Empathic Computing is a research field that aims to use technology to create deeper shared understanding or empathy between people. At the same time, Mixed Reality (MR) technology provides an immersive experience that can make an ideal interface for collaboration. In this paper, we present some of our research into how MR technology can be applied to creating Empathic Computing experiences. This includes exploring how to share gaze in a remote collaboration between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) environments, using physiological signals to enhance collaborative VR, and supporting interaction through eye-gaze in VR. Early outcomes indicate that as we design collaborative interfaces to enhance empathy between people, this could also benefit the personal experience of the individual interacting with the interface.
Eye tracking technology in a head-mounted display has undergone rapid advancement in recent years, making it possible for researchers to explore new interaction techniques using natural eye movements. This paper explores three novel eye-gaze-based interaction techniques: (1) Duo-Reticles, eye-gaze selection based on eye-gaze and inertial reticles, (2) Radial Pursuit, cluttered-object selection that takes advantage of smooth pursuit, and (3) Nod and Roll, head-gesture-based interaction based on the vestibulo-ocular reflex. In an initial user study, we compare each technique against a baseline condition in a scenario that demonstrates its strengths and weaknesses.
Game balancing can be used to compensate for differences in players’ skills, in particular in games where players compete against each other. It can help providing the right level of challenge and hence enhance engagement. However, there is a lack of understanding of game balancing design and how different game adjustments affect player engagement. This understanding is important for the design of balanced physical games. In this paper we report on how altering the game equipment in a digitally augmented table tennis game, such as the table size and bat-head size statically and dynamically, can affect game balancing and player engagement. We found these adjustments enhanced player engagement compared to the no-adjustment condition. The understanding of how the adjustments impacted on player engagement helped us to derive a set of balancing strategies to facilitate engaging game experiences. We hope that this understanding can contribute to improve physical activity experiences and encourage people to get engaged in physical activity.
According to previous research, head mounted displays (HMDs) and head worn cameras (HWCs) are useful for remote collaboration. These systems can be especially helpful for remote assistance on physical tasks, when a remote expert can see the workspace of the local user and provide feedback. However, a HWC often has a wide field of view and so it may be difficult to know exactly where the local user is looking. In this chapter we explore how head mounted eye-tracking can be used to convey gaze cues to a remote collaborator. We describe two prototypes developed that integrate an eye-tracker with a HWC and see-through HMD, and results from user studies conducted with the systems. Overall, we found that showing gaze cues on a shared video appears to be better than just providing the video on its own, and combining gaze and pointing cues is the most effective interface for remote collaboration among the conditions tested. We also discuss the limitations of this work and present directions for future research.
Attention redirection trials were carried out using a wearable interface incorporating auditory and visual cues. Visual cues were delivered via the screen on the Recon Jet – a wearable computer resembling a pair of glasses – while auditory cues were delivered over a bone conduction headset. Cueing conditions included the delivery of individual cues, both auditory and visual, and in combination with each other. Results indicate that the use of an auditory cue drastically decreases target acquisition times. This is true especially for targets that fall outside the visual field of view. While auditory cues showed no difference when paired with any of the visual cueing conditions for targets within the field of view of the user, for those outside the field of view a significant improvement in performance was observed. The static visual cue paired with the binaurally spatialised, dynamic auditory cue appeared to provide the best performance in comparison to any other cueing conditions. In the absence of a visual cue, the binaurally spatialised, dynamic auditory cue performed the best.
Preliminary results from an on-going experiment exploring the localisation accuracy of a binaurally processed source displayed via a bone conduction headset are described. These results appear to point to decreased localisation accuracy in the horizontal plane when the vertical component is introduced. There also appears to be a significant compression in the area directly in front of the observer ± 15° in elevation from 0°. This suggests that participants tended to localise stimuli presented at elevations greater than and less than ± 30° within a 30° ‘window’ extending 15° vertically either above or below the horizontal plane defined by the 0° azimuth. The results gathered until now suggest that binaural spatialisation over a bone conduction headset can also reproduce the perception of an elevated source to an acceptable degree of accuracy.
This paper explores different visual interfaces for sharing comments on a social live video streaming platforms. So far, comments are displayed separately from the video making it hard to relate the comments to event in the video. In this work we investigate an Augmented Reality (AR) interface displaying comments directly on the streamed live video. Our described prototype allows remote spectators to perceive the streamed live video with different interfaces for displaying the comments. We conducted a user study to compare different ways of visualising comments and found that users prefer having comments in the AR view rather than on a separate list. We discuss the implications of this research and directions for future work.
We present a Mixed Reality system for remote collaboration using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets with external depth cameras attached. By wirelessly sharing a 3D point-cloud data of a local workers’ workspace with a remote helper, and sharing the remote helper’s hand gestures back to the local worker, the remote helper is able to assist the worker to perform manual tasks.Displaying the point-cloud video in a conventional way, such as a static front view in VR headsets, does not provide helpers with sufficient understanding of the spatial relationships between their hands and the remote surroundings. In contrast, we propose a Mixed Reality (MR) system that shares with the remote helper, not only 3D captured environment data but also real-time orientation info of the worker’s viewpoint. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the usability of the system, and we found that extra synchronized orientation data can make collaborators feel more connected spatially and mentally.
In this paper we report on a user study in a simulated environment that compares three types of Augmented Reality (AR) displays for assisting with car navigation: Heads Up Display (HUD), Head Mounted Display (HMD) and Heads Down Display (HDD). The virtual cues shown on each of the interface were the same, but there was a significant difference in driver behaviour and preference between interfaces. Overall, users performed better and preferred the HUD over the HDD, and the HMD was ranked lowest. These results have implications for people wanting to use AR cues for car navigation.
Operating forklifts in warehouses is becoming an increasingly difficult task due to higher shelves and narrower aisles. In this paper we explore how Augmented Reality (AR) can aid forklift operators in performing their pallet racking and pick up tasks by superimposing virtual depth cues over the real world camera view. We developed a prototype interface, and evaluated it using a remote controlled toy forklift and a motion tracking. We measured the participant’s performance on representative pallet handling tasks, finding a significant difference in the performance of participants using AR depth cues. The results show that AR could offer a novel, simple and efficient solution for the problems faced by forklift operators while performing pallet handling.