UCL at IEEE VR2019

IEEE VR 2019 was in Osaka. It was a chance for Anthony, who was on sab­bat­ic­al in New Zea­l­and at the time, to meet up with a couple of people in the group — Drew and Sebasti­an — who came out from Lon­don, and recent gradu­ate Maria who was now work­ing at Facebook/Oculus.


Sebasti­an won the 2018 VGTC Vir­tu­al Real­ity Best Dis­ser­ta­tion Award for his dis­ser­ta­tion on Low Latency Ren­der­ing with Data­flow Archi­tec­tures. He gave a short talk about his work.


Drew presen­ted his paper Per­cep­tion of Volu­met­ric Char­ac­ters’ Eye-Gaze Dir­ec­tion in Head-Moun­ted Dis­plays.

Abstract: Volu­met­ric cap­ture allows the cre­ation of near-video-qual­ity con­tent that can be explored with six degrees of free­dom. Due to lim­it­a­tions in these exper­i­ences, such as the con­tent being fixed at the point of film­ing, an under­stand­ing of eye-gaze aware­ness is crit­ic­al. A repeated meas­ures exper­i­ment was con­duc­ted that explored users’ abil­ity to eval­u­ate where a volu­met­ric­ally cap­tured avatar (VCA) was look­ing. Wear­ing one of two head-moun­ted dis­plays (HMDs), 36 par­ti­cipants rotated a VCA to look at a tar­get. The HMD res­ol­u­tion, tar­get pos­i­tion, and VCA’s eye-gaze dir­ec­tion were var­ied. Res­ults did not show a dif­fer­ence in accur­acy between HMD res­ol­u­tions, while the task became sig­ni­fic­antly harder for tar­get loc­a­tions fur­ther away from the user. In con­trast to real-world stud­ies, par­ti­cipants con­sist­ently mis­judged eye-gaze dir­ec­tion based on tar­get loc­a­tion, but not based on the avatar’s head turn dir­ec­tion. Implic­a­tions are dis­cussed, as res­ults for VCAs viewed in HMDs appear to dif­fer from face-to-face scen­ari­os

Anthony gave a key­note speech at PERCAR: The Fifth IEEE VR Work­shop on Per­cep­tu­al and Cog­nit­ive Issues in AR. He talked about Embod­ied Cog­ni­tion in AR/VR.

Here is one of the offi­cial pho­to­graph­ers pho­tos of Drew talk­ing.


Show­ing a video from one of the VR group’s early exper­i­ments, circa 1994.


Anthony gave an invited talk on The Impact of Avatars on Close Quar­ters Inter­ac­tion at the Vir­tu­al Humans and Crowds in Immers­ive Envir­on­ments (VHCIE

Abstract: There is a com­pel­ling the­ory emer­ging of how embod­i­ment inside immers­ive vir­tu­al envir­on­ments enables par­ti­cipants to use their bod­ies in nat­ur­al and flu­id ways. In this talk, I will dis­cuss recent work on how avatar rep­res­ent­a­tion and embod­i­ment affect col­lab­or­a­tion in social vir­tu­al real­ity. Our lab-based works shows how users util­ize inform­a­tion about avatars in quite com­plex and sur­pris­ing ways, and our stud­ies of con­sumers in their homes shows some of the bar­ri­ers that users exper­i­ence in using avatars for exten­ded peri­ods. I will then dis­cuss how these set some near-term chal­lenges to the field, and review some imme­di­ate ways for­ward that could have sig­ni­fic­ant impact on the util­ity of social vir­tu­al real­ity.


We had a poster about some work I helped with dur­ing my stay at Microsoft, with Mar Gonzales and Para­stoo Abtahi: Indi­vidu­al Dif­fer­ences in Embod­ied Dis­tance Estim­a­tion in Vir­tu­al Real­ity


Finally, Anthony was on a pan­el about Vir­tu­al Real­ity Cur­riculum.