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Analysis, Design and Practical Validation of an Augmented Reality Teaching System Based on Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Edge Computing
Aida Vidal-Balea 1 , Oscar Blanco-Novoa 1 , Imanol Picallo-Guembe 2 , Mikel Celaya-Echarri 3 , Paula Fraga-Lamas * 1 , Peio Lopez-Iturri 2 , Leyre Azpilicueta 3 , Francisco Falcone 2 , Tiago M. Fernández-Caramés * 1
1  Department of Computer Engineering, Faculty of Computer Science, Universidade da Coruña
2  Department of Electric, Electronic and Communication Engineering, Public University of Navarre
3  School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico

10.3390/ecsa-7-08210
Abstract:

During the last years the education sector has incorporated in regular classrooms the use of new technologies and computing devices (e.g., laptops, tablets, smartphones), which allowed for implementing new ways for enhancing teaching and learning.
Among such new technologies is Augmented Reality (AR), which makes use of diverse sensors and actuators to enable creating experiences that mix reality and virtual elements in an attractive and visual way, thus helping teachers to foster student interest in learning certain subjects and abstract concepts in novel visual ways.
This paper proposes to harness the potential of the latest AR devices in order to enable giving AR-enabled lectures and hands-on labs. Specifically, this paper first proposes an architecture for providing low-latency AR education services in a classroom or a laboratory. Such a low-latency is achieved thanks to the use of edge computing devices, which offload the cloud from the traditional tasks that are required by dynamic AR applications (e.g., near real-time data processing, communications among AR devices).
Depending on the specific AR application and the number of users, the wireless link (usually Wi-Fi) could be overloaded if the network has not been properly designed, and the overall performance of the application can be compromised, leading to high latency and even to wireless communication failure. In order to tackle this issue, radio channel measurements and simulation results have been obtained by means of an in-house developed 3D ray-launching tool, which is able to model and simulate the behaviour of an AR-enabled classroom/laboratory in terms of radio propagation and quality of service. To corroborate the obtained theoretical results, a Microsoft HoloLens 2 teaching application was used to carry out an empirical measurement campaign whose results are compared in order to validate the proposed approach.

Keywords: Augmented Reality; HoloLens; Teaching; Learning; Education; Radio propagation; QoS; Ray-Launching; Edge Computing; Smart campus
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