What, How, and Why are Visual Assets Used in Industrial Augmented Reality? A Systematic Review and Classification in Maintenance, Assembly, and Training (From 1997 to 2019)

IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2022 Feb;28(2):1443-1456. doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2020.3014614. Epub 2021 Dec 30.


Industrial Augmented Reality (iAR) has demonstrated its advantages to communicate technical information in the fields of maintenance, assembly, and training. However, literature is scattered among different visual assets (i.e., AR visual user interface elements associated with a real scene). In this work, we present a systematic literature review of visual assets used in these industrial fields. We searched five databases, initially finding 1757 papers. Then, we selected 122 iAR papers from 1997 to 2019 and extracted 348 visual assets. We propose a classification for visual assets according to (i) what is displayed, (ii) how it conveys information (frame of reference, color coding, animation), and, (iii) why it is used. Our review shows that product models, text and auxiliary models are, in order, the most common, with each most often used to support operating, checking and locating tasks respectively. Other visual assets are scarcely used. Product and auxiliary models are commonly rendered world-fixed, color coding is not used as often as expected, while animations are limited to product and auxiliary model. This survey provides a snapshot of over 20 years of literature in iAR, useful to understand established practices to orientate in iAR interface design and to present future research directions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't