Computing and Information Systems - Theses

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    Reflected Reality: Augmented Reality Interaction with Mirror Reflections
    Zhou, Qiushi ( 2023-11)
    Mirror reflections enable a compelling visuomotor experience that allows people to simultaneously embody two spaces: through the physical body in front of the mirror and through the reflected body in the illusory space behind the mirror. This experience offers unique affordances for Augmented Reality (AR) interaction that leverages the natural human perception of the relationship between the two bodies. This thesis explores possibilities of AR interaction with mirror reflections through unpacking and investigating this relationship. Through a systematic literature review of Extended Reality interaction that is not from the first-person perspective (1PP), we identify opportunities for novel AR interaction techniques from second-person perspective (2PP) using the reflected body in the mirror (Article I). Following this, we contribute Reflected Reality: a design space for AR interaction with mirror reflections that covers interaction from different perspectives (1PP/2PP), using different spatial frames of reference (egocentric/allocentric), and under different perceptions of the use of the space in the mirror (as reflection/extension of the physical space) (Article II). Previous work and the evaluation results of reflected reality interaction suggest that most of its novel interaction affordances revolve around the physical and the reflected bodies in the egocentric spaces. Following this observation, we conduct two empirical studies to investigate how users perceive virtual object locations around their physical bodies through a target acquisition task (Article III), and to understand how users can perform bodily interaction using their reflected bodies in the mirror through a movement acquisition task following a virtual instructor (Article IV). Together, results from these studies provide a fundamental knowledge base for designing reflected reality interaction in different task scenarios. After investigating the spatial affordance of mirror reflections for AR interaction, this thesis further explores the affordance for embodied perception through the mediation of the reflected user. Intuiting from results of Article IV, we conduct a systematic review of dance and choreography in HCI that reveals opportunities for using AR with mirror reflections to mediate the integration of the visual presentation and kinaesthetic sensation of body movement (Article V). We present the findings and discussions from a series of workshops on dance improvisation with a prototype AR mirror, which reveals the affordance of a multi-layered embodied presence across the mirror perceived by dancers (Article VI). We conclude this thesis with a discussion that summarises the knowledge gained from the empirical studies, elucidates the implications of the design space and novel interaction techniques, and illuminates future research directions inspired by its empirical and theoretical implications.
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    Supporting the User Experience of Running with Mixed Reality Stories
    Kan, Aleksandr ( 2019)
    Mixed reality stories (MRS) are stories designed to create a mixed reality experience with particular activities, such as running. A wide commercial success of a mixed reality stories designed for running suggested that such a format could provide unique benefits compared to other kinds of mixed reality systems. Yet little is known about how the user experience of running with mixed reality stories can be supported. This thesis aims to address this problem. To reach this aim I conducted three empirical qualitative studies. Study 1 explores the experience of running with an existing commercially successful mixed reality story. In this study, 11 participants ran with the MRS for three weeks and reported on their experience via semi-structured open-ended interviews before and after the trial, along with keeping a running diary throughout the study. The study helped to evaluate which aspects are most significant for constructing the user experience of MRS, how runners balance different aspects on the go, the importance of participants’ attitudes towards running, and also indicated that MRS format is different from both conventional audiobooks and traditional mixed reality systems. Study 2 focuses on how creative writers address running when working on the stories. During this study, three writers created three distinct stories with different approaches to connecting the physical and virtual worlds. Semi-structured discussions with the writers, along with the analysis of the stories they created helped to understand the differences between the approaches they used, and how writers repurpose familiar story mechanics for addressing running. Finally, Study 3 examines how runners perceive mixed reality stories. In it, 36 participants completed 45 runs with the three MRS created in the previous study. Similarly to Study 1, their experience was captured via semi-structured open-ended interviews after their runs. The findings of the study introduced four stages of story perception and revealed how such perceptions depend on participants’ personal relationships with running. Moreover, Study 3 validated, clarified, connected and extended findings from the first two studies, thus bringing the thesis to closure. Overall, this thesis addresses the gap in our understanding in how the user experience of running with mixed reality stories can be supported by clarifying how MRS are different from both traditional stories and other mixed reality systems, and how they enhance running by providing welcome distractions and by changing the meaning of the running. It suggests how runners balance different aspects of a complex experience by voluntarily engaging when it suits them. Finally, it breaks down the three most significant aspects of the MRS experience—running, story and MRS elements—to provide more understanding of how they work, and suggests how these insights could be used in practice.