PassengXR Motion Platform & UIST Paper

Led by Mark McGill, the Viajero project has produced an open-source and off-the-shelf hardware and software motion platform for creating vehicular XR experiences: PassengXR.

Published at ACM UIST 2022 [1], the motion platform uses ESP32 Arduino sensors to detect the orientation (IMU), velocity (OBD-II) and location (GNSS) of the vehicle and wirelessly broadcast these to a Unity software platform running on standalone XR headsets. This allows practitioners to create passenger XR experiences that make use of, or counteract, the motion of the vehicle.

PassengXR supports multiple concurrent users in both individual and shared experiences and includes a number of ways to correct the alignment of vehicle and headset IMUs, which are inherently prone to drifting when in-motion. All code for the motion platform will be made available through GitHub, and more information can be found on the Motion Platform page and in the UIST paper [1].

[1] [pdf] M. McGill, G. Wilson, D. Medeiros, and S. Brewster, “Passengxr: a low cost platform for any-car, multi-user, motion-based passenger xr experiences,” in Uist ’22: proceedings of the 35th annual acm symposium on user interface software and technology, , 2022.
[Bibtex]
@incollection{passengxr2022,
title={PassengXR: A Low Cost Platform for Any-Car, Multi-User, Motion-Based Passenger XR Experiences},
author={McGill, Mark and Wilson, Graham and Medeiros, Daniel and Brewster, Stephen},
booktitle={UIST '22: Proceedings of the 35th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology},
year={2022}
}
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Papers! Prototypes! Year 1 of ViAjeRo…

It has not been an easy first year for ViAjero – the world has been turned upside down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and some of the fantastic research we wanted to pursue in cars and planes has had to be postponed. However, despite these setbacks, we have been making exciting progress towards some of ViAjeRo’s key aims! New people have joined the project, with Daniel Pires de Sá Medeiros joining as an RA looking at passenger interaction techniques. On the papers front, we’ve published on the key challenges in passenger MR [1], workspaces suited to confined spaces [2] (see below, presented at ACM UIST), the feasibility of neurostimulation [3, 4], ethical challenges in mixed reality [5] and auditory mixed reality [6, 7].

We’ve given talks about the project to the likes of the Waterkant festival, Audi, and BBC R&D, and seen great interest in the concept of passenger mixed reality. Development wise, here’s a sneak peek of our in-car platform being tested in Glasgow, complete with accurate position and orientation tracking of a vehicle…

On the neurostimulation side, Gang Li and Frank Pollick have been building the platform needed to explore the physiological signals that might indicate the onset of motion sickness…

And regarding lab work, we recently took receipt of a RotoVR chair, which will enable us to explore motion sickness from the safety of a lab environment!

We hope that in the coming year society can start to get back to normal and beat Covid-19, and we’ll be pursuing more passenger MR research so that, when travel resumes, people can make the most of their travel time!

