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Action Augmented Real Virtuality Design for Presence
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. (immersive interaction Lab (i2lab))ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3037-4244
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. Computer Engineering Department, Palestine Polytechnic University, Hebron 90100, Palestine.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. (immersive interaction Lab (i2lab))
2018 (English)In: IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems, ISSN 2379-8920, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 961-972Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses the important question of how to design a video teleconferencing setup to increase the experience of spatial and social presence. Traditional video teleconferencing setups are lacking in presenting the nonverbal behaviors that humans express in face-to-face communication, which results in decrease in presence-experience. In order to address this issue, we first present a conceptual framework of presence for video teleconferencing. We introduce a modern presence concept called real virtuality and propose a new way of achieving this based on body or artifact actions to increase the feeling of presence, and we named this concept presence through actions. Using this new concept, we present the design of a novel action-augmented real virtuality prototype that considers the challenges related to the design of an action prototype, action embodiment, and face representation. Our action prototype is a telepresence mechatronic robot (TEBoT), and action embodiment is through a head-mounted display (HMD). The face representation solves the problem of face occlusion introduced by the HMD. The novel combination of HMD, TEBoT, and face representation algorithm has been tested in a real video teleconferencing scenario for its ability to solve the challenges related to spatial and social presence. We have performed a user study where the invited participants were requested to experience our novel setup and to compare it with a traditional video teleconferencing setup. The results show that the action capabilities not only increase the feeling of spatial presence but also increase the feeling of social presence of a remote person among local collaborators.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 10, no 4, p. 961-972
Keywords [en]
Real virtuality, Virtual reality, Embodiment, Telepresence, Actions, Perception, Embodied telepresence system, Webrtc, Face occlusion, Face retrieval.
National Category
Signal Processing Computer Systems
Research subject
business data processing; Computerized Image Analysis
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138278DOI: 10.1109/TCDS.2018.2828865ISI: 000452636400012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138278DiVA, id: diva2:1133611
Available from: 2017-08-16 Created: 2017-08-16 Last updated: 2019-01-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Presence through actions: theories, concepts, and implementations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Presence through actions: theories, concepts, and implementations
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During face-to-face meetings, humans use multimodal information, including verbal information, visual information, body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal gestures. In contrast, during computer-mediated-communication (CMC), humans rely either on mono-modal information such as text-only, voice-only, or video-only or on bi-modal information by using audiovisual modalities such as video teleconferencing. Psychologically, the difference between the two lies in the level of the subjective experience of presence, where people perceive a reduced feeling of presence in the case of CMC. Despite the current advancements in CMC, it is still far from face-to-face communication, especially in terms of the experience of presence.

This thesis aims to introduce new concepts, theories, and technologies for presence design where the core is actions for creating presence. Thus, the contribution of the thesis can be divided into a technical contribution and a knowledge contribution. Technically, this thesis details novel technologies for improving presence experience during mediated communication (video teleconferencing). The proposed technologies include action robots (including a telepresence mechatronic robot (TEBoT) and a face robot), embodied control techniques (head orientation modeling and virtual reality headset based collaboration), and face reconstruction/retrieval algorithms. The introduced technologies enable action possibilities and embodied interactions that improve the presence experience between the distantly located participants. The novel setups were put into real experimental scenarios, and the well-known social, spatial, and gaze related problems were analyzed.

The developed technologies and the results of the experiments led to the knowledge contribution of this thesis. In terms of knowledge contribution, this thesis presents a more general theoretical conceptual framework for mediated communication technologies. This conceptual framework can guide telepresence researchers toward the development of appropriate technologies for mediated communication applications. Furthermore, this thesis also presents a novel strong concept – presence through actions - that brings in philosophical understandings for developing presence- related technologies. The strong concept - presence through actions is an intermediate-level knowledge that proposes a new way of creating and developing future 'presence artifacts'. Presence- through actions is an action-oriented phenomenological approach to presence that differs from traditional immersive presence approaches that are based (implicitly) on rationalist, internalist views.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2017. p. 172
Series
Digital Media Lab, ISSN 1652-6295 ; 22
Keywords
Presence, Immersion, Computer mediated communication, Strong concept, Phenomenology, Philosophy, Biologically inspired system, Neck robot, Head pose estimation, Embodied interaction, Virtual reality headset, Social presence, Spatial presence, Face reconstruction/retrieval, Telepresence system, Quality of interaction, Embodied telepresence system, Mona-Lisa gaze effect, eye-contact
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Computer Systems Communication Systems Signal Processing
Research subject
design; Computer Science; Computer Systems; Computerized Image Analysis
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138280 (URN)978-91-7601-730-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-10, Triple Helix, Samverkanshuset, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-08-21 Created: 2017-08-16 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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