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Cliff's notes on the IPT Workshop 18th - 22nd June

The IPT Workshop was held at UCL on the 18th - 22nd June with main contributions from UCL, Glasgow, Nottingham and Bristol. Two main areas of research were investigated - traversal across the mixed reality boundary to enter the IPT Reactor; and the technical arrangements for the Vee/Anna scenario.

The Bristol Wearable Group contributed a handheld device which enabled a user (Vee) to be tracked in the anteroom to the Reactor. This device also provided a basic map function to give Vee feedback on Anna's movements as well as Vee's tracked location in the room. Vee's coordinates were sent using 802.11 via Equip to the Reactor where her avatar was displayed. the location of Anna was sent back to Vee using the same channel. This was the first real use of Bristol's ultrasonic indoor location system.

An overview of the arrangements can be seen in Steve Benford's MiniMack Scenario.

On the last day of the workshop guests were invited to try out the Vee scenario. Video recordings were made of these user tests and these are catalogued below along with comments made about the effectiveness of the tracking:

Time   min:secs Tape 1 - "Holger's tape" My notes on tracking and Steve's images
00:00 - 05:00 Steve and Anthony give intro to Karen and Pedro
05:00 - 07:45 Karen in Reactor (poor quality)
07:45 - 09:20 Intro by Ian in anteroom
09:20 - 10:40 Pedro and Cliff in anteroom
10:40 - 17:24 Pedro's shared experience with Karen
17:24 - 21:00 Steve's intro to guests
21:00 - 25:00 Ian's intro to CityMack
25:00 - 29:00 Cliff's intro to Mack/anteroom and handheld
  • Phil has problems with map rotation - suggests automatic orientation
29:00 - 37:10 Phil's shared experience with Bill
  • Phil uses free hand as pointer (pointing is important!)
  • Problems with vertical stability
  • 35:00 "I'm sorry, I'm in the way" - Vee's avatar blocks Anna's view
  • Waving through window appreciated
  • Image: Vee's avatar in the Reactor
37:10 - 38:45 Phil and Bill emerge
38:45 - 45:30 Alan and Lesley establish communication/ share experience
  • More waving through window
  • Alan appears to be jumping (vertical stability again)
  • Compass errors observed (caused by tilt)
46:00 - 48:00 Cliff gives Nick intro to handheld etc
48:00 - 53:00 False start
53:00 - 62:15 Nick and Jackson's shared experience
  • Nick is spinning!
  • Nick absorbed by display (more interesting than real world).
  • Vertical movement fails to track properly (too fast)
  • 15deg threshold on compass movements too large
  • Image: Nick with Jornada handheld
Tape 2 - Poor quality and short - nothing of note
Tape 3 - "Sheep's tape"
00:00 - 03:15 Miscellaneous Reactor/anteroom/waiting area
03:15 - 06:15 Steve's intro to guests
06:15 - 09:45 Ian's intro to guests
09:45 - 15:30 Bill in Reactor
  • Vee is jerky
15:30 - 21:48 Bill and Phil's shared experience
  • Correlation of Vee's head and hand unnatural (need for pointer)
  • Height stable
  • Coincidence of camera image and avatar confirms tracking accuracy
  • Jerky quality of avatar adds interesting animation effect
  • "You're still jumping about all over the place" - "suits you, bunches"
21:48 - 24:20 Lesley in Reactor
24:20 - 26:00 Misc. outside Reactor
26:00 - 29:15 Lesley in Reactor
29:15 - 35:01 Misc. outside Reactor

Headline lessons learnt for the mobile user:

  1. Tracking in general seemed satisfactory BUT lots of problems with height. Either we need to fix Anna's height - presumably she usually will be standing on the floor; or algorithms need to be introduced to stabilise the height data.
  2. Pointing is a desirable feature. Most (if not all) the users tried to use the tracking device as a pointer. We should consider designing a separate device solely for pointing. It would require height tracking and orientation, however x/y position can be derived from the user's position.
  3. User Feedback provided by the 'map' requires further development. The user icons (triangles) were at best primitive, and automatic room/map orientation seems desirable. The possibility of providing Anna with a VRML display similar to Vee and Dub's is worth investigating.

This page last updated April 23, 2002
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