Most contemporary Virtual Reality (VR) experiences are made for standing users. However, when a user is lying down---either by choice or necessity---it is unclear how they can walk around, dodge obstacles, or grab distant objects. We rotate the virtual coordinate space to study the movement requirements and user experience of using VR while lying down. Fourteen experienced VR users engaged with various popular VR applications for 40 minutes in a study using a think-aloud protocol and semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of captured videos and interviews reveals that using VR while lying down is comfortable and usable and that the virtual perspective produces a potent illusion of standing up. However, commonplace movements in VR are surprisingly difficult when lying down, and using alternative interactions is fatiguing and hampers performance. To conclude, we discuss design opportunities to tackle the most significant challenges and to create new experiences.
Collaborative Mixed Reality (MR) systems that help extend expertise for physical tasks to remote environments often situate experts in an immersive view of the task environment to bring the collaboration closer to collocated settings. In this paper, we design UnMapped, an alternative interface for remote experts that combines a live 3D view of the active space within the novice's environment with a static 3D recreation of the expert's own workspace to leverage their existing spatial memories within it. We evaluate the impact of this approach on single and repeated use of collaborative MR systems for remote guidance through a comparative study. Our results indicate that despite having a limited understanding of the novice's environment, using an UnMapped interface increased performance and communication efficiency while reducing experts' task load. We also outline the various affordances of providing remote experts with a familiar and spatially-stable environment to assist novices.
Whole-body movements enhance the presence and enjoyment of Virtual Reality (VR) experiences. However, using large gestures is often uncomfortable and impossible in confined spaces (e.g., public transport). We introduce FingerMapper, mapping small-scale finger motions onto virtual arms and hands to enable whole-body virtual movements in VR. In a first target selection study (n=13) comparing FingerMapper to hand tracking and ray-casting, we found that FingerMapper can significantly reduce physical motions and fatigue while having a similar degree of precision. In a consecutive study (n=13), we compared FingerMapper to hand tracking inside a confined space (the front passenger seat of a car). The results showed participants had significantly higher perceived safety and fewer collisions with FingerMapper while preserving a similar degree of presence and enjoyment as hand tracking. Finally, we present three example applications demonstrating how FingerMapper could be applied for locomotion and interaction for VR in confined spaces.
Creating highly realistic Virtual Reality (VR) bicycle experiences can be time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, it is unclear what hardware parts are necessary to design a bicycle simulator and whether a bicycle is needed at all. In this paper, we investigated cycling fidelity and control of VR bicycle simulators. For this, we developed and evaluated three cycling simulators: (1) cycling without a bicycle (bikeless), (2) cycling on a fixed (stationary) and (3) moving bicycle (tandem) with four levels of control (no control, steering, pedaling, and steering + pedaling). To evaluate all combinations of fidelity and control, we conducted a controlled experiment (N = 24) in indoor and outdoor settings. We found that the bikeless setup provides the highest feeling of safety, while the tandem leads to the highest realism without increasing motion sickness. Moreover, we discovered that bicycles are not essential for cycling in VR.
Virtual reality (VR) users are often around bystanders, i.e. people in the real world the VR user may want to interact with. To facilitate bystander-VR user interactions, technology-mediated awareness systems have been introduced to increase a user’s awareness of bystanders. However, while prior works have found effective means of facilitating bystander-VR user interactions, it is unclear when and why one awareness system should be used over another. We reviewed, and selected, a breadth of bystander awareness systems from the literature and investigated their usability, and how they could be holistically used together to support varying awareness needs across 14 bystander-VR user interactions. Our results demonstrate VR users do not manage bystander awareness based solely on the usability of awareness systems but rather on the demands of social context weighted against desired immersion in VR (something existing evaluations fail to capture) and show the need for socially intelligent bystander awareness systems.
Human memory has notable limitations (e.g., forgetting) which have necessitated a variety of memory aids (e.g., calendars). As we grow closer to mass adoption of everyday Extended Reality (XR), which is frequently leveraging perceptual limitations (e.g., redirected walking), it becomes pertinent to consider how XR could leverage memory limitations (forgetting, distorting, persistence) to induce memory manipulations. As memories highly impact our self-perception, social interactions, and behaviors, there is a pressing need to understand XR Memory Manipulations (XRMMs). We ran three speculative design workshops (n=12), with XR and memory researchers creating 48 XRMM scenarios. Through thematic analysis, we define XRMMs, present a framework of their core components and reveal three classes (at encoding, pre-retrieval, at retrieval). Each class differs in terms of technology (AR, VR) and impact on memory (influencing quality of memories, inducing forgetting, distorting memories). We raise ethical concerns and discuss opportunities of perceptual and memory manipulations in XR.