[1] [pdf] [doi] M. McGill, J. Williamson, A. Ng, F. Pollick, and S. Brewster, “Challenges in passenger use of mixed reality headsets in cars and other transportation,” Virtual reality, 2019.
[Bibtex]
@article{enlighten205513,
month = {December},
title = {Challenges in passenger use of mixed reality headsets in cars and other transportation},
author = {Mark McGill and Julie Williamson and Alexander Ng and Frank Pollick and Stephen Brewster},
publisher = {Springer},
year = {2019},
note = {This research was funded in part by the EPSRC IAA (303740)
and ESRC IAA (77563/1) joint project ?CarVR: Immersion in the Journey?. This project also received funding from the European Research
Council (ERC) under the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research
and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 835197 - ViAjeRo).},
journal = {Virtual Reality},
url = {http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/205513/},
abstract = {This paper examines key challenges in supporting passenger use of augmented and virtual reality headsets in transit. These headsets will allow passengers to break free from the restraints of physical displays placed in constrained environments such as cars, trains and planes. Moreover, they have the potential to allow passengers to make better use of their time by making travel more productive and enjoyable, supporting both privacy and immersion. However, there are significant barriers to headset usage by passengers in transit contexts. These barriers range from impediments that would entirely prevent safe usage and function (e.g. motion sickness) to those that might impair their adoption (e.g. social acceptability). We identify the key challenges that need to be overcome and discuss the necessary resolutions and research required to facilitate adoption and realize the potential advantages of using mixed reality headsets in transit.},
doi = {10.1007/s10055-019-00420-x}
}
[2] [pdf] [doi] M. Mcgill, A. Kehoe, E. Freeman, and S. Brewster, “Expanding the bounds of seated virtual workspaces,” Acm trans. comput.-hum. interact., vol. 27, iss. 3, 2020.
[Bibtex]
@article{10.1145/3380959,
author = {Mcgill, Mark and Kehoe, Aidan and Freeman, Euan and Brewster, Stephen},
title = {Expanding the Bounds of Seated Virtual Workspaces},
year = {2020},
issue_date = {June 2020},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
volume = {27},
number = {3},
issn = {1073-0516},
url = {https://doi.org/10.1145/3380959},
doi = {10.1145/3380959},
abstract = {Mixed Reality (MR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets can improve upon existing physical multi-display environments by rendering large, ergonomic virtual display spaces whenever and wherever they are needed. However, given the physical and ergonomic limitations of neck movement, users may need assistance to view these display spaces comfortably. Through two studies, we developed new ways of minimising the physical effort and discomfort of viewing such display spaces. We first explored how the mapping between gaze angle and display position could be manipulated, helping users view wider display spaces than currently possible within an acceptable and comfortable range of neck movement. We then compared our implicit control of display position based on head orientation against explicit user control, finding significant benefits in terms of user preference, workload and comfort for implicit control. Our novel techniques create new opportunities for productive work by leveraging MR headsets to create interactive wide virtual workspaces with improved comfort and usability. These workspaces are flexible and can be used on-the-go, e.g., to improve remote working or make better use of commuter journeys.},
journal = {ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum. Interact.},
month = may,
articleno = {13},
numpages = {40},
keywords = {Virtual reality, displays, virtual displays, productivity, mixed reality, augmented reality, workspaces, rotational gain, virtual desktops, multi-monitor, display space}
}
[3] [pdf] [doi] G. Li, M. McGill, S. Brewster, and F. Pollick, “A review of electrostimulation-based cybersickness mitigations,” in 2020 ieee international conference on artificial intelligence and virtual reality (aivr), 2020.
[Bibtex]
@inproceedings{li2020review,
title={A Review of Electrostimulation-based Cybersickness Mitigations},
author={Li, Gang and McGill, Mark and Brewster, Stephen and Pollick, Frank},
year={2020},
url={https://eprints.gla.ac.uk/224088/},
booktitle={2020 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (AIVR)},
doi={10.1109/AIVR50618.2020.00034}}
[4] [pdf] Honorable Mention Award [doi] G. Li, M. Varela, A. Francisco Habib, Q. Zhang, M. McGill, S. Brewster, and F. Pollick, “Exploring the feasibility of mitigating vr-hmd-induced cybersickness using cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation,” in 2020 ieee international conference on artificial intelligence and virtual reality (aivr), 2020.
[Bibtex]
@inproceedings{li2020feasibility,
title={Exploring the Feasibility of Mitigating VR-HMD-Induced Cybersickness Using Cathodal Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation},
author={Li, Gang and Macía Varela and Francisco, Habib, A and Zhang, Q and McGill, Mark and Brewster, Stephen and Pollick, Frank},
year={2020},
url={https://eprints.gla.ac.uk/224089/},
booktitle={2020 IEEE International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality (AIVR)},
doi={10.1109/AIVR50618.2020.00030},
url={https://eprints.gla.ac.uk/224089/3/224089.pdf},
honorable = {yep}
}
