CS Tea: Evan Suma Rosenberg
Making Small Spaces Feel Large: Practical Illusions in Virtual Reality
Immersive technologies have the potential to revolutionize how people communicate over distance, how they learn, train, and operate in challenging physical environments, and how they visualize, understand, and make decisions based on an ever-growing landscape of complex data. However, despite rapid technical advances over the past few years and no small amount of media hype, there are numerous theoretical and practical problems yet to be solved before virtual reality can catch up with our imaginations and make good on these promises. Locomotion is one of the most significant interaction challenges because body movement is constrained by the real world. When walking in VR, users may collide with walls or physical obstacles if they attempt to travel outside the boundaries of a "room-scale" space. In this talk, I will present a series of illusory techniques that can overcome these movement limitations by imperceptibly manipulating the laws of physics. This approach, known as redirected walking, has stunning potential to fool the senses. Through a series of formal studies, users have been convinced that they were walking along a straight path while actually traveling in a circle, or that they were exploring impossibly large virtual environments within the footprint of a single real-world room. Additionally, I will discuss technical challenges for redirected walking systems and present novel algorithms that can automatically redirect users in complex physical spaces with obstacles.
Biography: Evan Suma Rosenberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota. Previously, they were Associate Director of the MxR Lab at the Institute for Creative Technologies and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California. Their research interests are situated at the intersection of virtual/augmented reality and HCI, encompassing immersive technologies, 3D user interfaces, and spatial interaction techniques. They received a Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2010.