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Workshops & seminars

The New Reality of Extended Reality: Empirical Evaluation of Interaction in XR

Date & time
Monday, April 29, 2024
1:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Dr. Rob Teather


This event is free


Computer Science and Software Engineering


ER Building
2155 Guy St.
Room 1072

Wheel chair accessible



   Extended reality (XR), a catch-all term for virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) and augmented reality (AR) has recently become popular again with the release of low-cost and effective consumer-grade head-mounted displays such as the Meta Quest. The longstanding dream of VR has users interacting with virtual objects as naturally as real ones. In practice, despite technological advances, numerous technical and human factors make this difficult. Modern VR interaction continues to employ naturally-inspired interaction techniques that have changed little since their introduction in the late 80s. Similarly, cybersickness and the lack of tactile feedback when interacting with virtual objects are well-known to limit the effectiveness of VR systems, yet these issues persist today. In this talk, I will discuss my research addressing these three interrelated areas of virtual reality interaction. I will first describe my studies comparing 3D selection interfaces between 3D and desktop systems, and my work in extending a standardized methodology to support fair and direct comparison between these two different modalities. I will then discuss my research group's recent work employing this standardized methodology for evaluating novel 3D selection methods, as well as other projects aimed at enhancing the usability of VR systems through evaluating the effectiveness of cybersickness reduction techniques and novel approaches to VR haptics that employ shape-changing devices and perceptual illusions. I will close by discussing future directions for this work on both improving usability of, and equitable access to, VR technology. 



Robert J. Teather is a leading expert in several interrelated areas of human-computer interaction, including interaction techniques and input devices, especially when applied to 3D user interfaces for virtual reality. He holds a PhD and MSc in Computer Science (York University, Canada), as well as a BSc in Computer Science (Brock University, Canada). His PhD work focused on developing standardized methods for the empirical comparison of input devices for 3D interaction – primarily in order to compare mouse and 3D tracker-based input. To this end, Dr. Teather has established himself as an expert in comparing drastically different input devices and interaction techniques for common fundamental interaction tasks in VR (e.g., target selection), across varying system configurations (e.g., display properties such as stereo graphics, or system properties such as latency). His research is supported by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. He has also served in lead conference organization roles (e.g., general chair, technical program chair) in events including the IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality & 3D User Interfaces, ACM Virtual Reality Software and Technology, and the ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction.  

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