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CS 5754: Virtual Environments Spring 2016 CLASS PROJECTS using Mirror Worlds

By Dr. Polys 2016

Collaborative Object Modelling through 3D User Interaction Sachin,

Bharambe, Surabhi, Gaopande, Amruta, Kulkarni, Pranav, Murthy, Varun, Subramanian, Nicholas Polys


Globalization and the advancements in the technological world, pose the need for collaboration among the professionals to work remotely on 3D content, especially in fields such as urban planning or architectural design. We propose a Collaborative 3D user interaction platform for object modelling, which provides a seamless system for collaboration on virtual 3D objects. Our system leverages the recent advances in optical head-mounted display using and finger tracking technology, allowing users to view digital content as if it were merged with the physical reality, while being able to assemble the objects using simple hand gestures. The goal of the object modelling task would be to replicate a target assembly of virtual cubes using the Leap Motion and view the environment using Oculus Rift. Two (can be extended to more) people on either side of a virtual workbench would collaborate to achieve this common goal. The system is evaluated for variation of different independent variables such as field of regard (Oculus Rift vs Stereo TV), complexity of target assembly, presence of physics, shadowing in the virtual environment and performance is evaluated based on the metrics of time, accuracy and satisfaction to replicate the target assembly. Based on the user studies, our proposed system shows promise to be an effective 3D object modeling platform.

Link to this paper

FINDR - An interactive mixed reality game

Subramanian Pradeep, Antonio Alexander, Siddharth Narayanan, Nicholas Polys


In this study we propose a mixed reality game to measure the level of user engagement, their task performance within the game and also trace their path leading to the task completion. We have built an interactive seeking game using the Unity game engine for both a regular desktop version and the Oculus Rift HMD. We wanted to restrict number of independent variables to specifically study the aforementioned values and have therefore used the same resolution, field of view and input controls for both these versions. Apart from our primary focus on the comparison of desktops vs the HMDs, we have also tried to explore exocentric vs endocentric approaches, the level of confusion factor, and the effect of the virtual avatar representations. We also study about the situational awareness of the user when they play the game. Our game was evaluated using a total of 18 subjects in accordance with the IRB protocol and the results were analyzed to bring forth statistically significant conclusions. We present our findings in this paper along with the appropriate categorization of the results.

Link to this paper

Virginia Tech’s Virtual Study Hall

Jessie Mann, Manasa Ananth, Brad Herald, Sweetuben Patel, Nicholas Polys


The method of loci (MOL) memory technique is an ancient Greco-Roman mnemonic technique developed as a means to memorize long orations. The MOL technique pairs what is to be remembered with a mental-imagery-based spatial navigation. This method is also often referred to as a memory palace where one can traverse an imagined palace in order to encode and retrieve the information stored therein. Recent technological advances have allowed for new approaches to examine the effectiveness of the MOL technique. In particular, the use of computer-generated immersive virtual realities and virtual environments appears to be quite fruitful for furtheringour knowledge on this technique. Immersive virtual reality and desktop virtual environments have proven useful as evaluative tools for behavioral and cognitive assessments. In this paper we perform four different studies to assess the effectiveness of the MOL technique vs. the non-MOL technique and the effectiveness of mental imagery based MOL technique vs. virtual or immersive MOL technique. Subjects were tested after the training and then 24 hours later.    

Jessie Mann, Nicholas Polys, Rachel Diana, Manasa Ananth, Brad Herald, and Sweetuben Platel. Virginia Tech’s Study Hall: A Virtual Method of Loci Mnemotechnic Study using a Neurologically-Based, Mechanism-Driven, Approach to Immersive Learning Research. Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality 2017.