XR Collaboration beyond Virtual Reality: Work in the Real World

XR Collaboration beyond Virtual Reality: Work in the Real World
Extended Reality; Virtual Reality; Augmented Reality; XR Collaboration; XR Content Representation; Unified Coordinate System; Webizing
Issue Date
Journal of computational design and engineering
, qwab010
Collaborating in a physically remote location saves time and money. Many remote collaboration systems have been studied and commercialized. Their capabilities have been confined to virtual objects and information. More recent studies have focused on collaborating in a physical environment and with physical objects. However, they have limitations including shaky and unstable views (scenes), view dependency, low scalability, and poor content expression. In this paper, we propose a web-based extended reality (XR) collaboration system that alleviates the aforementioned issues and enables effective, reproducible cooperation. Our proposed system comprises three parts: interaction device webization, which expands the web browser’s device interfaces; unified XR representation, which describes content interoperable in both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR); and unified coordinates creation, which enables presenting physical objects’ pose in world coordinates. With this system, a user in VR can intuitively instruct the manipulation of a physical object by manipulating a virtual object representative of the physical object. Conversely, a user in AR can catch up with the instruction by observing the augmented virtual object on the physical object. Moreover, as the pose of the physical object at the AR user’s worksite is reflected in the virtual object, the VR user can recognize the working progress and give feedback to the AR user. To improve remote collaboration, we surveyed XR collaboration studies and proposed a new method for classifying XR collaborative applications based on the virtual-real engagement and ubiquitous computing continuum. We implemented a prototype and conducted a survey amongst submarine crews, most of whom were positively inclined to use our system, to convey that the system would be helpful in improving their job performance. Furthermore, we suggested possible improvements to it to enh
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