UCT CS Research Document Archive

Presence in a Distributed Virtual Environment

Casanueva, Juan and Edwin Blake (2000) Presence in a Distributed Virtual Environment. Technical Report CS00-05-00, Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town.

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Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) involve the use of a distributed architecture, and advanced interactive user interfaces to create a ‘shared’ sense of space where users located in different physical locations can interact. An important objective is to provide users with an illusion that the machine mediated experience is not mediated. The extent of this illusion is measured by the sense of ‘presence’ experienced. We explore ‘shared presence’ in a Cooperative Virtual Environment, that is providing the participants with a sense of presence of others in the environment, thus having a feeling that they are directly cooperating with real people. We describe our prototype system for a ‘non-immersive’ distributed virtual environment. We provide preliminary results on factors which increase the sense of ‘shared presence’ in a virtual environment. These include the use of avatars to represent the participants, providing simple communication and interaction with the environment. Our prototype has served as a good basis for our future work towards shared presence by highlighting areas that require attention, (such as providing communicative behaviour to avatars) and indicating good prospects such as the importance of how one represents the avatars.

EPrint Type:Departmental Technical Report
Keywords:VR, presence, distributed virtual environments, interaction, user experience
Subjects:I Computing Methodologies: I.3 COMPUTER GRAPHICS
I Computing Methodologies: I.6 SIMULATION AND MODELING
ID Code:270
Deposited By:Maunder, AJ
Deposited On:11 November 2005