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This chapter describes an approach to the development of virtual representations of real places. The work was funded under the European Unionand#x2019;s and#x20AC;20 m Future and Emerging Technologies theme of the 5th Framework Programme, “Presence”. The aim of the project, called BENOGO, was to develop a novel technology based on real-time image-based rendering (IBR) for representing places in virtual environments. The specific focus of the work presented here concerned how to capture the essential features of real places, and how to represent that knowledge, so that the team developing the IBR-based virtual environments could produce an environment that was as realistic as possible. This involved the development and evaluation of a number of virtual environments and the evolution of two complementary techniques; the Place Probe and Patterns of place.
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To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
1
Patterns of Place: An Integrated Approach for the Design and Evaluation of Real and Virtual
Environments
Michael Smyth, David Benyon, Rod McCall2, Shaleph O’Neill and Fiona Carroll
The Centre for Interaction Design, School of Computing, Napier University, Edinburgh EH10 5DT, UK
2Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust, University of Luxembourg, 4 rue Alphonse
Weicker, Luxembourg, L-2721
Keywords: Place, Design, Evaluation, Real & Virtual
1. Introduction
This chapter describes an approach to the development of virtual representations of real places. The work
was funded under the European Union’s 20m Future and Emerging Technologies theme of the 5th
Framework Programme, “Presence”, 2002 - 2005. The aim of the project, called BENOGO, was to develop
a novel technology based on real-time image-based rendering (IBR) for representing places in virtual
environments. The specific focus of the work presented here concerned how to capture the essential
features of real places, and how to represent that knowledge, so that the team developing the IBR-based
virtual environments could produce an environment that was as realistic as possible. This involved the
development and evaluation of a number of virtual environments and the evolution of two complementary
techniques; the Place Probe and Patterns of place.
There are two main approaches to the generation of virtual representations of places. In the traditional
approach images are generated from 3D models of objects and scenes. This approach uses a compact data
representation and has the flexibility to generate any new view that may be required. Its main drawback is
the reliance on the availability of models. Many objects (such as trees, hair and flowers) and many physical
phenomena (such as shadows) are very hard to model and as a result, synthetic images generated from
models often appear artificial and lack a sense of realism. Another approach to creating virtual places is
called Image-Based-Rendering (IBR), (Buehler, Bosse and McMillan, 2001, Shum and Kang, 2000). In this
approach a scene is photographed from many points of view, and new images are generated through
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
2
complicated computations, re-sampling and interpolation of this image collection. The main advantage of
this approach is the realistic nature of the images. The main drawbacks arise from the necessity to have in
storage every possible point of view of every possible point in space. As a result the storage load of this
approach is huge, and the image acquisition is very tedious. In the past these drawbacks have made IBR
impractical for most applications.
During the BENOGO project significant advances were made in the techniques used for image collection
and rendering. These advances meant that environments could be rapidly photographed and stitched
together to provide photo-realistic scenes with effective stereoscopic characteristics. These were rendered
in different arenas; a six-sided fully immersive CAVE, a panorama, or in a head mounted display (HMD).
The head movements of a person viewing the scene in an arena was tracked and used to select the images
presented to the person. This produced a very realistic effect that the person was in a particular location and
could look around, fully 360o. However, where there were no photographic images, there were gaps in the
rendering. For example photographs taken with a fish-eye lens in a circle with a radius of 60cm would
allow the person to see almost 180o up and down and 360o around. They could move about within the 60cm
radius, but if they looked directly up or down the image was blank. The fish-eye lens also distorted the
images in certain parts of the scene.
There were a variety of cameras used, employed in a variety of ways (rotated around a point, moved
forward along a line and so on). These were rendered in different arenas (HMD, CAVE, etc.) using
different algorithms that produced slightly different effects. The photo-realistic scenes could also be
augmented with graphical images. This rich technology created one of the major challenges for the project.
How should the different parts of the technological infrastructure be deployed to create what effects? For
example where should the camera be positioned to photograph a scene? If it is placed at 1 metre high this
might be suitable to create a realistic view for a child, if at 2 metres it might be suitable for a tall person. If
photographs were taken every 10cm between 1 metre and 2 metres it would allow the viewer of the scene
to move up and down, and could accommodate both child and adult views, but it would mean capturing and
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
3
rendering in real time ten times as many images where each image requires several tens of megabytes of
storage.
The development approach that was adopted to deal with these issues consisted of two parts. The first
focused on understanding the essential characteristics of a place. We wanted to find what gave a place its
‘sense of place’. This allowed us to compare any virtual representation of that place with descriptions and
measures of the real place. It also allowed us to specify to the engineers and designers of the virtual
environments which characteristics needed to be most realistic, and which were less important. The first
part of this approach is known as the Place Probe, the second part consists of Patterns of Place.
