Theses and Dissertations



Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Swan II, J. Edward

Committee Member

Bethel, Cindy L.

Committee Member

Stefanucci, Jeanine

Committee Member

Jankun-Kelly, T.J.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Computer Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Computer Science and Engineering


Accurate and usable x-ray vision has long been a goal in augmented reality (AR) research and development. X-ray vision, or the ability to comprehend location and object information when such is viewed through an opaque barrier, would be imminently useful in a variety of contexts, including industrial, disaster reconnaissance, and tactical applications. In order for x-ray vision to be a useful tool for many of these applications, it would need to extend operators’ perceptual awareness of the task or environment. The effectiveness with which x-ray vision can do this is of significant research interest and is a determinant of its usefulness in an application context.

In substance, then, it is crucial to evaluate the effectiveness of x-ray vision—how does information presented through x-ray vision compare to real-world information? This approach requires narrowing as x-ray vision suffers from inherent limitations, analogous to viewing an object through a window. In both cases, information is presented beyond the local context, exists past an apparently solid object, and is limited by certain conditions. Further, in both cases, the naturally suggestive use cases occur over action space distances. These distances range from 1.5 to 30 meters and represent the area in which observers might contemplate immediate visually directed actions. These actions, simple tasks with a visual antecedent, represent action potentials for x-ray vision; in effect, x-ray vision extends an operators’ awareness and ability to visualize these actions into a new context.

Thus, this work seeks to answer the question “Can a real window be replaced with an AR window?” This evaluation focuses on perceived object location, investigated through a series of experiments using visually directed actions as experimental measures. This approach leverages established methodology to investigate this topic by experimentally analyzing each of several distinct variables on a continuum between real-world depth perception and fully realized x-ray vision. It was found that a real window could not be replaced with an AR window without some loss of depth perception acuity and accuracy. However, no significant difference was found between a target viewed through an opaque wall and a target viewed through a real window.


National Science Foundation