Researchers at the University of Central Florida have recently discovered that augmented reality could be severely decreasing our response times.
Tech like Google Glass may sound cool and like something from a sci-fi film, but it could end up putting you at serious risk due to reduced reaction time.
Here’s someone to explain a little further…
“The idea here is to explore to what extent displayed secondary information might interfere with the primary task at hand, such as driving,” said Mark Neider, a UCF psychology associate professor.
“What our data suggests is secondary information presented on a heads-up display is likely to interfere, and if that happens while driving, it may be distracting and dangerous.”
The research was led by UCF Doctoral Student Joanna Lewis, who had 363 UCF psychology students complete a primary task similar to “Where’s Wally?” on a computer. Some were given Google Glass to where, and others where not. A portion of the students with Google Glass were told to ignore the information that popped up, and the other Glass wearers had to try and remember the information. In all experiments, those wearing Google Glass took longer to complete the primary task than those who were not.
The department believes that these findings are due to humans’ natural inclination to process language, and the stimuli they were faced with were competing for the visual-processing capabilities in the students’ brains, resulting in the slower pace.
Whilst Google Glass is not currently a widespread product, the technology it uses is becoming increasingly popular. For example, some car manufactures have introduced its technology so vehicle speed is displayed on the windshield.
“The goal here is to make the case that we should be careful, and just because we can [integrate heads-up display technology into everyday activities] doesn’t mean we should,” Lewis said.