In this chapter we will describe the specifics of this approach as applied in the BENOGO project. However,
we also wish to recommend the general nature of the approach to understanding and representing sense of
place. In section 3 of the chapter we introduce the characteristics of The Place Probe. Details of how this
instrument was designed are described in (Benyon, Smyth, O’Neill, McCall and Carroll, 2006). The Place
Probe was to inform the design of future virtual environments through the development of Patterns of
Place. Based on the application of the probe a series of patterns were abstracted and categorised into three
broad categories: physical properties; affect and meaning; and activities associated with place. The
rationale for choosing these categories, along with illustrations of the patterns and how they can be applied
are described in Section 4. These categories constitute the sense of presence in a particular place.
Technological patterns specific to the IBR approach adopted within the BENOGO project were also
developed. Together the technological patterns and the place patterns form the basis of a nascent “Pattern
Book” aimed at connecting the case based approach to the measurement of sense of presence to the design
of virtual environments. In order to frame the discussion, Section 2 provides a brief background to presence
and place form a human-computer interaction perspective. Section 5 concludes the chapter with a look
forward to how the approach may be further developed and generalised.
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
4
2. A Human Computer Interaction based approach to Sense of Presence
One of the overarching themes that unified the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technologies
Presence initiative in the 5th Framework programme was the relationship between the creation of virtual
environments and the subsequent measurement of the sense of presence experienced by participants. A
variety of tools and techniques for the measurement of sense of presence have been developed. The
Immersive Tendencies Questionnaire (ITQ) was developed to identify real world tendencies (e.g. using
computer games) that may affect a person’s sense of presence, (Witmer and Singer, 1998). The ITC-SOPI
was developed for the UK’s Independent Television Commission. It is a cross-media questionnaire that
explores spatial presence, levels of engagement, sense of naturalness and negative aspects that effect
presence (Lessiter et al, 2000). The MEC questionnaire (Vorderer, Wirth, Gouveia, Biocca, Saari, Jäncke,
Böcking, Schramm, Gysbers, Hartmann, Klimmt, Laarni, Ravaja, Sacau, Baumgartner, & Jäncke, (2004)
was developed as part of the Presence initiative. It focuses on spatial presence.
These approaches have been primarily quantitative and designed to be applied post hoc to developed
environments. Whilst such measures might be useful in some circumstances, there is little evidence to
suggest how such measurements will inform the design of future environments. In contrast, an enduring
belief of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) practitioners is the intimate relationship between the
generation of requirements for future systems and the subsequent criteria for evaluation of those systems
(e.g. Benyon, Turner and Turner, 2004). Requirements and evaluation are two sides of the same coin. One
goal of our work, then, was to reconnect the measurement of presence to the articulation of requirements
for the design and development of virtual environments, to their evaluation and re-design.
Another key feature of our approach from the HCI perspective is that we reject a traditional cognitive view
of presence and instead adopt a conceptual framework based on the concept of embodied interaction (or
embodiment). Embodiment is a development of the phenomenological school of philosophy developed by
Edmund Husserl at the turn of the Nineteenth century and used, changed and expanded by philosophers
such as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and more recently Dourish (Dourish, 2001). For Husserl, an individual’s
experience was the experience of something. By focusing attention on the act of this ‘experiencing of’
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
5
rather than on the thing being experienced or the person who was having the experience, he aimed to
produce a new kind of knowledge that could account for things beyond the reach of science. Heidegger
introduced ‘Beings’, entities which exist in the world and are able to reason about Being, Continuing in the
phenomenologist tradition, Merleau-Ponty’s account of ‘being-in-the-world’ emphasises the importance of
the body. He places the body at the centre of our relation to the world and argues that it is only through
having bodies that we can truly experience space..
In Where the Action Is Paul Dourish develops his ideas on the foundations of embodied interaction
(Dourish, 2001). The embodied interaction perspective considers interaction ‘with the things themselves’.
For Dourish, phenomenology is about the tight coupling of action and meaning. Actions take on meaning
for people. Coupling is concerned with making the relationship between actions and meaning effective. If
objects and relationships are coupled then effects of actions can be passed through the system. Dourish uses
the familiar example of a hammer (also used by Heidegger) to illustrate coupling. When you use a hammer
it becomes an extension to your arm (it is coupled) and you act through the hammer onto the nail. You are
engaged in the activity of hammering.
