Overgrown: Supporting Plant Growth with an Endoskeleton for Ambient Notifications
Ambient notifications are an essential element to support users in their daily activities. Designing effective and aesthetic notifications that balance the alert level while maintaining an unobtrusive dialog, require them to be seamlessly integrated into the user’s environment. In an attempt to employ the living environment around us, we designed Overgrown, an actuated robotic structure capable of supporting a plant to grow over itself. As a plant endoskeleton, Overgrown aims to engage human empathy towards living creatures to increase effectiveness of ambient notifications while ensuring better integration with the environment. In a focus group, Overgrown was identified with having personality, showed potential as a user’s ambient avatar, and was suited for social experiments.
Drag:on - A Virtual Reality Controller Based on Drag and Weight Shift
Standard controllers for virtual reality (VR) lack sophisticated means to convey a realistic, kinesthetic impression of size, resistance or inertia. We present the concept and implementation of Drag:on, an ungrounded shape-changing VR controller that provides dynamic passive haptic feedback based on drag, i.e. air resistance, and weight shift.
Immersive Process Models
In many domains, real-world processes are traditionally communicated to users through abstract graph-based models like event-driven process chains (EPCs), i.e. 2D representations on paper or desktop monitors. We propose an alternative interface to explore EPCs, called immersive process models, which aims to transform the exploration of EPCs into a multisensory virtual reality journey.
Detection Thresholds for Hand Redirection in Virtual Reality
We present the results of an experiment on interaction in Virtual Reality. In the experiment, an interaction technique known as hand redirection was investigated. With this technique, the virtual hand of a user in Virtual Reality is displayed slightly offset from the real hand position, thereby "redirecting" the user's movement in real space. With the results of the experiment it was possible to derive how much redirection can go unnoticed by the user, even in "worst case" scenarios. This is particularly important for the development of VR applications that aim to redirect users in an undetectable way, e.g. for haptic retargeting.
Virtual Reality Polstermöbel Konfigurator
VR bietet einen Mehrwert gegenüber dem gedruckten Produktkatalog durch räumliche und realitätsnahe Repräsentation der Konfiguration. Durch den intuitiven Aufbau können Polstermöbel leicht und in Echtzeit geplant, konfiguriert und erlebt werden. In mehreren Schritten werden Sie dabei durch die Planung geführt und haben somit schnell Ihr eigenes Polstermöbel kreiert.
Multi-modal Indicators for Estimating Perceived Cognitive Load in Post-Editing of Machine Translation
Multi-modal Indicators for Estimating Perceived Cognitive Load in Post-Editing of Machine Translation
Current advances in machine translation (MT) increase the need for translators to switch from traditional translation to post-editing (PE) of machine-translated text, a process that saves time and improves quality. In this work, we develop a model that uses a wide range of physiological and behavioral sensor data to estimate perceived cognitive load (CL) during PE of MT text. By predicting the subjectively reported perceived CL, we aim to quantify the extent of demands placed on the mental resources available during PE. This could for example be used to better capture the usefulness of MT proposals for PE, including the mental effort required, in contrast to the mere closeness to a reference perspective that current MT evaluation focuses on. We compare the effectiveness of our physiological and behavioral features individually and in combination with each other and with the more traditional text and time features relevant to the task. Many of the physiological and behavioral features have not previously been applied to PE. Based on the data gathered from 10 participants, we show that our multi-modal measurement approach outperforms all baseline measures in terms of predicting the perceived level of CL as measured by a psychological scale. Combinations of eye-, skin-, and heart-based indicators enhance the results over each individual measure. Additionally, adding PE time improves the regression results further. An investigation of correlations between the best performing features, including sensor features previously unexplored in PE, and the corresponding subjective ratings indicates that the multi-modal approach takes advantage of several weakly to moderately correlated features to combine them into a stronger model.
Enhancing Texture Perception in Virtual Reality Using 3D-Printed Hair Structures
Experiencing materials in virtual reality (VR) is enhanced by combining visual and haptic feedback. While VR easily allows changes to visual appearances, modifying haptic impressions remains challenging. Existing passive haptic techniques require access to a large set of tangible proxies. To reduce the number of physical representations, we look towards fabrication to create more versatile counterparts. In a user study, 3D-printed hairs with length arying in steps of 2.5 mm were used to influence the feeling of roughness and hardness. By overlaying fabricated hair with visual textures, the resolution of the user’s haptic perception increased. As changing haptic sensations are able to elicit perceptual switches, our approach can extend a limited set of textures to a much broader set of material impressions. Our results give insights into the effectiveness of 3D-printed hair for enhancing texture perception in VR.
Slackliner - An Interactive Slackline Training Assistant
In this project we present Slackliner, an interactive slackline training assistant which features a life-size projection, skeleton tracking and real-time feedback. We chose a set of exercises from slackline literature and implemented an interactive trainer which guides the user through the exercises and gives feedback if the exercise was executed correctly. A post analysis gives the user feedback about her performance. Overall, the results of our study indicate that the interactive slackline training system can be used as an enjoyable and effective alternative to classic training methods.
Gamified Ads: Bridging the Gap Between User Enjoyment and the Effectiveness of Online Ads
We investigate the user enjoyment and the advertising effectiveness of playfully deactivating online ads. We created eight game concepts, performed a pre-study assessing the users' perception of them (N=50) and implemented three well-perceived ones. In a lab study (N=72), we found that these game concepts are more enjoyable than deactivating ads without game elements. Additionally, one game concept was even preferred over using an ad blocker. Notably, playfully deactivating ads was shown to have a positive impact on users' brand and product memory, enhancing the advertising effectiveness. Thus, our results indicate that playfully deactivating ads is a promising way of bridging the gap between user enjoyment and effective advertising.
