Comparing visual representations of collaborative map interfaces for immersive virtual environments

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Virtual reality offers unique benefits to support remote collaboration. However, the way of representing the scenario and interacting within the team can influence the effectiveness of a collaborative task. In this context, this research explores the benefits and limitations of two different visual representations of the collaboration space, shared experience and shared workspace, in the specific case of map-based collaboration. Shared experience aims at reproducing face-to-face collaboration in a realistic way whilst shared workspace translates to the virtual world the functionalities of 2D collaborative spaces. The goal is to understand whether sophisticated interfaces with realistic avatars are necessary, or if simpler solutions might be enough to support efficient collaboration. We performed a user study ( n=24 , 12 pairs) through a collaborative task with two roles in a emergency crisis intervention scenario that typically uses map-based interfaces. Despite that a shared experience scenario might provide a better personal experience to the user in terms of realism, our study provides insights that suggest that a shared workspace could be a more effective way to represent the scenario and improve the collaboration.
immersive map interfaces, collaboration, social presence, workspace awareness, virtual reality
Bibliographic citation
A. Santos-Torres, T. Zarraonandia, P. Díaz and I. Aedo, "Comparing Visual Representations of Collaborative Map Interfaces for Immersive Virtual Environments," in IEEE Access, vol. 10, pp. 55136-55150, 2022, doi: 10.1109/ACCESS.2022.3176949