These ideas are important to a study of presence. If you feel present, you are unaware of any mediating
technology: indeed presence has been defined as the illusion of non-mediation (Lombard and Ditton, 1997).
A sense of presence may be true of some communication technology such as a phone or video screen that
really makes you feel that you are dealing directly with other people (called social presence). Alternatively
it may be that you are able to operate a remote vehicle with all the accuracy as if you were there and with
the full range of tactile, auditory, olfactory and other feedback that being in the real place would allow.
Designing for presence is about designing the illusion of non-mediation. When you put on a head mounted
display you are immediately transported into the computed world beyond the headset. You are not aware
that there are two tiny displays sitting close to your eyes; that part of the interaction is apparently
unmediated.
But presence is nothing if it is not about place (Turner and Turner, 2005). Presence is the sense of non-
mediation; it is the sense of ‘being there’. The Heideggerian phenomenology of being leads us to
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
6
understand that ‘to be’ is to be somewhere. Being is’ being-in-the-world’, or dasein as Heidegger called it.
Presence is inherently commingled with place. Given this view of presence and our project’s interest in
representing real places, lead us naturally to investigate the philosophy of place.
Sense of place has been considered extensively in environmental psychology, sociology, geography,
literary and media theory. Relph’s (1976) monograph takes an explicitly phenomenological and holistic
stance towards appreciating places. He defines three components of ‘place identity’: physical setting;
activities afforded by the place; meanings and affect attributed to the place. Relph’s model of place
provides us with the basic framework within which we developed the Place Probe and subsequently the
Patters of Place. However we also explored the idea of place from the perspective of Gustafson’s
conceptualization (Gustafson, 2001). He draws on empirical work in the form of an interview survey and
builds on a review of earlier conceptualizations of place to identify three poles that can be used to
understand places; self, environment and other people. Other accounts of space and place, notably the work
of Edward Casey (e.g. Casey, 1997), Y-F Tuan (1977), and Jorgensen and Stedman (2001) have also
informed our work.
As a means of trying to better understand the criteria that contribute to sense of presence, a series of studies
of real places were undertaken (Turner et al, 2003, Turner and Turner, 2003, Smyth 2005 and Turner,
Turner and Carroll, 2005). Figure 1 is an image from a photo realistic virtual representation of a glasshouse
in the Prague botanical gardens. Participants experienced a 360 degree panorama of the interior of the
glasshouse via a head-mounted display. Figure 2 is a series of images of the Jenck’s Landform in
Edinburgh that was a location for one of the early studies of place. Each of the studies formed the basis of
the initial BENOGO demonstrators and critically shaped both the approach to the measurement of sense of
presence in both real and virtual environments, but also the subsequent debate as to what constituted
presence and its relationship with place.
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
7
Figure 1: An image captured from the Botanical Gardens in Prague, (Turner, Turner and Carroll, 2005)
Figure 2: Series of images from the Jenck’s Landform, Edinburgh, (Smyth, 2005)
In their paper Place, Sense of Place and Presence, Turner and Turner (2005) provide a detailed
consideration of both empirical and theoretical evidence for a phenomenological view of presence and
place. They point to the need for a more complete understanding of place than is provided by the cognitive.
Affective and conative aspects are clearly present in people’s descriptions of places. They also identify the
importance of semantic associations that people have with places and the importance of individual
associations. Whilst they identify four components of place, these correspond to the activities, meanings
and affect and physical characteristics identified by Relph (1976). They conclude by pointing put that
presence and sense of place are first-person constructs, experienced by individuals and they highlight the
difficulty of creating virtual representations that capture the multi-sensory, impressionistic nature that
characterises people’s feelings about places.
Despite these inherent difficulties, we were faced with the demand to create virtual representations of real
places that achieved a real sense of presence, or sense of place, for the people experiencing these
environments. Our approach is to capture the essential features of places as best we can through the
Place Probe and to represent our accumulating design knowledge as number of templates or, Patterns of
Place.
3. The Place Probe
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
8
Probes are collections of stimuli and data gathering instruments to help in design. Cultural probes (Gaver,
Dunne and Pacenti, 1999) were used for the generation of rich data related to the context of use of
technology. Technology probes (Westerlund, Lindquist and Sunblad, 2001) have been used to explore the
use of technology in primarily domestic settings. Typically these probes contain a diary, notebook, several
disposable cameras, address envelopes and a pen in order to generate information about the nature of
communications between family members. The Place Probe was designed to enable the articulation of
experiences at a specific time and place. We wanted to organise a number of complementary techniques
into an easy to administer instrument that would allow us to understand the essential characteristics of a
place.
