shARe-IT: Ad hoc Remote Troubleshooting through Augmented Reality
10 years ago, Castellani et al. (Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work, vol. 18, no. 2–3, 2009, pp. 199–227, 2009) showed that using just an audio channel for remote troubleshooting can lead to a range of problems and already envisioned a future in which augmented reality (AR) could solve many of these issues. In the meantime, AR technologies have found their way into our everyday lives and using such technologies to support remote collaboration has been widely studied within the fields of Human-Computer Interaction and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. In this paper, we contribute to this body of research by reporting on an extensive empirical study within a Fab Lab of troubleshooting and expertise sharing and the potential relevance of articulation work to their realization. Based on the findings of this study, we derived design challenges that led to an AR-based concept, implemented as a HoloLens application, called shARe-it. This application is designed to support remote troubleshooting and expertise sharing through different communication channels and AR-based interaction modalities. Early testing of the application revealed that novel interaction modalities such as AR-based markers and drawings play only a minor role in remote collaboration due to various limiting factors. Instead, the transmission of a shared view and especially arriving at a shared understanding of the situation as a prerequisite for articulation work continue to be the decisive factors in remote troubleshooting.