Partially Blended Realities: Aligning Dissimilar Spaces for Distributed Mixed Reality Meetings

CHI 2023(2023)

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Mixed Reality allows for distributed meetings where people's local physical spaces are virtually aligned into blended interaction spaces. In many cases, people's physical rooms are dissimilar, making it challenging to design a coherent blended space. We introduce the concept of Partially Blended Realities (PBR) - using Mixed Reality to support remote collaborators in partially aligning their physical spaces. As physical surfaces are central in collaborative work, PBR supports users in transitioning between diferent confgurations of tables and whiteboard surfaces. In this paper, we 1) describe the design space of PBR, 2) present RealityBlender to explore interaction techniques for how users may confgure and transition between blended spaces, and 3) provide insights from a study on how users experience transitions in a remote collaboration task. With this work, we demonstrate new potential for using partial solutions to tackle the alignment problem of dissimilar spaces in distributed Mixed Reality meetings.
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Key words
mixed reality, augmented and virtual reality, remote collaboration, blended realities, proxemic transitions
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