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An assessment of eye-gaze potential within immersive virtual environments

Murray, N, Roberts, DJ, Sharkey, P, Steed, AP, Dickerson, P and Rae, JM 2007, 'An assessment of eye-gaze potential within immersive virtual environments' , ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications, 3 (4) , pp. 1-20.

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Abstract

In collaborative situations, eye gaze is a critical element of behaviour which supports and fulfills many activities and roles. In current computer-supported collaboration systems, eye gaze is poorly supported. Even in a state-of-the-art video conferencing system such as the Access Grid, although one can see the face of the user, much of the communicative power of eye-gaze is lost. This paper gives an overview of some preliminary work that looks towards integrating eye gaze into an immersive Collaborative Virtual Environment and assessing the impact that this would have on interaction between the users of such a system. Three experiments were conducted to assess the efficacy of eye gaze within immersive virtual environments. In each experiment, subjects observed on a large screen, the eye-gaze behaviour of an avatar. The eye-gaze behaviour of that avatar had previously been recorded from a user with the use of a head-mounted eye-tracker. The first experiment was conducted to assess the difference between users abilities to judge what objects an avatar is looking at with only head gaze being viewed and also with eye and head gaze data being displayed. The results from the experiment show that eye gaze is of vital importance to the subjects correctly identifying what a person is looking at in an immersive virtual environment. The second experiment examined whether a monocular or binocular eye tracker would be required. This was examined by testing subjects’ ability to identify where an avatar was looking from their eye-direction alone, or by eye-direction combined with convergence. This experiment showed that convergence had a significant impact on the subjects’ ability to identify where the avatar was looking. The final experiment looked at the effects of stereo and mono viewing of the scene, with the subjects being asked to identify where the avatar was looking. This experiment showed that there was no difference in the subjects’ ability to detect where the avatar was gazing. This is followed by a description of how the eye tracking system has been integrated into an immersive collaborative virtual environment and some preliminary results from the use of such a system.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article 26 (17 pages)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA075 Electronic computers. Computer science
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Virtual Environments & Future Media Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 15516857
Related URLs:
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2009 09:07
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:51
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/974

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