Graduate students Rohith and Roshan Venkatakrishnan, Dr. Sab Babu, and collaborators produced a paper titled, “Comparative Evaluation of Digital Writing and Art in Real and Immersive Virtual Environments.” In this project the authors built a one-of-a-kind simulation to study how perception-action coordination and motor control affected digital writing, coloring, sketching, tracing, and drawing in VR and real-world situations. An evaluation revealed that participants’ performance in digital writing and art was best in the real-world condition, followed by VR with self-embodiment, and was the worst in immersive VR without self-embodiment.
Recent PhD graduate Alexandre Gomes de Siqueira and co-authors including Drs. Brygg Ullmer, Andrew Robb, and Sab Babu developed a paper titled, “Empirically Evaluating the Effects of Perceptual Information Channels on the Size Perception of Tangibles in Near-Field Virtual Reality.” Alexandre and colleagues worked on a system to integrate tangible user interfaces in VR and evaluated the effects of the visual, haptic, and visuo-haptic information on size perception. They found that in the absence of user’s self-representation, participants were more accurate in perceiving the size of tangibles using visual information alone, as compared to haptic and visuo-haptic information.
In a third paper, graduate student Matias Volonte, Dr. Sab Babu, and collaborators provided a paper titled, “Effects of Language Familiarity in Simulated Natural Dialogue with Virtual Crowd of Digital Humans on Emotion Contagion in Virtual Reality.” Matias and collaborators built an AI-based virtual crowd system in VR and examined how the medium of communication with virtual humans affected their emotional response and engagement with the virtual humans. They discovered for the first time that the medium of communication or language familiarity maintained a remarkably strong influence on participants’ emotional reactions to interactive virtual humans. Dr. Sab Babu was the senior author of these papers. The acceptance rate at IEEE VR 2021 this year was 23%.