Recent projects

PrivateTalk: Activating Voice Input with Hand-On-Mouth Gesture Detected by Bluetooth Earphones

We introduce PrivateTalk, an on-body interaction technique that allows users to activate voice input by performing the Hand-On-Mouth gesture during speaking. The gesture is performed as a hand partially covering the mouth from one side. PrivateTalk provides two benefits simultaneously. First, it enhances privacy by reducing the spread of voice while also concealing the lip movements from the view of other people in the environment. Second, the simple gesture removes the need for speaking wake-up words and is more accessible than a physical/software button especially when the device is not in the user's hands.To recognize the Hand-On-Mouth gesture, we propose a novel sensing technique that leverages the difference of signals received by two Bluetooth earphones worn on the left and right ear. Our evaluation shows that the gesture can be accurately detected and users consistently like PrivateTalk and consider it intuitive and effective.

Eyes-Free Target Acquisition in Interaction Space around the Body for Virtual Reality

Eyes-free target acquisition is a basic and important human ability to interact with the surrounding physical world, relying on the sense of space and proprioception. In this research, we leverage this ability to improve interaction in virtual reality (VR), by allowing users to acquire a virtual object without looking at it. We expect this eyes-free approach can effectively reduce head movements and focus changes, so as to speed up the interaction and alleviate fatigue and VR sickness. We conduct three lab studies to progressively investigate the feasibility and usability of eyes-free target acquisition in VR. Results show that, compared with the eyes-engaged manner, the eyes-free approach is significantly faster, provides satisfying accuracy, and introduces less fatigue and sickness; Most participants (13/16) prefer this approach. We also measure the accuracy of motion control and evaluate subjective experience of users when acquiring targets at different locations around the body. Based on the results, we make suggestions on designing appropriate target layout and discuss several design issues for eyes-free target acquisition in VR.

VirtualGrasp: Leveraging Experience of Interacting with Physical Objects to Facilitate Digital Object Retrieval

We propose VirtualGrasp, a novel gestural approach to retrieve virtual objects in virtual reality. Using VirtualGrasp, a user retrieves an object by performing a barehanded gesture as if grasping its physical counterpart. The object-gesture mapping under this metaphor is of high intuitiveness, which enables users to easily discover, remember the gestures to retrieve the objects. We conducted three user studies to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the approach. Progressively, we investigated the consensus of the object-gesture mapping across users, the expressivity of grasping gestures, and the learnability and performance of the approach. Results showed that users achieved high agreement on the mapping, with an average agreement scoreof 0.68 (SD=0.27). Without exposure to the gestures, users successfully retrieved 76% objects with VirtualGrasp. A week after learning the mapping, they could recall the gestures for 93% objects.

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