Walkable Multi-User VR: Effects of Physical and Virtual Colocation

Iana Podkosova
Walkable Multi-User VR: Effects of Physical and Virtual Colocation
Supervisor: Hannes Kaufmann
Duration: 7

Information

Abstract

The research presented in this dissertation focuses on multi-user VR, where multiple immersed users navigate the virtual world by physically walking in a large tracking area. In such a setup, different combinations of user colocation within the physical and the virtual space are possible. We consider a setup to be multi-user if at least one of these two spaces is shared. The dissertation starts with the classification of combinations of physical and virtual colocation. Four such combinations are defined: colocated shared VR, colocated non-shared VR, distributed shared VR and shared VR with mixed colocation. The characteristics of each of these four setups are discussed and the resulting problems and research questions outlined. The dissertation continues with the description of ImmersiveDeck - a large-scale multi-user VR platform that enables navigation by walking and natural interaction. Then, four experiments on multi-user walkable VR developed with the use of ImmersiveDeck are described. The first two experiments are set in colocated non-shared VR where walking users share a tracking space while being immersed into separate virtual worlds. We investigate users´ mutual awareness in this setup and explore methods of preventing mutual collisions between walking users. The following two experiments study shared VR scenarios in situations of varied physical colocation. We investigate the effects that different modes of physical colocation have on locomotion, collision avoidance and proxemics patterns exhibited by walking users. The sense of copresence and social presence within the virtual world reported by users is investigated as well. The experiments in the colocated non-shared VR setup show that HMD-based VR can produce immersion so strong that users do not notice others being present in their immediate proximity, thus making collision prevention the task of utmost importance. In our proposed method of displaying notification avatars to prevent potential imminent collisions between colocated users, the suitability of a particular type of notification avatar was found to be dependent on the type of scenario experienced by users. The general result of the experiments in shared VR is that physical colocation affects locomotor and proxemics behavior of users as well as their subjective experience in terms of copresence. In particular, users are more cautious about possible collisions and more careful in their collision avoidance behavior in the colocated setup compared to the real environment. In the distributed setup, conventional collision avoidance is often abandoned. vi

Additional Files and Images

No additional files or images.

Weblinks

BibTeX

@phdthesis{podkosova-2019-MVR,
  title =      "Walkable Multi-User VR: Effects of Physical and Virtual
               Colocation",
  author =     "Iana Podkosova",
  year =       "2019",
  abstract =   "The research presented in this dissertation focuses on
               multi-user VR, where multiple  immersed users navigate the
               virtual world by physically walking in a large tracking
               area.  In such a setup, different combinations of user
               colocation within the physical and the  virtual space are
               possible. We consider a setup to be multi-user if at least
               one of these  two spaces is shared. The dissertation starts
               with the classification of combinations of  physical and
               virtual colocation. Four such combinations are defined:
               colocated shared VR,  colocated non-shared VR, distributed
               shared VR and shared VR with mixed colocation.  The
               characteristics of each of these four setups are discussed
               and the resulting problems  and research questions outlined.
                The dissertation continues with the description of
               ImmersiveDeck - a large-scale multi-user  VR platform that
               enables navigation by walking and natural interaction. Then,
               four  experiments on multi-user walkable VR developed with
               the use of ImmersiveDeck are  described.  The first two
               experiments are set in colocated non-shared VR where walking
               users share  a tracking space while being immersed into
               separate virtual worlds. We investigate users´  mutual
               awareness in this setup and explore methods of preventing
               mutual collisions  between walking users. The following two
               experiments study shared VR scenarios in  situations of
               varied physical colocation. We investigate the effects that
               different modes  of physical colocation have on locomotion,
               collision avoidance and proxemics patterns  exhibited by
               walking users. The sense of copresence and social presence
               within the virtual  world reported by users is investigated
               as well.  The experiments in the colocated non-shared VR
               setup show that HMD-based VR can  produce immersion so
               strong that users do not notice others being present in
               their  immediate proximity, thus making collision prevention
               the task of utmost importance. In  our proposed method of
               displaying notification avatars to prevent potential
               imminent  collisions between colocated users, the
               suitability of a particular type of notification avatar  was
               found to be dependent on the type of scenario experienced by
               users. The general  result of the experiments in shared VR
               is that physical colocation affects locomotor and  proxemics
               behavior of users as well as their subjective experience in
               terms of copresence.  In particular, users are more cautious
               about possible collisions and more careful in their 
               collision avoidance behavior in the colocated setup compared
               to the real environment. In  the distributed setup,
               conventional collision avoidance is often abandoned.  vi",
  address =    "Favoritenstrasse 9-11/E193-02, A-1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =     "Research Unit of Computer Graphics, Institute of Visual
               Computing and Human-Centered Technology, Faculty of
               Informatics, TU Wien ",
  keywords =   "virtual reality, multi-user VR",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2019/podkosova-2019-MVR/",
}