Enhanced Auditoriums for Attending Talks in Social Virtual Reality

Tim Weissker, Leander Pieters, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen
Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’23)

Replicating traditional auditorium layouts for attending talks in social virtual reality often results in poor visibility of the presentation and a reduced feeling of being there together with others. Motivated by the use case of academic conferences, we therefore propose to display miniature representations of the stage close to the viewers for enhanced presentation visibility as well as group table arrangements for enhanced social co-watching. We conducted an initial user study with 12 participants in groups of three to evaluate the influence of these ideas on audience experience. Our results confirm the hypothesized positive effects of both enhancements and show that their combination was particularly appreciated by audience members. Our results therefore strongly encourage us to rethink conventional auditorium layouts in social virtual reality.

Gaining the High Ground: Teleportation to Mid-Air Targets in Immersive Virtual Environments

Tim Weissker, Pauline Bimberg, Aalok Shashidhar Gokhale, Torsten Wolfgang Kuhlen, Bernd Fröhlich
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics

Most prior teleportation techniques in virtual reality are bound to target positions in the vicinity of selectable scene objects. In this paper, we present three adaptations of the classic teleportation metaphor that enable the user to travel to mid-air targets as well. Inspired by related work on the combination of teleports with virtual rotations, our three techniques differ in the extent to which elevation changes are integrated into the conventional target selection process. Elevation can be specified either simultaneously, as a connected second step, or separately from horizontal movements. A user study with 30 participants indicated a trade-off between the simultaneous method leading to the highest accuracy and the two-step method inducing the lowest task load as well as receiving the highest usability ratings. The separate method was least suitable on its own but could serve as a complement to one of the other approaches. Based on these findings and previous research, we define initial design guidelines for mid-air navigation techniques.

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