Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Situated navigation support for heterogeneous large crowds via augmented signage
Author: Hamhoum, Fathi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2731 5870
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Navigating unfamiliar places is a common problem people face, and there is a wealth of commercial and research-based applications particularly for mobile devices that provide support in these settings. While many of these solutions work well on an individual level, they are less well suited for very crowded situations, e.g. sports matches, festivals and fairs, or religious events such as pilgrimages. In a large crowd, attending to a mobile device can be hazardous, the underlying technology might not scale well, and some people might be excluded due to not having access to a mobile device. Public signage does not suffer from these issues, and consequently, people frequently rely on signage in crowded settings. However, a key disadvantage of public signage is that it does not provide personalised navigation support. We have therefore investigated augmented signage as a navigation support system for use in large crowds. This thesis investigates the issues of guidance by augmented displays and how this can be made more suitable for people who navigate in groups in unfamiliar areas. In this context we have undertaken three studies as examples to explore how augmented displays can provide aid to people in crowded places. In the first study, we investigated the question of whether the use of dynamic public signage can help pilgrims count or remember the Tawaf rounds while walking around the Ka’bah. We analysed the current situation in Mecca based on a literature review and a series of interviews with pilgrims, who had completed at least one pilgrimage (already visited Mecca). We then presented a prototypical dynamic signage and reported on a user study we conducted in a realistic setting in order to evaluate the system. The results suggest that dynamic signage may be a feasible option to improve the safety of pilgrims in Mecca. In the second study, we introduced a scalable signage-based approach and present results from a comparison study contrasting two designs for augmented signage with a base approach. The results provide evidence that such a system could be easily useable, may reduce task load, and could improve navigation performance. In the final study, we developed public displays (static and dynamic signage) and investigated the ability of using such displays to assist pilgrims of Mecca to find each other after becoming separated while performing rituals inside the Haram (e.g. Tawaf pillar). Once again here we have addressed the issue through a series of interviews with people who had experienced pilgrimage before. Then we constructed a full idea that allowed us to design the initial system and presented it in a focus group session to gain feedback and redesign the system. Afterwards, we conducted a lab-based user study. The results we obtained suggest that a person can extract information (by reading the dynamic signage), also results showed that users were able to remember their information (whilst completing some distraction tasks), and then they completed the static signs tasks successfully. Generally results showed that the system can indicate people to the right place where they can meet again after becoming separated. In general, these results provided good evidence that augmented signage supported by colour and visual codes might provide considerable help in situations with large and heterogeneous crowds. It might be developed and used in different settings for provisional navigation information and allow multi-users to extract their personalised information individually.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available