Support for deictic pointing in CVEs

Nelson Wong, Carl Gutwin
2014 Proceedings of the 17th ACM conference on Computer supported cooperative work & social computing - CSCW '14  
Pointing gestures -particularly deictic references -are ubiquitous in face-to-face communication. However, deictic pointing can be much more difficult in collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) than in everyday life -early studies found that the 'fragmentation' caused by the environment greatly complicated object-based communication. In the fifteen years since these studies appeared, the technologies used in CVEs have improved substantially, and several techniques for improving pointing have
more » ... een proposed or implemented. What these advances mean for the problems of fragmentation and deictic gesture, however, is not clear. To find out, we conducted a new observational study of deictic pointing in a CVE with several techniques that may reduce fragmentation: extra-wide and third-person views, precise control over an avatar's pointing arm, and visual enhancements such as object highlighting and laser pointing. Our study shows that although pointing has come a long way, problems of fragmentation still occur, and that visual and view enhancements can cause new problems for collaboration, even as they solve others. In addition, the visibility of a gesture's preparatory actions remained important to study participants, even when pointing was augmented. These results provide a richer understanding of the subtlety in avatar-based deictic communication, and of the ways that this critical communication mechanism can be better supported in CVEs.
doi:10.1145/2531602.2531691 dblp:conf/cscw/WongG14 fatcat:aspok7miyvfmpobspapvfwcdy4