[5] [pdf] [doi] J. Gugenheimer, M. McGill, S. Huron, C. Mai, J. Williamson, and M. Nebeling, “Exploring potentially abusive ethical, social and political implications of mixed reality research in hci,” in Extended abstracts of the 2020 chi conference on human factors in computing systems, New York, NY, USA, 2020, p. 1–8.
[Bibtex]
@inproceedings{10.1145/3334480.3375180,
author = {Gugenheimer, Jan and McGill, Mark and Huron, Samuel and Mai, Christian and Williamson, Julie and Nebeling, Michael},
title = {Exploring Potentially Abusive Ethical, Social and Political Implications of Mixed Reality Research in HCI},
year = {2020},
isbn = {9781450368193},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
url = {https://doi.org/10.1145/3334480.3375180},
doi = {10.1145/3334480.3375180},
abstract = {In recent years, Mixed Reality (MR) headsets have increasingly made advances in terms of capability, affordability and end-user adoption, slowly becoming everyday technology. HCI research typically explores positive aspects of these technologies, focusing on interaction, presence and immersive experiences. However, such technological advances and paradigm shifts often fail to consider the "dark patterns", with potential abusive scenarios, made possible by new technologies (cf. smartphone addiction, social media anxiety disorder). While these topics are getting recent attention in related fields and with the general population, this workshop is aimed at starting an active exploration of abusive, ethical, social and political scenarios of MR research inside the HCI community. With an HCI lens, workshop participants will engage in critical reviews of emerging MR technologies and applications and develop a joint research agenda to address them.},
booktitle = {Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
pages = {1–8},
numpages = {8},
keywords = {abuse, mixed reality, design fiction, ethics},
location = {Honolulu, HI, USA},
series = {CHI EA '20}
}
[6] [pdf] [doi] M. McGill, S. Brewster, D. McGookin, and G. Wilson, “Acoustic transparency and the changing soundscape of auditory mixed reality,” in Proceedings of the 2020 chi conference on human factors in computing systems, New York, NY, USA, 2020, p. 1–16.
[Bibtex]
@inproceedings{enlighten208325,
author = {McGill, Mark and Brewster, Stephen and McGookin, David and Wilson, Graham},
title = {Acoustic Transparency and the Changing Soundscape of Auditory Mixed Reality},
year = {2020},
isbn = {9781450367080},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
url = {http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/208325/},
doi = {10.1145/3313831.3376702},
abstract = {Auditory headsets capable of actively or passively intermixing both real and virtual sounds are in-part acoustically transparent. This paper explores the consequences of acoustic transparency, both on the perception of virtual audio content, given the presence of a real-world auditory backdrop, and more broadly in facilitating a wearable, personal, private, always-available soundspace. We experimentally compare passive acoustically transparent, and active noise cancelling, orientation-tracked auditory headsets across a range of content types, both indoors and outdoors for validity. Our results show differences in terms of presence, realness and externalization for select content types. Via interviews and a survey, we discuss attitudes toward acoustic transparency (e.g. being perceived as safer), the potential shifts in audio usage that might be precipitated by adoption, and reflect on how such headsets and experiences fit within the area of Mixed Reality.},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
pages = {1–16},
numpages = {16},
keywords = {acoustic transparency, audio, mixed reality},
location = {Honolulu, HI, USA},
series = {CHI '20}
}
[7] [pdf] [doi] M. McGill, F. Mathis, M. Khamis, and J. Williamson, “Augmenting tv viewing using acoustically transparent auditory headsets,” in Acm international conference on interactive media experiences, New York, NY, USA, 2020, p. 34–44.
[Bibtex]
@inproceedings{10.1145/3391614.3393650,
author = {McGill, Mark and Mathis, Florian and Khamis, Mohamed and Williamson, Julie},
title = {Augmenting TV Viewing Using Acoustically Transparent Auditory Headsets},
year = {2020},
isbn = {9781450379762},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
url = {https://doi.org/10.1145/3391614.3393650},
doi = {10.1145/3391614.3393650},
abstract = {This paper explores how acoustically transparent auditory headsets can improve TV viewing by intermixing headset and TV audio, facilitating personal, private auditory enhancements and augmentations of TV content whilst minimizing occlusion of the sounds of reality. We evaluate the impact of synchronously mirroring select audio channels from the 5.1 mix (dialogue, environmental sounds, and the full mix), and selectively augmenting TV viewing with additional speech (e.g. Audio Description, Directors Commentary, and Alternate Language). For TV content, auditory headsets enable better spatialization and more immersive, enjoyable viewing; the intermixing of TV and headset audio creates unique listening experiences; and private augmentations offer new ways to (re)watch content with others. Finally, we reflect on how these headsets might facilitate more immersive augmented TV viewing experiences within reach of consumers.},
booktitle = {ACM International Conference on Interactive Media Experiences},
pages = {34–44},
numpages = {11},
keywords = {Augmented Reality, TV, Mixed Reality, Audio;},
location = {Cornella, Barcelona, Spain},
series = {IMX '20}
}
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CHI 2020 – Auditory Mixed Reality Paper

