ABSTRACT - Whole-body movements enhance the presence and enjoyment of Virtual Reality (VR) experiences. However, using large gestures is often uncomfortable and impossible in confined spaces (e.g., public transport). We introduce FingerMapper, mapping small-scale finger motions onto virtual arms and hands to enable whole-body virtual movements in VR. In a first target selection study (n=13) comparing FingerMapper to hand tracking and ray-casting, we found that FingerMapper can significantly reduce physical motions and fatigue while having a similar degree of precision. In a consecutive study (n=13), we compared FingerMapper to hand tracking inside a confined space (the front passenger seat of a car). The results showed participants had significantly higher perceived safety and fewer collisions with FingerMapper while preserving a similar degree of presence and enjoyment as hand tracking. Finally, we present three example applications demonstrating how FingerMapper could be applied for locomotion and interaction for VR in confined spaces.
ABSTRACT - Mid-air gestures, widely used in today's Augmented Reality applications, are prone to the "gorilla arm" effect, leading to discomfort with prolonged interactions. While prior work has proposed metrics to quantify this effect and means to improve comfort and ergonomics, these works usually only consider simplistic, one-dimensional AR interactions, like reaching for a point or pushing a button. However, interacting with AR environments also involves far more complex tasks, such as rotational knobs, potentially impacting ergonomics. This paper advances the understanding of the ergonomics of rotational mid-air interactions in AR. For this, we contribute the results of a controlled experiment exposing the participants to a rotational task in the interaction space defined by their arms' reach. Based on the results, we discuss how novel future mid-air gesture modalities benefit from our findings concerning ergonomic-aware rotational interaction.
ABSTRACT - Modern smartphones support FIDO2 passwordless authentication using either external security keys or internal biometric authentication, but it is unclear whether users appreciate and accept these new forms of web authentication for their own accounts. We present the first lab study (N=87) comparing platform and roaming authentication on smartphones, determining the practical strengths and weaknesses of FIDO2 as perceived by users in a mobile scenario. Most participants were willing to adopt passwordless authentication during our in-person user study, but closer analysis shows that participants prioritize usability, security, and availability differently depending on the account type. We identify remaining adoption barriers that prevent FIDO2 from succeeding password authentication, such as missing support for contemporary usage patterns, including account delegation and usage on multiple clients.
ABSTRACT - Human memory has notable limitations (e.g., forgetting) which have necessitated a variety of memory aids (e.g., calendars). As we grow closer to mass adoption of everyday Extended Reality (XR), which is frequently leveraging perceptual limitations (e.g., redirected walking), it becomes pertinent to consider how XR could leverage memory limitations (forgetting, distorting, persistence) to induce memory manipulations. As memories highly impact our self-perception, social interactions, and behaviors, there is a pressing need to understand XR Memory Manipulations (XRMMs). We ran three speculative design workshops (n=12), with XR and memory researchers creating 48 XRMM scenarios. Through thematic analysis, we define XRMMs, present a framework of their core components and reveal three classes (at encoding, pre-retrieval, at retrieval). Each class differs in terms of technology (AR/VR) and impact on memory (influencing quality of memories, inducing forgetting, distorting memories). We raise ethical concerns and discuss opportunities of perceptual and memory manipulations in XR.
ABSTRACT - Sketching in virtual 3D environments has enabled new forms of artistic expression and a variety of novel design use-cases. However, the lack of haptic feedback proves to be one of the main challenges in this field. While prior work has investigated vibrotactile and force-feedback devices, this paper proposes the addition of thermal feedback. We present ThermalPen, a novel pen for 3D sketching that associates the texture and colour of strokes with different thermal properties. For example, a fire texture elicits an increase in temperature, while an ice texture causes a temperature drop in the pen. Our goal with ThermalPen is to enhance the 3D sketching experience and allow users to use this tool to increase their creativity while sketching. We plan on evaluating the influence of thermal feedback on the 3D sketching experience, with a focus on user creativity in the future.