The Place Probe was developed over a period of three years and involved a whole range of techniques that
were tested, used, reviewed and discussed (Benyon, et al., 2006). These were mostly qualitative techniques
based on talk-aloud protocols, video, questionnaires and so on. The final version of the Place Probe is
included in appendix 1. It includes three sections. The first gathers impressions of the place using a number
of techniques. The second part includes a number of semantic differentials that seek to distinguish the main
characteristics of a place along pre-defined dimensions in a quick and intuitive way. Lawson (2001) uses
semantic differential to understand people’s perceptions of place in a similar way. The final part of the
Place Probe is a short version of the MEC spatial presence questionnaire (Vorder, et al., 2004).
As the Place Probe has evolved, the different components have been used in a variety of settings such as a
real environmental architecture (Smyth, 2005), a real botanical garden (O’Neill and Benyon, 2003), a
virtual environment representation of a botanical garden in an HMD (Turner, Turner, Carroll, O’Neill,
Benyon, McCall and Smyth, 2003), a university stairwell rendered in an HMD, a city view of Prague
rendered in an HMD (O’Neill, McCall, Carroll, Smyth and Benyon, 2004), a virtual environment of the
Technical Museum in Prague in both a fully immersive, six sided CAVE and HMD (McCall, O’Neill,
Carroll, Benyon and Smyth, 2005). The main contributing studies to the development of the Place Probe
are summarized in Table 1.
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
9
Table 1: Summary of the Methods utilized within the BENOGO Project.
Location
Date
Mediating
Technology
Participants
Data Analysis Methods
Real study:
Edinburgh
Botanical Gardens
February
2003
Video Camera
(subjects talked
whilst videoing
the scene).
4 male
Quantitative analysis of ITQ
and SOPI questionnaires.
Qualitative analysis and
identification of reoccurring
themes of talk aloud and
structured interview data.
Virtual Study:
Prague Botanical
Gardens
February
2003
Head Mounted
Display
29 - 22 male,
7 female
Quantitative analysis of ITQ
and SOPI questionnaires.
Qualitative analysis and
identification of reoccurring
themes through video talk
aloud and structured
interviews.
Virtual Study:
Stairway at
university in
Prague
April 2003
Head Mounted
Display
32 - 20 male,
12 female
Quantitative analysis of ITQ
and SOPI questionnaires.
Qualitative analysis of talk
aloud, structured interviews
and repertory grids.
Real Study:
Viewpoint in
Prague
November/
December
2003
None
30 - 17 male,
13 female
Qualitative analysis and
identification of reoccurring
themes based on Gustafson’s
Place model, based on Place
Probe version 1.
Virtual Study:
Viewpoint in
Prague
March
2004
Head Mounted
Display
30 - 17 male,
13 female
Qualitative analysis and
identification of reoccurring
themes based on Gustafson’s
Place model based on Place
Probe version 1.
Technical Museum,
Prague
December
2004
Head Mounted
Display and
CAVE
28 17
male, 11
female
Quantitative analysis of
distance estimates, and MEC
questionnaire data.
Qualitative analysis of Place
Probe version 2.
Comparative Study
Image-based
rendering vs.
modeled scene
August
2005
Head Mounted
Display
40 22
male, 18
female
Quantitative analysis based on
Place Probe version 3
(including MEC
questionnaire).
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
10
During the studies of places we have identified specific elements that are experienced within each of the
three categories of our model. For example our initial Place Probe study of the Prague Technical Museum
people described it as bright and open and one felt close to objects. It was exciting, interesting and so on.
This then amounts to our understanding of the experience of being in, being present in, the Technical
Museum in Prague. This is the sense of place as approximated by the Place Probe.
Accordingly each of the three elements of the place model was given its own section in the semantic
differential part of the Place Probe. The Activity differential includes ratings on the scales: passive-active,
free-restricted, disorientated-oriented, inside-outside, mobile-immobile. The Physical differential focuses
on characteristics of the space: small-big, empty-full, light-dark, enclosed-open, permanent-temporary,
colorless-colorful, static-moving, responsive-inert, far-near, untouchable-touchable. The Affective/meaning
differential is rated on the scales: ugly-beautiful, pleasant-unpleasant, stressful-relaxing, harmful-harmless,
exciting-boring, interesting-uninteresting, memorable-forgettable, meaningful-meaningless, confusing-
understandable, significant-insignificant.
Ratings on these dimensions can be used to inform the design of representations of the place (see Table 2).
