Mutual awareness of visual attention is crucial for successful collaboration. Previous research has explored various ways to represent visual attention, such as field-of-view visualizations and cursor visualizations based on eye-tracking, but these methods have limitations. Verbal communication is often utilized as a complementary strategy to overcome such disadvantages. This paper proposes a novel method that combines verbal communication with the Cone of Vision to improve gaze inference and mutual awareness in VR. We conducted a within-group study with pairs of participants who performed a collaborative analysis of data visualizations in VR. We found that our proposed method provides a better approximation of eye gaze than the approximation provided by head direction. Furthermore, we release the first collaborative head, eyes, and verbal behaviour dataset. The results of this study provide a foundation for investigating the potential of verbal communication as a tool for enhancing visual cues for joint attention.
The ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (https://chi2023.acm.org/)