BlocklyAR: A Visual Programming Interface for Creating Augmented Reality Experiences
Nguyen, Vinh T.
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State-of-the-art tools for creating augmented reality (AR) applications often depend on a specific programming language and the deployed target devices. The typing syntax of a program is error-prone, and device dependency makes it difficult to share newly created AR applications. This paper presents BlocklyAR, a novel web-based visual programming interface for creating and generating an AR application. This tool is intended for non-programmers (young learners and enthusiasts) who are interested in making an AR application. The goals of this tool are: (1) to help young learners and enthusiasts express their programming ideas without memorizing syntax, (2) to enable users to perceive their expressions, (3) to enable learners to generate an AR application with minimal effort, and (4) to support users by allowing them to share newly created AR applications with others. BlocklyAR uses Blockly for creating a palette of commands and AR.js for transcribing commands into AR experience. The applicability of BlocklyAR was demonstrated through a use case where an existing AR application was recreated by using our tool. The result showed that our tool could yield an equivalent product. We evaluated the visual tool with the help of 66 users to gather perspectives on the specific benefits of employing BlocklyAR in producing an AR application. The technology acceptance model was adapted to assess an individual’s acceptance of information technology.