People’s ratings on these differentials can be used to compare representations of the place with the real
place or with another representation. For example in the studies of the viewpoint in Prague, ratings on the
differential scales were consistently less pronounced in the virtual environment than in the real (Benyon, et
al., 2006). We took this to indicate that the experience of the virtual place was less engaging than the
experience of the real place. A portion of this is shown in Table 2.
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
11
Table 2 Semantic differential tables of the Real (Left) and virtual (Right) environments
While we know that it is almost impossible to directly reproduce the exact experience of being in a real
place, we also know that the BENOGO technology offers new opportunities to produce experiences that are
as close to the real experience as we can make them. In developing the BENOGO technology what is
important to understand is the aspects of the technology that affect the elements of the experience. In other
words how can we develop BENOGO technology towards the illusion of non-mediation.
Thus in the final version of the Place Probe we included a semantic differential specifically aimed at
eliciting views on how effective the technology was and hence how aware people were of its mediating
effect in the VE. Images are rated as: grainy-clear, realistic-unrealistic, unbelievable-believable, distorted-
accurate. The movement of images is rated as smooth-jerky, broken-unbroken, slow-fast, consistent-erratic.
Data from the fifth study undertaken (see Table 1) provided some interesting insights into the importance of
the various aspects of sense of place in virtual environments. 28 participants took part in a number of
experimental settings over a period of two days and data was gathered using a variety of methods, including
the Place Probe.
Very
Quite
Neither
Quite
Very
Attractive
23
3
1
1
1
Ugly
Big
7
12
6
2
1
Small
Colorful
5
12
8
4
Colorless
Noisy
4
8
5
8
4
Quiet
Temporary
1
7
6
8
7
Permanent
Available
4
11
10
4
Unavailable
Versatile
2
11
8
7
1
Limited
Interactive
5
8
5
6
5
Passive
Pleasant
23
5
2
Unpleasant
Interesting
19
6
2
1
1
Boring
Stressful
1
1
3
4
20
Relaxing
Very
Quite
Neither
Quite
Very
Attractive
7
15
7
Ugly
Big
2
11
13
2
1
Small
Colorful
14
5
9
1
Colorless
Noisy
3
7
9
6
4
Quiet
Temporary
3
6
8
8
4
Permanent
Available
1
9
11
5
2
Unavailable
Versatile
2
6
12
7
2
Limited
Interactive
1
7
6
10
5
Passive
Pleasant
4
16
5
4
Unpleasant
Interesting
8
11
5
4
Boring
Stressful
5
5
11
8
Relaxing
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
12
The data from the semantic differentials indicated a few statistically significant differences. Adding an
augmentation to the HMD arena made the environment feel bigger (p=0.0023) and more permanent
(p=0.0027) and the objects in the HMD felt more touchable (p=0.0051). In the CAVE, when there were no
graphical augmentations compared to when there were, the environment feel bigger (p=0.0026) and more
permanent (p=0.009) but less responsive (p=0.004). Images were less believable (p=0.0165) and felt slower
(p=0.011). The environment made people feel less free (p=0.0301).
Another interesting similarity is the sense of space. Participants in both arenas felt that they were looking
into the technical museum as opposed to being totally there. Two quotations from participants illustrate
this:
I thought it looked real, it was …I got the feeling it was a museum …and but I don’t think I
got the feeling I was there I was kinda of looking into it so…but fun experience (Female,
Cave)
I really felt I was standing in a room and looking at this old museum. (Female, HMD)
And when asked what they thought their function in the environment was, participants replied:
Ya well I felt a bit awkward because it felt like it was after closing hours ha ha …I would
loved to be there as a tourist but it felt more like I was a thief or maybe as a cleaning lady
…so dark…. so something like that maybe a cleaning lady. (Female, Cave)
The general impression from both arenas is a positive one, even though some participants were annoyed
with the restricted movement. When asked how they could improve the experience, participants replied:
Well I would have liked to have been able to walk down a stairs and walk in between the
old steam locomotives and cars (Male, Cave)
I want to touch …no maybe I would have been much more satisfied if I could have got
closer to see more specific details. Ok (Male, HMD)
Movement restriction has to be altered and to a lesser extent (Male, Cave)
Well I was very restricted in movement I couldn’t see what the signs said. (Male, Cave)
While the Place Probe was considered to be successful in revealing some of the essential attributes of place,
it failed to adequately engage with the specific needs of the designers of such technologies. Discussions
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
13
with the designers generated the requirement for the method to produce detailed findings about specific
technological issues associated with the creation of virtual environments. For the second part of the
approach we looked at producing patterns of place.
