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Collaborative Interaction in a Virtual Environment

10,000 3,000

Topic Description

Summary
The benefits of Virtual Environment technology can truly be reaped with the addition of the uniting
of distributed personnel interacting together on a collaborative project. The emerging uses of these
Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVEs) range from urban development control (Manoharan et al.,
2001), to entertainment (Benford et al., 2004), demonstrating that the technology is gradually being
discovered for its practical applications.
Our CVE will create a task oriented environment for users and we will compare and contrast the
performance of users working alone against users working together in a real-time virtual situation. We
develop a challenge for users that can be completed to a vast range of different standards, with many
diverse elements being measured giving us material with which to grade performance.

Contents
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Minimum Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Deliverables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3 A Collaborative Challenge in a Virtual Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2 Background Research 4
2.1 Network Requirements and Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.2 Languages, Technologies and Protocols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.3 Human-Computer Interaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2.4 Graphical Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
2.5 Picking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
3 Technical design and implementation 11
3.1 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3.2 Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.3 Requirements Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
3.4 Changing the viewpoint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.4.1 Avatars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
3.4.2 Movement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.4.3 Two-handed control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.5 Object manipulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.5.1 Manipulation requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.5.2 Frames of reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.5.3 Collision detection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.5.4 Conflict resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.6 Networking and the Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
4 Evaluation 28
4.1 Technical evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.1.1 Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
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4.1.2 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
4.1.3 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
4.2 User evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
4.2.1 Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
4.2.2 Calibrating the system . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
4.2.3 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
4.2.4 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
4.2.4.1 Collaboration and Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
4.2.4.2 Collaboration and Ability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
4.3 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Bibliography 46
A Personal Reflection 48
B Project Management 49
C Questionnaire 51
D Data units and flags 53
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