.

Ultimately, Siegle breaks down AR’s utility in education into two categories:

  1. Overlay Images
  2. Trigger Images

Both of these can have some really interesting applications for my own project. I will explore these in my next post.

Omar Delarosa avatar

Written by Omar Delarosa who lives in Brooklyn and builds things using computers.

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