4. A Pattern Based Approach to Design
While the final version of the Place Probe was undoubtedly better tuned to the requirements of the
designers of virtual environments, it was still found wanting. It failed to bridge the ‘design gap’. A more
formal mechanism was required to assimilate the probe data and to enable its application during the design
process associated with future environments. To specifically address this issue a pattern based approach
was undertaken.
Patterns have long been used in Software Engineering (e.g. Gamma, et al., 2005). The use of patterns in
Interaction Design, HCI and related fields such as web design and GUI design is gaining momentum in
practice. Initial research into the applicability of patterns in Interaction Design (Borchers 2001) has paved
the way for the production of pattern books (van Duyne et al 2002, Graham 2003 and Borchers 2001),
together with a growing number of on-line pattern resources, reflecting the dynamic nature of the approach
(van Welie 2006, Tidwell 2005). While individual patterns may provide a valuable resource for designers,
their potential impact is dramatically increased when they are constructed into a pattern language.
The pattern approach was inspired by the work of Christopher Alexander (1977) in the field of architecture.
Alexander attempted to formalise architectural knowledge based on case studies through the use of
templates that described a series of patterns referring to the layout of urban spaces. For example, if an
urban planner had the requirement to increase the sense of community associated with a particular location,
they might choose to adopt the pattern that suggests the creation of squares and plazas that incorporate
seating and spaces for cafes at appropriate road junctions. The strength of Alexander’s approach lies, not in
the individual patterns that superficially can appear simplistic, but in their connectedness resulting in a
‘pattern language’. In a pattern language, each pattern is linked to others, some more specific, some more
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
14
general, giving the designer a sense of the implications associated with particular design decisions. The
pattern based approach to place aims at harnessing a similar gestalt.
The pattern based approach is a method designed to formalise the knowledge gained through the
application of the Place Probe. The patterns described in the remainder of this report reflect the
aggregation of the understanding of sense of place through the studies conducted as part of the BENOGO
project. The approach encapsulates design knowledge and makes it available to the creators of virtual
environments. Further applications of the Place Probe will provide more data that, in turn, can contribute to
existing patterns, or the creation of new ones. The strength of the patterns is that they provide designers of
virtual environments with grounded evidence to support design decisions and the choice between
alternatives. Both of these factors are characteristic of the early phase of design that the patterns aim to
support. The patterns, while informed through the data generated from the use of the Place Probe, can be
used independently of the probe and, it is contended, contribute to the design of virtual environments.
As the pattern based approach has been developed from the Place Probe, the underpinning structure is
based on Relph’s model of place (1976), but also reflects the development of the probe and includes a
category concerning the impact of technologies on the experience of a virtual environment. The patterns
are, therefore, organised into the four components; technology, spatial characteristics, meanings and affect,
and activities. Our aim in presenting these patterns is not to suggest that the endeavour of producing a
definitive set of patterns of place is complete. Quite the reverse. Our aim is to illustrate the idea and to
suggest that the overall structure of the patterns is valid. We expect the list of patterns to grow as the
approach is more widely adopted and the experience of others feeds into the language.
4.1 Technology Patterns
There are currently fifteen patterns relating to the IBR technology. These include three that relate to the
arena (pattern 8) in which the environment is displayed. The panorama arena is described in pattern 9, the
Cave in pattern 10 and the HMD in pattern 11. Four patterns are concerned with the quality of the display.
Display resolution is pattern 7, image quality is pattern 5, field of view is pattern 6 and frame rate is
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
15
pattern 4. Three patterns relate to motion resolution (pattern 12) including three different types of the
important ‘region of exploration’ (REX). Pattern 13 describes the point REX, pattern 14 describes the disc
REX and pattern 15, the line REX. Pattern 1 describes the acquisition point, pattern 2 is the acquisition
resolution and patter 3 is the texture resolution.
These patterns refer specifically to the IBR approach adopted within the BENOGO project. Of course
other technologies will have other technological patterns associated with them. The pattern describing the
Acquisition Point (Pattern 1) is illustrated in Table 3. This pattern relates to the location from which
images are captured. As with all the patterns, the aim is to capture key aspects of design and engineering
knowledge associated with a particular design problem. The standard format that we use is to identify a
general description, the other patterns that are influential on the main design problem that is the focus of
this particular pattern, the problem to be addressed, the solution proposed, and other patterns affected. The
rationale for this pattern may be explained as follows.
Evidence from the Place Probe suggests that it is important to establish a position from which to capture
images of a place in order to represent it in an optimum manner. Factors that impact on this decision are
firstly, the nature of the scene that is to be portrayed and secondly, what activities are to be supported
within the scene. A solution to this requirement is to scope the real place as early and often as possible. By
observing the activity and behaviour of individuals at the real place, it is possible to establish a suitable
acquisition point that is in keeping with the technological objectives of the study and captures the important
features of the real place. The Place Probe can capture the elements that are perceived within the
environment and these can, in turn, be turned into a design template. Furthermore it is important that an
appropriate REX be selected to enable the observed behaviours to be replicated within the virtual
environment.
