Augmented Virtual Teleportation for High-Fidelity Telecollaboration
PubDate: February 2020
Teams: Victoria University of Wellington
Writers: Taehyun Rhee; Stephen Thompson; Daniel Medeiros; Rafael dos Anjos; Andrew Chalmers
Telecollaboration involves the teleportation of a remote collaborator to another real-world environment where their partner is located. The fidelity of the environment plays an important role for allowing corresponding spatial references in remote collaboration. We present a novel asymmetric platform, Augmented Virtual Teleportation (AVT), which provides high-fidelity telepresence of a remote VR user (VR-Traveler) into a real-world collaboration space to interact with a local AR user (AR-Host). AVT uses a 360° video camera (360-camera) that captures and live-streams the omni-directional scenes over a network. The remote VR-Traveler watching the video in a VR headset experiences live presence and co-presence in the real-world collaboration space. The VR-Traveler’s movements are captured and transmitted to a 3D avatar overlaid onto the 360-camera which can be seen in the AR-Host’s display. The visual and audio cues for each collaborator are synchronized in the Mixed Reality Collaboration space (MRC-space), where they can interactively edit virtual objects and collaborate in the real environment using the real objects as a reference. High fidelity, real-time rendering of virtual objects and seamless blending into the real scene allows for unique mixed reality use-case scenarios. Our working prototype has been tested with a user study to evaluate spatial presence, co-presence, and user satisfaction during telecollaboration. Possible applications of AVT are identified and proposed to guide future usage.