Audiencemr: Extending the local space for large-scale audience with mixed reality for enhanced remote lecturer experience

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

AudienceMR is designed as a multi-user mixed reality space that seamlessly extends the local user space to become a large, shared classroom where some of the audience members are seen seated in a real space, and more members are seen through an extended portal. AudienceMR can provide a sense of the presence of a large-scale crowd/audience with the associated spatial context. In contrast to virtual reality (VR), however, with mixed reality (MR), a lecturer can deliver content or conduct a performance from a real, actual, comfortable, and familiar local space, while interacting directly with real nearby objects, such as a desk, podium, educational props, instruments, and office materials. Such a design will elicit a realistic user experience closer to an actual classroom, which is currently prohibitive owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper validated our hypothesis by conducting a comparative experiment assessing the lecturer’s experience with two independent variables: (1) an online classroom platform type, i.e., a 2D desktop video teleconference, a 2D video screen grid in VR, 3D VR, and AudienceMR, and (2) a student depiction, i.e., a 2D upper-body video screen and a 3D full-body avatar. Our experiment validated that AudienceMR exhibits a level of anxiety and fear of public speaking closer to that of a real classroom situation, and a higher social and spatial presence than 2D video grid-based solutions and even 3D VR. Compared to 3D VR, AudienceMR offers a more natural and easily usable real object-based interaction. Most subjects preferred AudienceMR over the alternatives despite the nuisance of having to wear a video see-through headset. Such qualities will result in information conveyance and an educational efficacy comparable to those of a real classroom, and better than those achieved through popular 2D desktop teleconferencing or immersive 3D VR solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9022
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct 1

Keywords

  • Augmented reality
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Mixed reality
  • Public speaking
  • Social presence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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