We’re excited to be going to CHI 2020 soon, where we’ll be presenting a paper on Auditory Mixed Reality [1] , which you can see as a preprint here. We’ll also be running a workshop on the Ethics of Mixed Reality

[1] [pdf] [doi] M. McGill, S. Brewster, D. McGookin, and G. Wilson, “Acoustic transparency and the changing soundscape of auditory mixed reality,” in Proceedings of the 2020 chi conference on human factors in computing systems, New York, NY, USA, 2020, p. 1–16.
[Bibtex]
@inproceedings{enlighten208325,
author = {McGill, Mark and Brewster, Stephen and McGookin, David and Wilson, Graham},
title = {Acoustic Transparency and the Changing Soundscape of Auditory Mixed Reality},
year = {2020},
isbn = {9781450367080},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
url = {http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/208325/},
doi = {10.1145/3313831.3376702},
abstract = {Auditory headsets capable of actively or passively intermixing both real and virtual sounds are in-part acoustically transparent. This paper explores the consequences of acoustic transparency, both on the perception of virtual audio content, given the presence of a real-world auditory backdrop, and more broadly in facilitating a wearable, personal, private, always-available soundspace. We experimentally compare passive acoustically transparent, and active noise cancelling, orientation-tracked auditory headsets across a range of content types, both indoors and outdoors for validity. Our results show differences in terms of presence, realness and externalization for select content types. Via interviews and a survey, we discuss attitudes toward acoustic transparency (e.g. being perceived as safer), the potential shifts in audio usage that might be precipitated by adoption, and reflect on how such headsets and experiences fit within the area of Mixed Reality.},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
pages = {1–16},
numpages = {16},
keywords = {acoustic transparency, audio, mixed reality},
location = {Honolulu, HI, USA},
series = {CHI '20}
}

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New Team Members!

We’re excited to say that Gang Li has joined the team for 3 years as an RA focusing on motion sickness and neurostimulation, and Laura Bajorunaite has joined as a PhD student exploring the social acceptability of passenger mixed reality!

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Springer VR Paper

We’ve got a new publication in Springer VR [1] , exploring the big challenges in supporting passenger mixed reality experiences, from motion sickness, to physical safety, to social acceptability – it’s a really interesting review of the area, and it’s open access, so check it out!

[1] [pdf] [doi] M. McGill, J. Williamson, A. Ng, F. Pollick, and S. Brewster, “Challenges in passenger use of mixed reality headsets in cars and other transportation,” Virtual reality, 2019.
[Bibtex]
@article{enlighten205513,
month = {December},
title = {Challenges in passenger use of mixed reality headsets in cars and other transportation},
author = {Mark McGill and Julie Williamson and Alexander Ng and Frank Pollick and Stephen Brewster},
publisher = {Springer},
year = {2019},
note = {This research was funded in part by the EPSRC IAA (303740)
and ESRC IAA (77563/1) joint project ?CarVR: Immersion in the Journey?. This project also received funding from the European Research
Council (ERC) under the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research
and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 835197 - ViAjeRo).},
journal = {Virtual Reality},
url = {http://eprints.gla.ac.uk/205513/},
abstract = {This paper examines key challenges in supporting passenger use of augmented and virtual reality headsets in transit. These headsets will allow passengers to break free from the restraints of physical displays placed in constrained environments such as cars, trains and planes. Moreover, they have the potential to allow passengers to make better use of their time by making travel more productive and enjoyable, supporting both privacy and immersion. However, there are significant barriers to headset usage by passengers in transit contexts. These barriers range from impediments that would entirely prevent safe usage and function (e.g. motion sickness) to those that might impair their adoption (e.g. social acceptability). We identify the key challenges that need to be overcome and discuss the necessary resolutions and research required to facilitate adoption and realize the potential advantages of using mixed reality headsets in transit.},
doi = {10.1007/s10055-019-00420-x}
}

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ViAjeRo postdoc position

Vacancy Reference: 027939

Closing Date: 19/February/2020

Start date: From 1/April/2020 for three years (with potential for a further 1 year)

We are looking for an excellent and enthusiastic human-computer interaction researcher to join the ERC Advanced Grant ViAjeRo project (www.viajero-project.org). This is a  new 5 year project which will radically improve all passenger journeys by facilitating the use of immersive Virtual and Augmented Reality to support entertainment, work and collaboration when on the move. We are particularly focused on autonomous vehicles.

We are looking for an excellent HCI researcher with an interest in interaction techniques for AR/VR/mixed reality,.

This post is part of the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant ViAjeRo (https://viajero-project.org/), which will investigate motion sickness, social acceptability and interaction in virtual and augmented reality passenger experiences. This project will harness the benefits of fully autonomous vehicles, and will greatly reduce time and effort wasted during journeys, by developing new ways for passengers to use virtual and augmented reality technologies for entertainment, work and collaboration on the move.

