The automotive industry uses physical seating bucks, which are minimal mockups of a car interior, to assess various aspects of the planned interior early in the development process. In a virtual seating buck, users wear a head-mounted display (HMD) which overlays a virtual car interior on a physical seating buck. We have developed a two-user virtual seating buck system, which allows two users to take the place of the driver and co-driver respectively. Both passengers wear tracked head-mounted displays and see the virtual car interior from the respective view points enabling both users to properly interact with the interface elements of a car. We use this system for the development, test and evaluation of novel human-machine interface concepts for future car models.
We provide each user with an avatar, since the two co-located users need to see each others' actions. Our evaluation of different head and hand models for representing the two users indicate that the user representations and motions should be as realistic as possible even though the focus is on testing interface elements operated by the users' fingers. The participants of our study also expressed that they clearly prefer the two-user seating buck over a single-user system since it directly supports the face-to-face discussions of features and problems of a newly developed interface.
Salzmann, H., Froehlich, B.
The Two-User Seating Buck: Enabling Face-to-Face Discussions of Novel Car Interface Concepts
Accepted for the IEEE Virtual Reality 2008 Conference.
[preprint, IEEE][talk at VR2008]