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Abstract: Enhancing Perspicuity of Objects in Virtual Reality Environments

Jens Herder and Michael Cohen. Enhancing Perspicuity of Objects in Virtual Reality Environments CT'97 - Second International Cognitive Technology Conference, Aizu, pp. 228-237, IEEE Press, ISBN 0-8186-8084-9, August 1997.

In an information-rich Virtual Reality (VR) environment, the user is immersed in a world containing many objects providing that information. Given the finite computational resources of any computer system, optimization is required to ensure that the most important information is presented to the user as clearly as possible and in a timely fashion. In particular, what is desired are means whereby the perspicuity of an object may be enhanced when appropriate. An object becomes more perspicuous when the information it provides to the user becomes more readily apparent. Additionally, if a particular object provides high-priority information, it would be advantageous to make that object obtrusive as well as highly perspicuous. An object becomes more obtrusive if it draws attention to itself (or equivalently, if it is hard to ignore). This paper describes a technique whereby objects may dynamically adapt their representation in a user's environment according to a dynamic priority evaluation of the information each object provides. The three components of our approach are:

  • an information manager that evaluates object information priority,
  • an enhancement manager that tabulates rendering features associated with increasing object perspicuity and obtrusion as a function of priority, and
  • a resource manager that assigns available object rendering resources according to features indicated by the enhancement manager for the priority set for each object by the information manager.
We consider resources like visual space (pixels), sound spatialization channels (mixels), MIDI/audio channels, and processing power, and discuss our approach applied to different applications. Assigned object rendering features are implemented locally at the object level (e.g., object facing the user using the billboard node in VRML 2.0) or globally, using helper applications (e.g., active spotlights, semi-automatic cameras).


perspicuity, obtrusion, virtual reality, spatialization, spatial media, autonomous actors, user interface design, man-machine interfaces


Copyright 1997 IEEE. Published in the Proceedings of CT'97, August 25-28, 1997 in Aizu, Japan. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works, must be obtained from the IEEE. Contact: Manager, Copyrights and Permissions / IEEE Service Center / 445 Hoes Lane / P.O. Box 1331 / Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331, USA. Telephone: + Intl. 908-562-3966.




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