Measuring the Performance Impact of Using the Microsoft HoloLens 1 to Provide Guided Assembly Work Instructions

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Hoover, Melynda
Miller, Jack
Gilbert, Stephen
Winer, Eliot
Gilbert, Stephen
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Virtual Reality Applications CenterPsychologyIndustrial and Manufacturing Systems EngineeringGerontologyPsychology

The human performance benefits of four types of guided assembly instructions, including the Microsoft HoloLens 1, were analyzed in the context of a realistic assembly task. Several studies have confirmed the benefits of using augmented reality (AR) work instructions over traditional digital or paper instructions, but few have compared the effects of different AR hardware, including head-mounted displays, for complex assembly tasks. Participants completed a mock wing assembly task using the Microsoft HoloLens 1, and completion time, error count, and net promoter score (NPS) were recorded. These data were compared to data from previous research which employed desktop model-based instructions (MBIs), tablet MBI, and tablet AR instructions for the same task. The use of HoloLens AR instructions led to time saving of 16% over the tablet AR instructions. HoloLens users also had lower error rates than non-AR users. Despite the performance benefits of the HoloLens AR instructions, this condition had a lower NPS than the tablet AR group. The qualitative data showed that some users thought the HoloLens device was uncomfortable and that the tracking was not always exact. Although the users favored the tablet AR condition, the HoloLens condition had significantly faster assembly times. The authors recommend using the HoloLens for complex guided assembly instructions with minor changes, such as allowing the user to toggle the AR instructions on and off at will. The results of this paper can help manufacturing stakeholders understand the benefits of different AR technologies for manual assembly tasks.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Hoover, Melynda, Jack Miller, Stephen Gilbert, and Eliot Winer. "Measuring the Performance Impact of Using the Microsoft HoloLens 1 to Provide Guided Assembly Work Instructions." 20, no. 6, Paper no. JCISE-19-1008, Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering (2020): 061001. DOI: 10.1115/1.4046006. Posted with permission.