skip to main content

Title: The physical-virtual table: exploring the effects of a virtual human's physical influence on social interaction
In this paper, we investigate the effects of the physical influence of a virtual human (VH) in the context of face-to-face interaction in augmented reality (AR). In our study, participants played a tabletop game with a VH, in which each player takes a turn and moves their own token along the designated spots on the shared table. We compared two conditions as follows: the VH in the virtual condition moves a virtual token that can only be seen through AR glasses, while the VH in the physical condition moves a physical token as the participants do; therefore the VH’s token can be seen even in the periphery of the AR glasses. For the physical condition, we designed an actuator system underneath the table. The actuator moves a magnet under the table which then moves the VH’s physical token over the surface of the table. Our results indicate that participants felt higher co-presence with the VH in the physical condition, and participants assessed the VH as a more physical entity compared to the VH in the virtual condition. We further observed transference effects when participants attributed the VH’s ability to move physical objects to other elements in the real world. Also, the VH’s physical influence improved participants’ overall experience with the VH. We discuss potential explanations for the findings and implications more » for future shared AR tabletop setups. « less
; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
24th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
1 to 11
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. In a social context where two or more interlocutors interact with each other in the same space, one’s sense of copresence with the others is an important factor for the quality of communication and engagement in the interaction. Although augmented reality (AR) technology enables the superposition of virtual humans (VHs) as interlocutors in the real world, the resulting sense of copresence is usually far lower than with a real human interlocutor. In this paper, we describe a human-subject study in which we explored and investigated the effects that subtle multi-modal interaction between the virtual environment and the real world, where a VH and human participants were co-located, can have on copresence. We compared two levels of gradually increased multi-modal interaction: (i) virtual objects being affected by real airflow as commonly experienced with fans in summer, and (ii) a VH showing awareness of this airflow. We chose airflow as one example of an environmental factor that can noticeably affect both the real and virtual worlds, and also cause subtle responses in interlocutors.We hypothesized that our two levels of treatment would increase the sense of being together with the VH gradually, i.e., participants would report higher copresence with airflow influence than withoutmore »it, and the copresence would be even higher when the VH shows awareness of the airflow. The statistical analysis with the participant-reported copresence scores showed that there was an improvement of the perceived copresence with the VH when both the physical–virtual interactivity via airflow and the VH’s awareness behaviors were present together. As the considered environmental factors are directed at the VH, i.e., they are not part of the direct interaction with the real human, they can provide a reasonably generalizable approach to support copresence in AR beyond the particular use case in the present experiment.« less
  2. The goal of this study was to evaluate driver risk behavior in response to changes in their risk perception inputs, specifically focusing on the effect of augmented visual representation technologies. This experiment was conducted for the purely real-driving scenario, establishing a baseline by which future, augmented visual representation scenarios can be compared. Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) simulation technologies have rapidly improved over the last three decades to where, today, they are widely used and more heavily relied upon than before, particularly in the areas of training, research, and design. The resulting utilization of these capabilities has proven simulation technologies to be a versatile and powerful tool. Virtual immersion, however, introduces a layer of abstraction and safety between the participant and the designed artifact, which includes an associated risk compensation. Quantifying and modeling the relationship between this risk compensation and levels of virtual immersion is the greater goal of this project. This study focuses on the first step, which is to determine the level of risk perception for a purely real environment for a specific man-machine system - a ground vehicle – operated in a common risk scenario – traversing a curve at high speeds.more »Specifically, passengers are asked to assess whether the vehicle speed within a constant-radius curve is perceived as comfortable. Due to the potential for learning effects to influence risk perception, the experiment was split into two separate protocols: the latent response protocol and the learned response protocol. The latent response protocol applied to the first exposure of an experimental condition to the subject. It consisted of having the subjects in the passenger seat assess comfort or discomfort within a vehicle that was driven around a curve at a randomlychosen value among a selection of test speeds; subjects were asked to indicate when they felt uncomfortable by pressing a brake pedal that was instrumented to alert the driver. Next, the learned response protocol assessed the subjects for repeated exposures but allowing subjects to use brake and throttle pedals to indicate if they wanted to go faster or slower; the goal was to allow subjects to iterate toward their maximum comfortable speed. These pedals were instrumented to alert the driver who responded accordingly. Both protocols were repeated for a second curve with a different radius. Questionnaires were also administered after each trial that addressed the subjective perception of risk and provided a means to substantiate the measured risk compensation behavior. The results showed that, as expected, the latent perception of risk for a passenger traversing a curve was higher than the learned perception for successive exposures to the same curve; in other words, as drivers ‘learned’ a curve, they were more comfortable with higher speeds. Both the latent and learned speeds provide a suitable metric by which to compare future replications of this experiment at different levels of virtual immersion. Correlations were found between uncomfortable subject responses and the yaw acceleration of the vehicle. Additional correlation of driver discomfort was found to occur at specific locations on the curves. The yaw acceleration is a reflection of the driver’s ability to maintain a steady steering input, whereas the location on the curve was found to correlate with variations in the lane-markings and environmental cues.« less
  3. Virtual content into a real environment. There are many factors that can affect the perceived physicality and co-presence of virtual entities, including the hardware capabilities, the fidelity of the virtual behaviors, and sensory feedback associated with the interactions. In this paper, we present a study investigating participants’ perceptions and behaviors during a time-limited search task in close proximity with virtual entities in AR. In particular, we analyze the effects of (i) visual conflicts in the periphery of an optical see-through head-mounted display, a Microsoft HoloLens, (ii) overall lighting in the physical environment, and (iii) multimodal feedback based on vibrotactile transducers mounted on a physical platform. Our results show significant benefits of vibrotactile feedback and reduced peripheral lighting for spatial and social presence, and engagement. We discuss implications of these effects for AR applications.
  4. This paper investigates a concept called Virtual Ability Simulation (VAS) for people with disability due to Multiple Sclerosis (MS), in a virtual reality (VR) environment. In a VAS people with a disability perform tasks that are made easier in the virtual environment (VE) compared to the real world. We hypothesized that putting people with disabilities in a VAS will increase confidence and enable more efficient task completion. To investigate this hypothesis, we conducted a within-subjects experiment in which participants performed a virtual task called ''kick the ball'' in two different conditions: a no gain condition (i.e., same difficulty as in the real world) and a rotational gain condition (i.e., physically easier than the real world but visually the same). The results from our study suggest that VAS increased participants' confidence which in turn enables them to perceive the difficulty of the same task easier.
  5. Sedentary behavior is prevalent in older adults. Older adults often underutilize public parks for exercising because the parks do not support their needs and preferences. Engaging older adults on the redesign of parks may help promote active lifestyles. The objectives of this pilot study were to evaluate (1) the effects of wearing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) glasses on balance; (2) the effects of different virtual walls separating the walking trail from the roadway on older adults’ gait, and (3) the preferences of the participants regarding wall design and other features. The participants were ten older adults (68 ± 5 years) who lived within two miles from the park. Balance and gait were assessed using a force plate and an instrumented mat. It was feasible to use AR with older adults in the park to evaluate features for redesign. Motion sickness was not an issue when using AR glasses, but balance was affected when wearing VR goggles. The area of postural sway increased approximately 25% when wearing AR glasses, and it increased by close to 70% when wearing VR goggles compared to no glasses. This difference is clinically relevant; however, we did not have enough power to identify the differencesmore »as statistically significant because of the small sample size and large variability. Different walls did not significantly affect the participants’ gait either because they did not alter the way they walked or because the holograms were insufficiently realistic to cause changes. The participants preferred a transparent wall rather than tall or short solid walls to separate the park from the roadway.« less