METAL: An asymmetric mixed reality collaborative learning tool

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have become increasingly popular in scientific visualization especially for education where they can support collaborative scientific visualization experiences in the classroom. However, the inherent limitations of head-mounted AR and VR tools are stemming the popularization of these existing content-sharing tools. Instead of sharing 3D educational content between AR/VR headsets, this paper proposes a novel prototype Mixed rEaliTy shAring pLatform (METAL) allow for 3D educational content to be shared between a Microsoft HoloLens 2 and multiple Looking Glass displays which are a type of Light Field (Multi-view Autostereoscopic) display. This platform allows one teacher to use HoloLens to manipulate and share different 3D contents with multiple student groups via the network, thus each student group can observe the synchronized 3D educational content with autostereoscopic experiences. Therefore, this proposed prototype enables a low-cost one-to-multiple 3D content sharing experience that allows the intuitive 3D model interaction and seamless communication between the students and the teacher.

The METAL project was the first asymmetric mixed reality collaborative system that combines AR headsets with Light Field Displays (LFDs). In this project, I developed the LFD application and conducted a technical evaluation. I was also the co-first-author of the publication. The paper is available here.

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