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
16
Table 3: The Acquisition Point Pattern relating to the BENOGO IBR technology.
1. ACQUISITION POINT
Description
Specific to Benogo IBR. The acquisition point is the specific location where the images are captured.
Influential Patterns
Problem
It is important to establish the best position to acquire the images from, in relation to representing the
real place in the best way. This requires taking into account what scene the images will portray and
what type of activities might occur there.
Solution
The best way to solve this problem is by Scoping the real place first, as well as performing a Place
Probe. By observing the activity and behaviour of individuals at the real place, it is possible to establish
a suitable acquisition point that is in keeping with the technical objectives of the demo while making
sure the most important features of the real place are captured in the images. The Place Probe captures
elements of the environment that can be turned into a design template. It is also essential that the
appropriate type of REX e.g. Point, Disc, or Line is chosen in line with the requirements derived form
the real environment.
Affected Patterns
Acquisition Resolution (2), Point REX (13), Disc REX (14), Line REX (15)
4.2 Patterns of Spatial Characteristics
Analysis of the various applications of the Place Probe as it developed over the lifetime of the project
revealed a series of common themes relating to the properties of both real and virtual places. These patterns
of place are divided up into spatial characteristics, activities in the place and meaning and affect
engendered by the place. Patterns 16 to 27 deal with the spatial characteristics and broadly speaking map
onto the spatial differentials of the place probe. The patterns are: big/small (17), open/closed, (18)
full/empty (19), colourful/colourless (20), identifiable features (21), dark/light (22), static/moving (23),
touchable/untouchable (24), responsive/inert, (25) near/far (26), permanent/temporary (27). Spatial
characteristics (16) is a super ordinate pattern that is required to link with activities and technology.
Table 4 presents the pattern entitled Big/Small and relates to the responses participants have to the volume
and scale of different places. In certain cases the perceived volume of a place can be either magnified or
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authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
17
diminished as an attribute of the technology used to represent the place. This pattern also illustrates how
supporting evidence for the design knowledge can be included in the patterns. Indeed Alexander’s patterns
often ran to several pages and included illustrations, rich descriptions, quotations and other forms of
qualitative data. It is exactly this interweaving of patterns and capturing of rich, qualitative data that gives
the pattern language approach its strength.
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
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Table 4. Big/Small Pattern relating to the Physical Properties of Places
17. BIG/SMALL (P)
Description
Different places are different sizes in reality. They can be big, small or somewhere in between. The
technical museum for example is a large room, while the viewpoint is much smaller but feels bigger
due to being outside Open/Enclosed(18) .
‘It was a very large room I couldn’t see what was on the other side of the room very well’ (technical
museum)
‘ scale was too small… seemed artificially too small’ (botanical garden)
Influential Patterns
FOV(6), Acquisition point (1), Motion Resolution (12), Arena (8)
Problem
Size Matters. Getting the size right for IBR environments is about combining different factors. The
problem is in understanding how these factors relate to one another. Our studies of the Technical
Museum for example identified that it was considered to be a big place, that it was also enclosed (18)
and full (19) of objects.
Solution
Important things to consider in sizing a virtual IBR space are firstly how do the spatial characteristics
relate to one another and secondly how can the technology support this relationship in the rendered
environment. For example we have already seen how the museum is big, full and enclosed. It was
important in terms of technology that these three aspects of the environment were supported. It was
therefore imperative that the Acquisition point (1) was established that was at least open to the large
scale of the room on one side and yet close enough to the objects in the room to make it feel full.
Another important thing to consider is whether people are moving through the environment Motion
resolution (12). A Disc REX (14) was used in our version, which allowed some movement but not
exploration. Therefore the sense of scale in the IBR environment was different from the real because
participants could not explore (29) the IBR environment fully. However the sense of scale was
enhanced locally by the parallax provided by the Disc REX i.e. near objects occluded objects that were
further away but moving allowed you to see them.
Affected Patterns
Explore (29); Interesting/uninteresting (40)
An illustration of this comes from our efforts to develop a virtual representation of the Prague Technical
Museum. Pattern number 18 entitled Open/Enclosed and Pattern number 19 Full/Empty pointed to the
importance of capturing, accurately, the spatial characteristics of a place.. Further supporting evidence was
provided by the inclusion of quotations from participants in studies that highlighted the issue of the
perception of size with respect to the environment. From a technological perspective Pattern 17 was linked
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
19
to Field of View (6), Acquisition Point (1) Motion Resolution (12) and choice of Arena (8). Participants in
the study of the real Technical Museum reported that they saw the environment as big, full and enclosed.
