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Research Papers

Competitive Usability Analysis of Immersive Virtual Environments in Engineering Design Review

[+] Author and Article Information
Kurt Satter

Mem. ASME
Retired IE Professor,
Lane Wylie, TX 75098
e-mail: ksatter@verizon.net

Alley Butler

Mem. ASME
Professor,
Manufacturing Engineering,
University of Texas,
Pan American,
Edinburg, TX 78539
e-mail: acbutler@utpa.edu

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received January 8, 2012; final manuscript received December 29, 2014; published online April 9, 2015. Editor: Bahram Ravani.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 15(3), 031001 (Sep 01, 2015) (12 pages) Paper No: JCISE-12-1005; doi: 10.1115/1.4029750 History: Received January 08, 2012; Revised December 29, 2014; Online April 09, 2015

A competitive usability study was employed to measure user performance and user preference for immersive virtual environments (VEs) with multimodal gestural interfaces when compared directly with nonstereoscopic traditional CAD interfaces that use keyboard and mouse. The immersive interfaces included a wand and a data glove with voice interface with an 86 in. stereoscopic rendering to screen; whereas, the traditional CAD interfaces included a 19 in. workstation with keyboard and mouse and an 86 in. nonstereoscopic display with keyboard and mouse. The context for this study was a set of “real world” engineering design scenarios. These design scenarios include benchmark 1—navigation, benchmark 2—error finding and repair, and benchmark 3—spatial awareness. For this study, two populations of users were employed, novice (n = 15) and experienced (n = 15). All users experienced three successive trials to quantify the effects of limited learning. Statistically based comparisons were made using both parametric and nonparametric methods. Conclusions included improved capability and user preference for immersive VEs and their interfaces were statistically significant for navigation and error finding/repair for immersive interfaces.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

R-2 immersadesk system with wand interface

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Fig. 2

The wand interface

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Fig. 3

The R-2 immersive workbench with voice and glove interface

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Fig. 4

The Cyberglove II interface

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Fig. 5

Test data dimensions

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Fig. 6

Usability survey questionnaire

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Fig. 7

Statistical analysis test selection

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Fig. 8

Stereoscopic versus nonstereoscopic environment time comparison

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Fig. 9

Stereoscopic versus nonstereoscopic environment distance offsets comparison

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Fig. 10

Stereoscopic versus nonstereoscopic environment subjective ratings comparison

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