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Augmented Reality

Description of Wayfinding Technology

This section of the report will cover:

What is Wayfinding?

Wayfinding is an important tool that has been adopted by several industries, ranging from healthcare, transport sector, and university environments. Wayfinding uses signage, like traditional signs and symbols. Wayfinding visuals can display content in the library, allowing users to interact with their mobile or devices.

A wayfinding smartphone application being used

Mobile Phones & Wayfinding

As the ubiquity of smart phones grows, it is important to utilise mobile phone and handheld technologies. Present and emerging mobile phone technologies can support engagement within their environments, due to their portability and accessibility. [1]

Indoor mapping features are a solution to assist patrons in navigating their way within the library environment. This is also particularly important in addressing library patrons from lower socioeconomic status, who primarily rely on their phones as a means to access the internet [2]. It is important that the Dewey Library begins to address the importance of using Wayfinding technologies.

Why Wayfinding?

Shelves in a library

Benefits of Wayfinding for the Dewey Library Environment:

Recent Developments and emerging trends within Wayfinding Technology:

Bluetooth devices and cellular Wi-Fi technologies have been expanding immensely in relation to Wayfinding technology. Augmented reality and wayfinding technologies are being expanded into 3D models and mapping systems. These new and emerging technologies will have profound implications for the future of AR and Wayfinding technologies in our rapidly changing world, and implications for the future of libraries and information searching environments.

The Future for AR & Wayfinding Technology


Project Tango AR application running on a smartphone

Tango (also known as “Project Tango”), allows mobile devices to detect and understand their position without the need for geolocation of other physical tools.


ARCore Logo

ARCore is another current technological advancement emerging with the AR world. It is a software which assists in supporting the mobile or hand held device to detect physical locations and surfaces (for example, a table or a chair).

User Needs: A Scenario

Consider the following hypothetical scenario. A high school student is studying for a school project for a history class, and is looking for texts on a project concerning World War II. However, the student is not familiar with the Dewey Library environment. The student may not be aware that Dewey library holds a vast collection of digital and audio visual materials directly relating to her project. Wayfinding technology can support the student by providing her with a platform tool that can assist in navigating her way to the correct section to locate a particular material.

The Importance of Adopting Wayfinding Technology

Wayfinding technology is important to invest in. Studies continue to reveal that students are unlikely to seek out information from librarians or library specialists when it comes to seeking materials [3].

Based on this assumption, we assume that the library patrons that may attend Dewey Library are also likewise unlikely to seek help from library technicians to assist in search and retrieval processes. Therefore, it is worthwhile for Dewey Library to invest in Wayfinding technologies.

Recommendations for Wayfinding Technology

Prior to adopting and committing to purchasing any technology, we recommend that Dewey Library conduct:


We advise Dewey Library that all decisions and discussions on adopting Wayfinding systems place the user and the user experience at the forefront.

It is important that the Wayfinding technology Dewey Library adopts is suited to the user's needs. Therefore, it is significant to consider technologies that can cater to a wide array of user needs and user’s ability to interact with technologies. Furthermore, new and emerging interactive methods of wayfinding technology are being developed that allow users to bypass the needs of using the traditional keyboard.


1.Murphy, J 2011, Handheld Librarians - Murphy Handheld Tech, Handheld Reference, Routledge, London. Available from: ProQuest Ebook Central; p. 108.

2. Enis, M. 2016 ‘Growing mobile: As smartphones become ubiquitous, libraries should prepare to fight app fatigue and consider revisiting wayfinding and augmented reality’, Library Journal, vol. 141, no. 14, p.41.

3. Robinson, C.M & Reid, R 2007, ‘Do Academic Enquiry Services Scare Students?’, Reference Services Review, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 24-28.