Research Topic

Collaboration in Mixed-Reality

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Milgram & Kishino used the term mixed-reality to describe display systems that sit somewhere on a spectrum between producing a view of a real environment augmented with virtual items (augmented reality), and producing a view of a virtual environment augmented with real items (augmented virtuality). More ...

Milgram & Kishino used the term mixed-reality to describe display systems that sit somewhere on a spectrum between producing a view of a real environment augmented with virtual items (augmented reality), and producing a view of a virtual environment augmented with real items (augmented virtuality). More recently the term has come to mean the range of different augmented reality and virtual reality devices. This meaning doesn’t really draw out the subtleties of Milgram’s original definition of augmented virtuality, where a user in a virtual reality is seeing live information from the real world. This type of augmented virtuality requires live tracking or sensing data to be brought into the virtual reality system and represented to the user.

One application that emphasises this need for live data integration is collaborative mixed-reality (CMR). The main idea behind CMR systems is that users need not use a common set of interfaces to access a single shared virtual environment; the virtual environment might represent the real space of one or more users, and those users can collaborate using a variety of forms of interface. A CMR system might thus comprise a network of multiple augmented reality systems and augmented virtuality systems.

CMR systems promise to create a more natural collaborative working scenario amongst geographically distributed users. The potential benefits to more effective remote collaboration are vast. Thus, there is a long history of innovation and envisioning around these ideas, from the early concepts of the Office of the Future, the Tele-existence systems and Magic Book demonstration through to more recent demonstrations such as the BEAMING systems and Microsoft’s Holoportation systems.

In this Research Topic we will investigate the diverse issues around CSMR systems, including:
- Reconstruction and representation of places for live visualisation
- Representations of remote users in situated displays
- Collaboration between users using highly asymmetric technologies
- Social issues around different representations
- Meditation of self-representation
- Role of robotic and other actuated systems under control of remote users
- Standards, protocols or toolkits for constructing CSMR systems
- Demonstrations of use cases for CSMR

We particularly encourage authors to contribute work that sets challenges for the field and provides situations or metrics that can compare efficiency or naturalness of communication, so that, as a field, we can start to set goals for such systems in terms of user outcomes for such systems.


Keywords: Mixed Reality, Virtual Reality, Telepresence, Immersion, Avatars, Robots


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