Virtual reality (VR) researchers struggle to conduct remote studies. Previous work has focused on working around limitations imposed by traditional crowdsourcing methods. However, the potential for leveraging social VR platforms for HCI evaluations is largely unexplored. These platforms have large VR-ready user populations, distributed synchronous virtual environments, and support for user-generated content. We demonstrate how social VR platforms can be used to practically and ethically produce valid research results by replicating two studies using one such platform (VRChat): a quantitative study on Fitts’ law and a qualitative study on tabletop collaboration. Our replication studies exhibited analogous results to the originals, indicating the research validity of this approach. Moreover, we easily recruited experienced VR users with their own hardware for synchronous, remote, and collaborative participation. We further provide lessons learned for future researchers experimenting using social VR platforms. This paper and all supplemental materials are available at osf.io/c2amz.
Current VR systems provide various text input methods that enable users to enter text efficiently with virtual keyboards. However, little attention has been paid to facilitate text revision during the VR text input process. We first summarized existing text revision solutions in current VR text input research and found that backspace is the only tool available for text revision with virtual keyboards with few mentioning designs for caret control. To systematically explore VR text revision designs, we presented a design space for VR text revision based on backspace and caret. With the proposed design space, we further analyzed the feasibility of the combined usage of backspace and caret by proposing and evaluating four VR text revision techniques. Outcomes of this research can provide a fundamental understanding of VR text revision solutions (with backspace and caret) and a comparable basis for evaluating future VR text revision techniques.
Head-Mounted Display based Virtual Reality is proliferating. However, Visually Induced Motion Sickness (VIMS), which prevents many from using VR without discomfort, bars widespread adoption. Prior work has shown that limiting the Field of View (FoV) can reduce VIMS at a cost of also reducing presence. Systems that dynamically adjust a user's FoV may be able to balance these concerns. To explore this idea, we present a technique for standard 360º video that shrinks FoVs only during VIMS inducing scenes. It uses Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping and peripheral optical flow to compute camera movements and reduces FoV during rapid motion or optical flow. A user study (N=23) comparing 360º video with unrestricted-FoVs (90º), reduced fixed-FoVs (40º) and dynamic-FoVs (40º-90º) revealed that dynamic-FoVs mitigate VIMS while maintaining presence. We close by discussing the user experience of dynamic-FoVs and recommendations for how they can help make VR comfortable and immersive for all.
Virtual reality (VR) is increasingly used in complex social and physical settings outside of the lab. However, not much is known about how these settings influence use, nor how to design for them. We analyse 233 YouTube videos of VR Fails to: (1) understand when breakdowns occur, and (2) reveal how the seams between VR use and the social and physical setting emerge. The videos show a variety of fails, including users flailing, colliding with surroundings, and hitting spectators. They also suggest causes of the fails, including fear, sensorimotor mismatches, and spectator participation. We use the videos as inspiration to generate design ideas. For example, we discuss more flexible boundaries between the real and virtual world, ways of involving spectators, and interaction designs to help overcome fear. Based on the findings, we further discuss the ‘moment of breakdown’ as an opportunity for designing engaging and enhanced VR experiences.
Extended Reality (XR) technology - such as virtual and augmented reality - is now widely used in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), social science and psychology experimentation. However, these experiments are predominantly deployed in-lab with a co-present researcher. Remote experiments, without co-present researchers, have not flourished, despite the success of remote approaches for non-XR investigations. This paper summarises findings from a 30-item survey of 46 XR researchers to understand perceived limitations and benefits of remote XR experimentation. Our thematic analysis identifies concerns common with non-XR remote research, such as participant recruitment, as well as XR-specific issues, including safety and hardware variability. We identify potential positive affordances of XR technology, including leveraging data collection functionalities builtin to HMDs (e.g. hand, gaze tracking) and the portability and reproducibility of an experimental setting. We suggest that XR technology could be conceptualised as an interactive technology and a capable data-collection device suited for remote experimentation.
In recent years, pass-through cameras have resurfaced as inclusions for virtual reality (VR) hardware. With modern cameras that now have increased resolution and frame rate, Video See-Through (VST) Head-Mounted Displays (HMD) can be used to provide an Augmented Reality (AR) experience. However, because users see their surroundings through video capture and HMD lenses, there is question surrounding how people perceive their environment with these devices. We conducted a user study with 26 participants to help understand if distance perception is altered when viewing surroundings with a VST HMD. Although previous work shows that distance estimation in VR with an HTC Vive is comparable to that in the real world, our results show that the inclusion of a ZED Mini pass-through camera causes a significant difference between normal, unrestricted viewing and that through a VST HMD.
