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Project Overview - Building  Interaction Techniques for Immersive Projection Technology (IPT) Systems

Contents

Abstract

Overall Aims And Objectives

Phases

Workplan/Schedule  

Abstract

CAVE-like display systems (collectively known as Immersive Projection Technology, or IPT displays) are rapidly replacing head-mounted displays (HMD) as the display of choice in applications that benefit from a high level of immersion. We propose an in-depth study of interaction within IPT systems, and argue that basing interaction on techniques developed for other types of immersive systems is a flawed approach. We distinguish between three common situations of use of an IPT: a) single-user, b) groups of co-located users and c) geographically distributed users collaborating in a shared virtual environment (see figure 1 below). Through a series of design and experimental phases we will demonstrate interaction techniques customised for these usage scenarios. The results of this project will be relevant for all developers, engineers and scientists who anticipate prototyping applications on next-generation immersive systems. We plan to make the systems we develop available for common use.
Figure 1 : Three use scenarios for IPT systems

Background

CAVETM -like display systems (collectively known as Immersive Projection Technology, or IPT displays) are rapidly replacing head-mounted displays (HMD) as the display of choice in applications that benefit from a high level of immersion. Because of the relative novelty of IPTs, low-level user interaction with these displays has not been studied in depth. In the project proposal we argued that interaction with IPTs needed to be studied independently because there were obvious differences between HMDs and IPTs. Through a series of experiments, the project has successfully shown that there is indeed a significant difference between the two situations, and we have made progress in establishing techniques that better support the IPT situation.

 

Figure 1 : Three use scenarios for IPT systems



The background to this research is the growing use of IPT systems in university and commercial contexts [23]. Relatively little is known about design and engineering trade-offs in selecting a particular type of IVE system [17], or the interaction techniques that underpin the applications. Two of the field's many "hot open challenges" are choosing the appropriate display for the task and interacting efficiently within the virtual environment [3]. One key difference between HMDs and IPTs, is that IPTs are often used in small group situations, with one main "pilot", a demonstrator or assistant, and a group of onlookers. In this situation, standard 3D interaction techniques can be confusing for anyone except the pilot.

Overall Aims and Objectives  

React/Interact aims to develop advanced user-interface techniques for IPT systems. Evaluation of the utility of these interfaces will address both individual usability and "group usability". Group usability refers to the ability of co-located and distributed collaborators to comprehend the intentions and actions of the user. The original objectives of the project were three-fold:

1. To develop a stable, flexible interaction infrastructure based upon a mature Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) toolkit  (See Phase 0)

2. To design and implement a toolkit of specialised interaction techniques to support the single-user, co-located group and distributed group within an Immersive Projection Technology (IPT) system (see Figure 1 above) (See Phases 1,2,3).

3. To carry out a series of three evaluative experiments in order to determine the most appropriate interaction metaphors for each context of use of an IPT (See Phases 1,2,3).

Because of forces external to the project we were able to achieve Objective 1 earlier than expected. We thus were able to add a further objective:

1a. To develop a stable, flexible interaction infrastructure based upon a mature CVE toolkit 1b. To develop an experimental platform based upon Open Source software. (See Phase 0).

 

 

Phases

The above objectives will be realized through four distinct project phases :-

Phase 0  - initial CVE infrastructure - Development of a stable, flexible interaction infrastructure based upon a mature CVE toolkit

Phase 1 Design and Analysis of Interaction Metaphors for the Single User Implement set of common HMD interaction techniques. Run experiments to compare and contrast HMD and IPT Technology.

Phase 2 - Design and Analysis of Interaction Metaphors for the Co-located Group - Design and Implement new Interaction techniques. Run Experiments to explore utility of new techniques in co-located group situation.

Phase 3 - Design and Analysis of Interaction Metaphors for the Distributed Group - Design and Implement new Interaction techniques. Run Experiments to explore utility of new techniques in distributed group situation.

 

Workpackages and Milestones

Month beginning
Phase  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
1 - Initial CVE Infrastructure      
1 - Design and Analysis of Interaction Metaphors for the Single User        
2 - Design and Analysis of Interaction Metaphors for the Co-located Group        
3 - Design and Analysis of Interaction Metaphors for the Distributed Group