Awareness Model for Asymmetric Remote Collaboration in Mixed Reality

Abstract : Being able to collaborate remotely with other people can provide valuable capabilities in performing tasks that require multiple users to be achieved. Moreover, Mixed Reality (MR) technologies are great tools to develop new kinds of applications with more natural interactions and perception abilities compared to classical desktop setups. In this thesis, we propose to improve remote collaboration using these MR technologies that take advantages of our natural skills to perform tasks in 3D environments. In particular, we focus on asymmetrical aspects involved by these kind of collaboration: roles, point of view (PoV), devices and level of virtuality of the MR application. First, we focus on awareness issues and we propose a generic model able to accurately describe a collaborative MR application taking into account potential asymmetry dimensions. In order to address all these dimensions, we split our final model into two layers that separate real and virtual spaces for each user. In this model, each user can generate different kind of input and receive feedbacks with different meanings in order to maintain their own awareness of the shared Virtual Environment (VE). Then, we conduct an exploratory user study to explore the consequences of asymmetric PoVs and the involvement of users' representation in the level of awareness of others' collaborators. Second, we apply our findings to a remote guiding context that implies a remote guide to help an operator in performing a maintenance task. For this use case, we propose to the expert to use a Virtual Reality (VR) interface in order to help the operator through an Augmented Reality (AR) interface. We contribute to this field by enhancing the expert's perceptual abilities of the remote workspace as well as by providing more natural interactions to guide the operator through not intrusive guiding cues integrated to the real world. Last, we address an even more sensitive situation for awareness in remote collaboration that is virtual co-manipulation. It requires to target a perfect synchronization between collaborators in order to achieve the task efficiently. Thus, the system needs to provide appropriate feedbacks to maintain a high level of awareness, especially about what others are currently doing. In particular, we propose a hybrid co-manipulation technique, inspired from our previous remote guiding use case, that mixes virtual object and other's PoV manipulation in the same time.
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Morgan Le Chenechal. Awareness Model for Asymmetric Remote Collaboration in Mixed Reality. Computers and Society [cs.CY]. INSA de Rennes, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016ISAR0006⟩. ⟨tel-01392708⟩

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