Mixed Reality is gaining interest as a platform for collaboration and focused work to a point where it may supersede current office settings in future workplaces. At the same time, we expect that interaction with physical objects and face-to-face communication will remain crucial for future work environments, which is a particular challenge in fully immersive Virtual Reality. In this work, we reconcile those requirements through a user's individual Asynchronous Reality, which enables seamless physical interaction across time. When a user is unavailable, e.g., focused on a task or in a call, our approach captures co-located or remote physical events in real-time, constructs a causality graph of co-dependent events, and lets immersed users revisit them at a suitable time in a causally accurate way. Enabled by our system AsyncReality, we present a workplace scenario that includes walk-in interruptions during a person's focused work, physical deliveries, and transient spoken messages. We then generalize our approach to a use-case agnostic concept and system architecture. We conclude by discussing the implications of an Asynchronous Reality for future offices.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (https://chi2022.acm.org/)