A Mixed Reality Agent as a Navigation Guide

March 7th, 2024

Mixed reality agents are simulated humans which can be viewed and interacted with on mixed reality technologies. For conveying content in educational settings, mixed reality agents have a series of advantages. They are part of a mixture of virtual elements with the real world, which provides opportunities where the agent can refer to points and locations in the real surroundings. Moreover, they are viewable in 3D from any angle so that an observer can freely choose the perspective to watch the agent. This is, e.g., not possible with videos where the viewpoint was chosen previously by the cameraman. The agents underlying behavior can also be made configurable and so, content can quickly be produced and changed as opposed to instructional videos where changes to the content require re-recording the video. In the educational sector, the combination of these factors means that mixed reality agents have a high potential to act as navigation guides. One issue that freshmen in universities face in the beginning is that they are unsure how to find the correct course room and are generally unaware of the building’s layout. Here, mixed reality agents can act as initial guides which inform students about their location and guide them around, e.g., pointing out where to find rooms. Additionally, they can add interesting information, e.g., about the organizational aspects, e.g., where important offices are or successful research projects of the different university chairs as a help in finding interests.

Thesis Type
  • Bachelor
Darya Naumava
Presentation room
Seminar room I5 6202
Stefan Decker
Benedikt Hensen

The goal of this thesis is to investigate how mixed reality agents can be realized as such navigation guides and whether they are effective to convey information to students. Hence, a mixed reality agent as a navigation guide needs to be realized. A technical challenge for which a solution has to be found concerns the localization of the agent in the building. A reliable method has to be designed which allows the agent to find both a position and orientation so that the agent is able to select the explanations about the correct part of the building and so that it can refer to the real world when presenting explanations. With the established orientation, it is then also possible to insert directional cues which point the right way to convey to the student how to proceed. One idea would be to make use of QR codes which start the application when scanned and at the same time, calibrate the MR space. Developers could previously enter data about the location of each distinct QR code and so, the agent, e.g., knows if the application was started in the entry hall or in a specific lecture room. The created system should be evaluated with users. The objective is to gain insights about the effectiveness of the agents and how well they compare to traditional methods of finding rooms in a building. Possible is, e.g., to conduct a comparative study where one group uses the agent and another group relies on signs or building blueprints. The study can then measure certain data such as the speed for finding the location, ask for the frustration level while searching and this way allow for an estimation on how suitable locational instructions can be conveyed. A key point of the evaluation should be to analyze how students interact with the application.


Necessary Knowledge: C# or Java

Beneficial experiences: Mixed reality, Unity 3D engine