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Creators/Authors contains: "Borst, Christoph W."

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  1. Abstract

    Advances in wearable technologies provide the opportunity to monitor many physiological variables continuously. Stress detection has gained increased attention in recent years, mainly because early stress detection can help individuals better manage health to minimize the negative impacts of long-term stress exposure. This paper provides a unique stress detection dataset created in a natural working environment in a hospital. This dataset is a collection of biometric data of nurses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Studying stress in a work environment is complex due to many social, cultural, and psychological factors in dealing with stressful conditions. Therefore, we captured both the physiological data and associated context pertaining to the stress events. We monitored specific physiological variables such as electrodermal activity, Heart Rate, and skin temperature of the nurse subjects. A periodic smartphone-administered survey also captured the contributing factors for the detected stress events. A database containing the signals, stress events, and survey responses is publicly available on Dryad.

  2. We present and evaluate methods to redirect desktop inputs such as eye gaze and mouse pointing to a VR-embedded avatar. We use these methods to build a novel interface that allows a desktop user to give presentations in remote VR meetings such as conferences or classrooms. Recent work on such VR meetings suggests a substantial number of users continue to use desktop interfaces due to ergonomic or technical factors. Our approach enables desk-top and immersed users to better share virtual worlds, by allowing desktop-based users to have more engaging or present "cross-reality" avatars. The described redirection methods consider mouse pointing and drawing for a presentation, eye-tracked gaze towards audience members, hand tracking for gesturing, and associated avatar motions such as head and torso movement. A study compared different levels of desktop avatar control and headset-based control. Study results suggest that users consider the enhanced desktop avatar to be human-like and lively and draw more attention than a conventionally animated desktop avatar, implying that our interface and methods could be useful for future cross-reality remote learning tools.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2023
  3. Educational VR may help students by being more engaging or improving retention compared to traditional learning methods. However, a student can get distracted in a VR environment due to stress, mind-wandering, unwanted noise, external alerts, etc. Student eye gaze can be useful for detecting these distraction. We explore deep-learning-based approaches to detect distractions from gaze data. We designed an educational VR environment and trained three deep learning models (CNN, LSTM, and CNN-LSTM) to gauge a student’s distraction level from gaze data, using both supervised and unsupervised learning methods. Our results show that supervised learning provided better test accuracy compared to unsupervised learning methods.
  4. We study student experiences of social VR for remote instruction, with students attending class from home. The study evaluates student experiences when: (1) viewing remote lectures with VR headsets, (2) viewing with desktop displays, (3) presenting with VR headsets, and (4) reflecting on several weeks of VR-based class attendance. Students rated factors such as presence, social presence, simulator sickness, communication methods, avatar and application features, and tradeoffs with other remote approaches. Headset-based viewing and presenting produced higher presence than desktop viewing, but had less-clear impact on overall experience and on most social presence measures. We observed higher attentional allocation scores for headset-based presenting than for both viewing methods. For headset VR, there were strong negative correlations between simulator sickness (primarily reported as general discomfort) and ratings of co-presence, overall experience, and some other factors. This suggests that comfortable users experienced substantial benefits of headset viewing and presenting, but others did not. Based on the type of virtual environment, student ratings, and comments, reported discomfort appears related to physical ergonomic factors or technical problems. Desktop VR appears to be a good alternative for uncomfortable students, and students report that they prefer a mix of headset and desktop viewing. We additionally providemore »insight from students and a teacher about possible improvements for VR class technology, and we summarize student opinions comparing viewing and presenting in VR to other remote class technologies.« less
  5. We demonstrate a system that sequences teacher avatar clips considering student eye tracking. We are investigating subjective suitability of avatar responses to student misunderstandings or inattention. Three different avatar behaviors are demonstrated to allow a teacher pedagogical agent to behave more appropriately to student attention or distraction. An in-game mobile device provides an experiment control mechanism for 2 levels of distractions.
  6. Drifting student attention is a common problem in educational environments. We demonstrate 8 attention-restoring visual cues for display when eye tracking detects that student attention shifts away from critical objects. These cues include novel aspects and variations of standard cues that performed well in prior work on visual guidance. Our cues are integrated into an offshore training system on an oil rig. While students participate in training on the oil rig, we can compare our various cues in terms of performance and student preference, while also observing the impact of eye tracking. We demonstrate experiment software with which users can compare various cues and tune selected parameters for visual quality and effectiveness.
  7. Virtual Reality (VR) headsets with embedded eye trackers are appearing as consumer devices (e.g. HTC Vive Eye, FOVE). These devices could be used in VR-based education (e.g., a virtual lab, a virtual field trip) in which a live teacher guides a group of students. The eye tracking could enable better insights into students’ activities and behavior patterns. For real-time insight, a teacher’s VR environment can display student eye gaze. These visualizations would help identify students who are confused/distracted, and the teacher could better guide them to focus on important objects. We present six gaze visualization techniques for a VR-embedded teacher’s view, and we present a user study to compare these techniques. The results suggest that a short particle trail representing eye trajectory is promising. In contrast, 3D heatmaps (an adaptation of traditional 2D heatmaps) for visualizing gaze over a short time span are problematic.