Virginia Tech™home

VRViewfinder - Engaging bystanders in VR-based Interactive Media Using Auxiliary Viewing Devices

VRViewfinder - Engaging bystanders in VR-based Interactive Media Using Auxiliary Viewing Devices

Virtual reality (VR) is an emerging technology of artistic expression that enables live, immersive aesthetics for interactive media. However, VR-based interactive media are often consumed in a solitary set-up and cannot be shared in public (e.g., exhibition). Having a VR-headset for every bystander and synchronizing headsets can be costly and cumbersome.  In practice, a secondary screen is provided to bystanders and shows what the VR user is seeing.  However, as it is the egocentric view of the VR headset user, the bystanders cannot have a holistic view this way.  To engage the bystanders in the VR-based interactive media, we propose a technique with which the bystanders can see the VR headset user and their experience from a third-person perspective. The project VRviewfinder aims to develop a physical apparatus - a trackable tablet device - for the bystanders to see the VR environment through a tablet screen. We use the motion tracking system to create a virtual camera in VR and map the apparatus’ physical location to the location of the virtual camera. The bystanders can use the apparatus like a camera viewfinder to freely move and see the virtual world through and control their viewpoint as active spectators. We anticipate that this form of third-person view will improve the bystanders' engagement and immersiveness, and enhance their agency in their viewing experience.