Publication: Evaluation of augmented reality technology for the design of an evacuation training game
Building evacuation training systems and training employees in an organization have a vital role in emergency cases in which people need to know what to do exactly. In every building, procedures, rules, and actions are attractively shown on the walls, but most of the people living in that building are not aware of these procedures and do not have any experience what to do in these dangerous situations. In order to be able to apply these procedures properly in an emergency situation, community members should be trained with the state-of-the-art equipment and technologies, but to do so, up-front investment and development of such a system are necessary. In this study, augmented reality (AR) technology was applied to realize a game-based evacuation training system that implements gamification practices. The architectural plans of a university were used to model the floors and the relevant environment. Employees are trained to learn how to reach the nearest exit location in the event of a fire or earthquake, and also, the system provides the shortest path for the evacuation. In addition to these features, our training game has educational animations about the fire, chemical attack, and earthquake events. A mobile application was implemented to train employees working in the building and inform them to know how to escape in an emergency situation. The technology acceptance model and the related questionnaire form were applied, and the response of 36 participants was analyzed. It was demonstrated that AR and relevant tools provide a flexible environment to develop evacuation systems in a university, our mobile application enabled participants to be trained in a realistic environment, and trainees were highly satisfied with the system. Educational animations were also another benefit for the trainees.