Arguably one of the most important characteristics of virtual reality (VR) is its ability to induce higher feelings of presence. Still, research has remained inconclusive on how presence is affected by human factors such as emotion and agency. Here we adopt a novel design to investigate their effects by testing virtual environments inducing either happiness or fear, with or without user agency. Results from 121 participants showed that the dominant emotion induced by a virtual environment is positively correlated with presence. In addition, agency had a significant positive effect on presence and, furthermore, moderated the effect of emotion on presence. We show for the first time that the effects of emotion and agency on presence are not straightforward but they can be modelled by separating design factors from subjective measures. We discuss how these findings can explain seemingly conflicting results of related work and their implications for VR design.
Based on a systematic literature review of more than 300 papers published over the last 10 years, we provide indicators that the simulator sickness questionnaire (SSQ) is extensively used and widely accepted as a general discomfort measure in virtual reality (VR) research – although it actually only accounts for one category of symptoms. This results in important other categories (digital eye strain (DES) and ergonomics) being largely neglected. To contribute to a more comprehensive picture of discomfort in VR head-mounted displays, we further conducted an online study (N=352) on the severity and relevance of all three symptom categories. Most importantly, our results reveal that symptoms of simulator sickness are significantly less severe and of lower prevalence than those of DES and ergonomics. In light of these findings, we critically discuss the current use of SSQ as the only discomfort measure and propose a more comprehensive factor model that also includes DES and ergonomics.
Reading is a fundamental activity to obtain information both in the real and the digital world. Virtual reality (VR) allows novel approaches for users to view, read, and interact with a text. However, for efficient reading, it is necessary to understand how a text should be displayed in VR without impairing the VR experience. Therefore, we conducted a study with 18 participants to investigate text presentation type and location in VR. We compared world-fixed, edge-fixed, and head-fixed text locations. Texts were displayed using Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) or as a paragraph. We found that RSVP is a promising presentation type for reading short texts displayed in edge-fixed or head-fixed location in VR. The paragraph presentation type using world-fixed or edge-fixed location is promising for reading long text if movement in the virtual environment is not required. Insights from our study inform the design of reading interfaces for VR applications.
A compelling property of virtual reality is that it allows users to interact with objects as they would in the real world. However, such interactions are limited to space within reach. We present Poros, a system that allows users to rearrange space. After marking a portion of space, the distant marked space is mirrored in a nearby proxy. Thereby, users can arrange what is within their reachable space, making it easy to interact with multiple distant spaces as well as nearby objects. Proxies themselves become part of the scene and can be moved, rotated, scaled, or anchored to other objects. Furthermore, they can be used in a set of higher-level interactions such as alignment and action duplication. We show how Poros enables a variety of tasks and applications and also validate its effectiveness through an expert evaluation.
The VR community has introduced many object selection and manipulation techniques during the past two decades. Typically, they are empirically studied to establish their benefits over the state-of-the-art. However, the literature contains few guidelines on how to conduct such studies; standards developed for evaluating 2D interaction often do not apply. This lack of guidelines makes it hard to compare techniques across studies, to report evaluations consistently, and therefore to accumulate or replicate findings. To build such guidelines, we review 20 years of studies on VR object selection and manipulation. Based on the review, we propose recommendations for designing studies and a checklist for reporting them. We also identify research directions for improving evaluation methods and offer ideas for how to make studies more ecologically valid and rigorous.
Evaluating novel authentication systems is often costly and time-consuming. In this work, we assess the suitability of using Virtual Reality (VR) to evaluate the usability and security of real-world authentication systems. To this end, we conducted a replication study and built a virtual replica of CueAuth , a recently introduced authentication scheme, and report on results from: (1) a lab-based in-VR usability study (N=20) evaluating user performance; (2) an online security study (N=22) evaluating system's observation resistance through virtual avatars; and (3) a comparison between our results and those previously reported in the real-world evaluation. Our analysis indicates that VR can serve as a suitable test-bed for human-centred evaluations of real-world authentication schemes, but the used VR technology can have an impact on the evaluation. Our work is a first step towards augmenting the design and evaluation spectrum of authentication systems and offers ground work for more research to follow.