Excuse Me: Large Groups in Small Rooms


Standing in a large crowd can be uncomfortable and usually results in other users obstructing the view of the virtual environment. In this paper, we present four techniques designed to improve the user's view in crowded environments.
Inspired by related work on various transparency and clipping techniques, as well as observed user behavior in crowded scenarios, our paper addresses the visibility problem by locally manipulating the appearance of other users. Three of our techniques define a region of interest using a handheld flashlight metaphor. Depending on the technique, occluding users are either pushed to the side, scaled, or made partially transparent. The fourth technique allows users to vertically adjust their position.
A user study with 24 participants found that the transparency technique was advantageous for quick search tasks. However, in a realistic museum setting, no clear favorite could be determined because the techniques make different trade-offs and users weighted these aspects differently. In a final ranking, the vertical position adjustment and transparency techniques were the most popular, but the scaling technique and vertical position adjustment were found to be the most natural.


Schott, E., Zoeppig, T., Lammert, A., Froehlich, B.
Excuse Me: Large Groups in Small Roooms.
In 2024 IEEE Conference Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR), Orlando, Florida, 2024.
DOI: 10.1109/VR58804.2024.00031.
[preprint][supplementary video]