Extended Reality (XR) Remote Research: a Survey of Drawbacks and Opportunities

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PubDate: Jan 2021

Teams: University of London

Writers: Jack Ratcliffe, Francesco Soave, Nick Bryan-Kinns, Laurissa Tokarchuk, Ildar Farkhatdinov

PDF: Extended Reality (XR) Remote Research: a Survey of Drawbacks and Opportunities


Extended Reality (XR) technology – such as virtual and augmented reality – is now widely used in Human Computer Interaction (HCI), social science and psychology experimentation. However, these experiments are predominantly deployed in-lab with a co-present researcher. Remote experiments, without co-present researchers, have not flourished, despite the success of remote approaches for non-XR investigations. This paper summarises findings from a 30-item survey of 46 XR researchers to understand perceived limitations and benefits of remote XR experimentation. Our thematic analysis identifies concerns common with non-XR remote research, such as participant recruitment, as well as XR-specific issues, including safety and hardware variability. We identify potential positive affordances of XR technology, including leveraging data collection functionalities builtin to HMDs (e.g. hand, gaze tracking) and the portability and reproducibility of an experimental setting. We suggest that XR technology could be conceptualised as an interactive technology and a capable data-collection device suited for remote experimentation.

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