Immersive Notification Framework for Virtual Reality
Notifications in everyday virtual reality (VR) applications are currently realized by displaying generic pop-ups within the immersive virtual environment (IVE) containing the message of the sender. However, this approach tends to break the immersion of the user. In order to preserve the immersion and the suspension of disbelief, we propose to adapt the method of notification to the current situation of the user in the IVE and the messages' priority. We propose the concept of adaptive and immersive notifications in VR and introduce an open-source framework which implements our approach. The framework aims to serve as an easy-to-extend code base for developers of everyday VR applications. As an example, we implemented a messaging application that can be used by a non-immersed person to send text messages to an immersed user. We describe the concept and our open-source framework and discuss ideas for future work.
Selection-based Text Entry in Virtual Reality
In recent years, Virtual Reality (VR) and 3D User Interfaces (3DUI) have seen a drastic increase in popularity, especially in terms of consumer-ready hardware and software. While the technology for input as well as output devices is market ready, only a few solutions for text input exist, and empirical knowledge about performance and user preferences is lacking. In this paper, we study text entry in VR by selecting characters on a virtual keyboard. We discuss the design space for assessing selection-based text entry in VR. Then, we implement six methods that span different parts of the design space and evaluate their performance and user preferences. Our results show that pointing using tracked hand-held controllers outperforms all other methods. Other methods such as head pointing can be viable alternatives depending on available resources. We summarize our findings by formulating guidelines for choosing optimal virtual keyboard text entry methods in VR.
Mixed Reality Pinball
This student project aims to use Mixed Reality (VR/AR) to create a new pinball experience connecting modern technologies and original old-school pinball-machines provided by Pinball Dreams from Saarbrücken.
MMPE: Multi-modal and Language Technology Based Post-Editing Support for Machine Translation
In order to ensure professional human quality level translation results, in many cases, the output of Machine Translation (MT) systems has to be manually post-edited by human experts. The postediting process is carried out within a post-editing (PE) environment, a user-interface, which supports the capture and correction of mistakes, as well as the selection, manipulation, adaptation and recombination of good segments. PE is a complex and challenging task involving considerable cognitive load. To date, PE environments mostly rely on traditional graphical user interfaces (GUIs), involving a computer screen as display and keyboard and mouse as input devices. In this research project we propose the design, development, implementation and extensive road-testing and evaluation of a novel multi-modal post-editing support for machine translation for translation professionals, which extends traditional input techniques of a PE system, such as keyboard and mouse, with novel free-hand and screen gestures, as well as speech and gaze input modalities (and their combinations). The objectives of the research are to increase the usability and the user experience of post-editing Machine Translation and to reduce the overall cognitive load of the translation task, supporting (i) the core post-editing tasks as well as (ii) controlling the PE system and environment. The multimodal PE environments will be integrated with quality prediction (QE) to automatically guide search for useful segments and mistakes, as well as automatic PE via incremental adaptation of MT to PEs to avoid repeat mistakes, in order to achieve the above mentioned objectives. The environments will be road-tested with human translation professionals and trainees and (where possible) within the partner projects in the Paketantrag (Riezler, Frazer, Ney and Waibel) and (where possible) the post-edited data captured will feed into dynamic and incremental MT retraining and update approaches pursued in the partner projects.
VRShop: A Mobile Interactive Virtual Reality Shopping Environment
In this work, we explored the main characteristics of on- and offline shops with regard to customer shopping behavior and frequency. Thus, we designed and implemented an immersive virtual reality (VR) online shopping environment. We tried to maintain the benefits of online shops, like search functionality and availability, while simultaneously focusing on shopping experience and immersion. By touching the third dimension, VR provides a more advanced form of visualization, which can increase the customer’s satisfaction and thus shopping experience. We further introduced the Virtual Reality Shopping Experience (VRSE) model based on customer satisfaction, task performance and user preference. A case study of a first VR shop prototype was conducted and evaluated with respect to the VRSE model. The results showed that the usability and user experience of our system is above average overall. In summary, searching for a product in a WebVR online shop using speech input in combination with VR output proved to be the best regarding user performance (speed, error rate) and preference (usability, user experience, immersion, motion sickness).
FootStriker: An EMS-based Foot Strike Assistant for Running
In running, knee-related injuries are very common. The main cause are high impact forces when striking the ground with the heel first. Mid- or forefoot running is generally known to reduce impact loads and to be a more efficient running style. In this paper, we introduce a wearable running assistant, consisting of an electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) device and an insole with force sensing resistors.
Shifty: A Weight-Shifting Dynamic Passive Haptic Proxy
We define the concept of Dynamic Passive Haptic Feedback (DPHF) for virtual reality by introducing the weight-shifting physical DPHF proxy object Shifty. This concept combines actuators known from active haptics and physical proxies known from passive haptics to construct proxies that automatically adapt their passive haptic feedback. We investigate how Shifty can, by automatically changing its internal weight distribution, enhance the user’s perception of virtual objects interacted with.
We investigate “bottom-up” gamification, i.e. providing users with the option to gamify an experience on their own by an examination of the usefulness of a task managing app implementing a “bottom-up” gamification concept.
The WaterCoaster measures the amount drunk and reminds the user to consume more, if necessary. The app is designed as a game in which the user needs to take care of a virtual character.
We investigate a crowd-based approach to enhance the outcome of optical character recognition in the domain of receipt capturing to keep track of expenses. In contrast to existing work, our approach is capable of extracting single products and provides categorizations for both articles and expenses, through the use of microtasks which are delegated to an unpaid crowd.