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3D avatar user interfaces (UI) are now used for many applications, a growing area for their use is serving location sensitive information to users as they need it while visiting or touring a building. Users communicate directly with an avatar rendered to a display in order to ask a question, get directions or partake in a guided tour and as a result of this kind of interaction with avatar UI, they have become a familiar part of modern human-computer interaction (HCI). However, if the viewer is not in the sweet spot (defined by Raskar et al. (1999) as a stationary viewing position at the optimal 90° angle to a 2D display) of the 2D display, the 3D illusion of the avatar deteriorates, which becomes evident as the user’s ability to interpret the avatar’s gaze direction towards points of interests (PoI) in the user’s real-world surroundings deteriorates also. This thesis combats the above problem by allowing the user to view the 3D avatar UI from outside the sweet spot, without any deterioration in the 3D illusion. The user does not lose their ability to interpret the avatar’s gaze direction and thus, the user experiences no loss in the perceived corporeal presence (Holz et al., 2011) for the avatar. This is facilitated by a three pronged graphical process called the Turning, Stretching and Boxing (TSB) technique, which maintains the avatar’s 3D illusion regardless of the user’s viewing angle and is achieved by using head-tracking data from the user captured by a Microsoft Kinect. The TSB technique is a contribution of this thesis because of how it is used with an avatar UI, where the user is free to move outside of the sweet spot without losing the 3D illusion of the rendered avatar. Then each consecutive empirical study evaluates the claims of the TSB Technique are also contributions of this thesis, those claims are as follows: (1) increase interpretability of the avatar’s gaze direction and (2) increase perception of corporeal presence for the avatar. The last of the empirical studies evaluates the use of 3D display technology in conjunction with the TSB technique. The results of Study 1 and Study 2 indicate that there is a significant increase in the participants’ abilities to interpret the avatar’s gaze direction when the TSB technique is switched on. The survey from Study 1 shows a significant increase in the perceived corporeal presence of the avatar when the TSB technique is switched on. The results from Study 3 indicate that there is no significant benefit for participants’ when interpreting the avatar’s gaze direction with 3D display technology turned on or off when the TSB technique is switched on.
Dunne, M. (2013). The turning, stretching and boxing technique: a direction worth looking towards Doctoral Dissertation. Technological University Dublin. doi:10.21427/D71P4X