ABSTRACT - From carrying grocery bags to holding onto handles on the bus, there are a variety of situations where one or both hands are busy, hindering the vision of ubiquitous interaction with technology. Voice commands, as a popular hands-free alternative, struggle with ambient noise and privacy issues. As an alternative approach, research explored movements of various body parts (e.g., head, arms) as input modalities, with foot-based techniques proving particularly suitable for hands-free interaction. Whereas previous research only considered the movement of the foot as a whole, in this work, we argue that our toes offer further degrees of freedom that can be leveraged for interaction. To explore the viability of toe-based interaction, we contribute the results of a controlled experiment with 18 participants assessing the impact of five factors on the accuracy, efficiency and user experience of such interfaces. Based on the findings, we provide design recommendations for future toe-based interfaces.
ABSTRACT - When we get lost in Virtual Reality (VR) or want to return to a previous location, we use the same methods of locomotion for the way back as for the way forward. This is time-consuming and requires additional physical orientation changes, increasing the risk of getting tangled in the headsets' cables. In this paper, we propose the use of undo actions to revert locomotion steps in VR. We explore eight different variations of undo actions as extensions of point&teleport, based on the possibility to undo position and orientation changes together with two different visualizations of the undo step (discrete and continuous). We contribute the results of a controlled experiment with 24 participants investigating the efficiency and orientation of the undo techniques in a radial maze task. We found that the combination of position and orientation undo together with a discrete visualization resulted in the highest efficiency without increasing orientation errors.
ABSTRACT - Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a recommended or imposed authentication mechanism for valuable online assets. However, 2FA mechanisms usually exhibit user experience issues that create user friction and even lead to poor acceptance, hampering the wider spread of 2FA. In this article, we investigate user perceptions of 2FA through in-depth interviews with 42 participants, revealing key requirements that are not well met today despite recently emerged 2FA solutions. First, we investigate past experiences with authentication mechanisms emphasizing problems and aspects that hamper good user experience. Second, we investigate the different authentication factors more closely. Our results reveal particularly interesting preferences regarding the authentication factor “ownership” in terms of properties, physical realizations, and interaction. These findings suggest a path toward 2FA mechanisms with considerably better user experience, promising to improve the acceptance and hence, the proliferation of 2FA for the benefit of security in the digital world.
ABSTRACT - Creating highly realistic Virtual Reality (VR) bicycle experiences can be time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, it is unclear what hardware parts are necessary to design a bicycle simulator and whether a bicycle is needed at all. In this paper, we investigated cycling fidelity and control of VR bicycle simulators. For this, we developed and evaluated three cycling simulators: (1) cycling without a bicycle (bikeless), (2) cycling on a fixed (stationary) and (3) moving bicycle (tandem) with four levels of control (no control, steering, pedaling, and steering + pedaling). To evaluate all combinations of fidelity and control, we conducted a controlled experiment (N = 24) in indoor and outdoor settings. We found that the bikeless setup provides the highest feeling of safety, while the tandem leads to the highest realism without increasing motion sickness. Moreover, we discovered that bicycles are not essential for cycling in VR.
ABSTRACT - Perceptual manipulations (PMs) in Virtual Reality (VR) can steer users’ actions (e.g., redirection techniques) and amplify haptic perceptions (e.g., weight). However, their ability to amplify or induce negative perceptions such as physical pain is not well understood. In this work, we explore if PMs can be leveraged to induce the perception of pain, without modifying the physical stimulus. We implemented a VR experience combined with a haptic prototype, simulating the dislocation of a finger. A user study (n=18) compared three conditions (visual-only, haptic-only and combined) on the perception of physical pain and physical discomfort. We observed that using PMs with a haptic device resulted in a significantly higher perception of physical discomfort and an increase in the perception of pain compared to the unmodified sensation (haptic-only). Finally, we discuss how perception of pain can be leveraged in future VR applications and reflect on ethical concerns.
ABSTRACT - Cycling is emerging as a relevant alternative to cars. However, the more people commute by bicycle, the higher the number of cyclists who use their smartphones on the go and endanger road safety. To better understand input while cycling, in this paper, we present the design and evaluation of three text input methods for cyclists: (1) touch input using smartphones, (2) midair input using a Microsoft Hololens 2, and (3) a set of ten physical buttons placed on both sides of the handlebar. We conducted a controlled indoor experiment (N = 12) on a bicycle simulator to evaluate these input methods. We found that text input via touch input was faster and less mentally demanding than input with midair gestures and physical buttons. However, the midair gestures were the least error-prone, and the physical buttons facilitated keeping both hands on the handlebars and were more intuitive and less distracting.