You will be working with Stephen Brewster, Julie Williamson and Frank Pollick in the Glasgow Interactive Systems Section (GIST) , alongside other RAs and PhD students on the project. You can see some of the fantastic research going on in the group at https://mig.dcs.gla.ac.uk.

GIST provides an ideal ground for academic growth. It is the leader of a recently awarded Centre for Doctoral Training that will provide 50 PhD scholarships in the next five years. In addition, its 7 faculty members have accumulated more than 25,000 Scholar citations and have been or are leading  large-scale national and European projects (including the ERC Advanced Grant “Viajero”, the Network Plus grant “Human Data Interaction”, the FET-Open project “Levitate”, the H2020 project MuMMER, etc.) for a total of over £20M in the last 10 years.

The position will last for 3 years, with a possible extension of a further year. The start date is from April 2020, but is negotiable.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact stephen.brewster@glasgow.ac.uk.

For more details and the application procedure, click here (ID: 027939)

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AutoUI 2019

We had a late-breaking work accepted at AutoUI 2019 on “Virtual reality passenger experiences” [1], and participated in two workshops on Mixed Reality for Intelligent Systems and the Future of Work and Well-Being in Automated Vehicles

[1] [doi] M. McGill and S. Brewster, “Virtual reality passenger experiences,” in Proceedings of the 11th international conference on automotive user interfaces and interactive vehicular applications: adjunct proceedings, New York, NY, USA, 2019, p. 434–441.
[Bibtex]
@inproceedings{10.1145/3349263.3351330,
author = {McGill, Mark and Brewster, Stephen},
title = {Virtual Reality Passenger Experiences},
year = {2019},
isbn = {9781450369206},
publisher = {Association for Computing Machinery},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
url = {https://doi.org/10.1145/3349263.3351330},
doi = {10.1145/3349263.3351330},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Automotive User Interfaces and Interactive Vehicular Applications: Adjunct Proceedings},
pages = {434–441},
numpages = {8},
keywords = {passengers, virtual reality, augmented reality, transportation, mixed reality, in-transit},
location = {Utrecht, Netherlands},
series = {AutomotiveUI ’19}
}

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Viajero project PhD studentship

Fully-Funded PhD studentship – ERC ViAjeRo project: Social Acceptability of Passenger VR Experiences

Closing Date: 12th July 2019

Duration: 42 months

We are looking for an excellent and enthusiastic student to join our ERC ViAjeRo project (www.viajero-project.org). The  project is focused on the future of passenger experiences and particularly for autonomous vehicles. The studentship will investigate the social acceptability of virtual and augmented reality and the factors that influence the user experience of immersive technologies for passenger settings.

This research will involve a range of qualitative and quantitative methods from HCI and help you develop a strong technical background to develop immersive applications. Applicants should have experience running user evaluations and experience analyzing the results of surveys, interviews, and interaction logs. Experience developing immersive applications and demonstrated technical ability in this area would also be beneficial.

You will be working with Stephen Brewster, Julie Williamson and Mark McGill in the Glasgow Interactive Systems Section (GIST) in the School of Computing Science at Glasgow, and Frank Pollick in the School of Psychology. You can see some of the fantastic research we have been doing at https://mig.dcs.gla.ac.uk.

GIST provides an ideal ground for academic growth. It is the leader of a recently awarded Centre for Doctoral Training that will provide 50 PhD scholarships in the next five years. In addition, its 7 faculty members have accumulated more than 25,000 Scholar citations and have been or are leading  large-scale national and European projects (including the ERC Advanced Grant “Viajero”, the Network Plus grant “Human Data Interaction”, the FET-Open project “Levitate”, the H2020 project MuMMER, etc.) for a total of over £20M in the last 10 years.

You can find out more at findaphd.com. The studentship is fully-funded for fees and stipend for UK and EU citizens. Unfortunately, the funding is not open to overseas students.

This PhD is part of the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant ViAjeRo (https://viajero-project.org/), which will investigate motion sickness, social acceptability and interaction in virtual and augmented reality passenger experiences. This project will harness the benefits of fully autonomous vehicles, and will greatly reduce time and effort wasted during journeys, by developing new ways for passengers to use virtual and augmented reality technologies for entertainment, work and collaboration on the move.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact stephen.brewster@glasgow.ac.uk.

You can go here to make your application.


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