At the core of this system are the zones outlined within our 3D maps of the city. These indicate the differential safety risks for the AR user, and how AR experiences can be responsive to the context of a particular zone. The most notable zone is the Buffer. Click on each zone to learn more.
Users in this zone are not putting themselves or people around them at any risk. AR experiences should feel free to utilize this space in whatever ways they like to create the most engaging experiences.
The Buffer is the most important zone for street-smart AR applications. It is the region where AR applications can step in and alert users as they engage in experiences in public spaces.
The Buffer can actually be further separated into 2 regions: the Detection Buffer, and the Barrier Buffer. These regions are all marked out within the high-definition maps provided.
The Buffer and its sub-zones vary in depth depending on where it is being applied.
A wide space should have a detection buffer of 4 to 5 feet, with a barrier buffer between 1 to 2 feet.
A narrow sidewalk should have a minimum detection buffer of 2 feet, with the barrier buffer between 0.5 to 1.5 feet.
If the user is backing towards the hazard zone, the Buffer should be more generous. This is because this orientation actually puts the user closer to the Hazard Zone than the AR device.
The street curb is the most straightforward example where a distracted AR user could encounter hazards. But we encounter similar hazardous places elsewhere too. A good example is the NYC subway platform where the tracks are separated from the platform with a barrier. Other examples include flights of stairs which could send distracted users tumbling, or drops in level such as at a hilly lookout or the edge of a loading dock.
As we apply the buffer to broad swathes of public spaces, we emerge with high-definition 3D maps of the city that incorporate the buffer wherever it is necessary. This empowers AR applications to exhibit street-smartness wherever the user is.