Pair-learning is beneficial for learning outcome, motivation, and social presence, and so is virtual reality (VR) by increasing immersion, engagement, motivation, and interest of students. Nevertheless, there is a research gap if the benefits of pair-learning and VR can be combined. Furthermore, it is not clear which influence it has if only one or both peers use VR. To investigate these aspects, we implemented two types of VR pair-learning systems, a symmetric system with both peers using VR and an asymmetric system with one using a tablet. In a user study (N=46), the symmetric system statistically significantly provided higher presence, immersion, player experience, and lower intrinsic cognitive load, which are all important for learning. Symmetric and asymmetric systems performed equally well regarding learning outcome, highlighting that both are valuable learning systems. We used these findings to define guidelines on how to design co-located VR pair-learning applications, including characteristics for symmetric and asymmetric systems.
Cross-reality systems empower users to transition along the reality-virtuality continuum or collaborate with others experiencing different manifestations of it. However, prototyping these systems is challenging, as it requires sophisticated technical skills, time, and often expensive hardware. We present VRception, a concept and toolkit for quick and easy prototyping of cross-reality systems. By simulating all levels of the reality-virtuality continuum entirely in Virtual Reality, our concept overcomes the asynchronicity of realities, eliminating technical obstacles. Our VRception Toolkit leverages this concept to allow rapid prototyping of cross-reality systems and easy remixing of elements from all continuum levels. We replicated six cross-reality papers using our toolkit and presented them to their authors. Interviews with them revealed that our toolkit sufficiently replicates their core functionalities and allows quick iterations. Additionally, remote participants used our toolkit in pairs to collaboratively implement prototypes in about eight minutes that they would have otherwise expected to take days.
"Virtual-Physical Perceptual Manipulations'' (VPPMs) such as redirected walking and haptics expand the user's capacity to interact with Virtual Reality (VR) beyond what would ordinarily physically be possible. VPPMs leverage knowledge of the limits of human perception to effect changes in the user's physical movements, becoming able to (perceptibly and imperceptibly) nudge their physical actions to enhance interactivity in VR. We explore the risks posed by the malicious use of VPPMs. First, we define, conceptualize and demonstrate the existence of VPPMs. Next, using speculative design workshops, we explore and characterize the threats/risks posed, proposing mitigations and preventative recommendations against the malicious use of VPPMs. Finally, we implement two sample applications to demonstrate how existing VPPMs could be trivially subverted to create the potential for physical harm. This paper aims to raise awareness that the current way we apply and publish VPPMs can lead to malicious exploits of our perceptual vulnerabilities.
We performed a mixed-design study with 56 participants to compare the effect of horizontal FOV (HFOV) and vertical FOV (VFOV) on egocentric distance perception in four different realistic virtual environments (VEs). We also compared VE attributes of indoor/outdoor and cluttered/uncluttered. The participants blind-walked towards four different targets at 3m, 4m, 5m, and 6m distance while wearing a backpack computer and a wide FOV head-mounted display (HMD). The combinations of 165°, 110° and 45° HFOVs, and 110° and 35° VFOVs was simulated in the same HMD. The results indicated more accurate distance judgement with larger HFOV with no significant effect of VFOV. More accurate distance judgement in indoor VEs compared to outdoor VEs was observed. Also, participants judged distances more accurately in cluttered environments versus uncluttered environments. These results highlight that the environment is important in distance-critical VR applications and wider HFOV should be considered for an improved distance judgment.