Augmenting virtual reality telepresence experience using self-avatar
1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Computer Science
|PDF Full Text (PDF, 10.2 MB)
Oulu : N. Arora,
|Master's thesis (tech)
Telepresence refers to a set of techniques that creates the illusion of being present at a remote location to a person. Telepresence may also include the ability to interact with the remote environment, including communication with people physically present at the remote location. In this research, the introduction of a virtual body, which mirrors the user’s own movement in real-time, in a telepresence scenario and its effect on the illusion of presence is studied. Earlier research works have shown the effectiveness of having a virtual body in simulated environments, for example, games. In this study, the user embodies a virtual body that is present in a simulated environment, surrounded by a sphere where footage streamed from a 360-degree camera, mounted at a different spot, is being projected. This gives the user a sense of being present in a real location and having a body which they can control.
The study is conducted on 20 participants, where the participants put on a Head-Mounted Display showing live footage from a 360-degree camera while having a real-time conversation with a confederate present near the camera. They are then surveyed about their experience, both with and without a virtual body to determine if having a virtual body yielded any improvement on the illusion of presence. Although 18 of the 20 participants preferred the experience with a body, it did not necessarily increase their sense of presence when compared with the scores given when there is no visible body. These results implicate a low sample size, not enough to draw any meaningful conclusions.
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