This finding places a requirement on the technology and specifically the choice of Acquisition Point (1)
such that it was open to the large scale of the location but also was close enough to objects contained within
to give the viewer the impression that the room was full. Furthermore, if there is a requirement for people
to be able to move through the environment this impacts on Motion Resolution (12). In the case of the
BENOGO technology a Disc REX (14) was used which allowed some movement but not real exploration.
This design decision resulted in the perception of scale in the IBR environment being different from the
real environment because participants could not Explore (29) the environment fully. However the sense of
scale was enhanced locally by the parallax provided by the Disc REX (14) resulting in objects near to the
viewer occluding objects further away but supporting head movement so occluded objects could be
revealed.
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authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
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4.3 Patterns of Meanings and Affect
Analysis of the meanings elucidated by the participants in the real and virtual environments studied as part
of the BENOGO project resulted in the themes relating to meanings and affect engendered by the place.
Patterns 31 to 40 aim to capture key features of the meanings and emotional response that people have to a
place. They map onto the meaning and affect differentials of the place probe: stressful/relaxing (31),
meaningful/meaningless (32), ugly/beautiful (33), harmful/harmless (34), pleasant/unpleasant (35),
significant/insignificant (36), confusing/understandable (37), exciting/boring (38), memorable/forgettable
(39), interesting/uninteresting (40).
In order to explore this class of pattern the Stressful/Relaxing (31) will be described in more detail (see
Table 5). Some environments are more relaxing, or conversely more stressful than others. The degree of
relaxation or stress associated with a particular place is deeply linked to a person’s subjective experience of
activity in that place; as such it cannot be designed - only designed for. For example outdoor places have
the potential to be more peaceful and allow an experience of nature at an easy steady pace are often
considered relaxing, whereas outdoor places where people encounter unexpected testing circumstances
might be considered stressful, (i.e. bad weather conditions, or a loss of orientation).
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authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
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Table 5. The Stressful/Relaxing Pattern relating to the Meanings Associated with Real and Virtual Places
31. STRESSFUL/RELAXING (M)
Description
Some environments are more relaxing, or conversely more stressful than others. The degree of
relaxation or stress associated with a particular place is deeply linked to a person’s subjective
experience of activity in that place; as such it cannot be designed - only designed for. For example
outdoor places that are peaceful and allow an experience of nature at an easy steady pace are often
considered relaxing, where as outdoor places where people encounter unexpected testing
circumstances might be considered stressful, i.e. bad weather conditions, or a loss of orientation. In
the case of VR there is the added dimension of the mediating technology interfering with the
experience. A beautiful and relaxing scene might be rendered in an HMD and yet the technology
might create stressful affects by displaying poor quality images that are hard to focus on, or by
disorienting the participant.
‘Very good view but only from one place as trees get in the way everywhere else. Paths are poor and
there is no information to direct or explain’ (viewpoint)
‘There was some text but it was unreadable but I could easily identify the object’ (technical museum)
‘Viewpoint close to the monastery, very beautiful view, peace, relaxing’ (viewpoint)
Influential Patterns
Image quality (5); acquisition point (1); activity (14); motion resolution (9)
Problem
VR mediation is essentially illusory. Interference in this illusion can cause stress and often leads to
breaks in presence. In the case of rendering a relaxing scene, it is important to try and ensure that
factors such as image quality (5) and REX (13, 14, 15) do not interfere with the experience. Low
quality out of focus images as well as blind spots and image drop out all lead to disorientation and
stress, distracting the user from a possibly relaxing experience. Similarly, in creating a stressful scene
such as a cliff edge for example the same attention to detail is necessary to make it believable.
Solution
To avoid this, it is important to have high image quality (5) and a suitable REX (13, 14, 15) that
does not impede the user experience i.e. it is important to choose an appropriate environment
(Acquisition point (1)) and activity type that is compatible with the expectations of the participants.
Also a useful aid is to augment images where small details such as text cannot be read.
Affected Patterns
Pleasant (35), exciting/boring (38)
In the case of virtual environments there is the added dimension of the mediating technology interfering
with the experience. A beautiful and relaxing scene might be rendered in an HMD and yet the technology
might create stressful affects by displaying poor quality images that are hard to focus on, or by disorienting
the participant. The Stressful/Relaxing pattern has been found to impact primarily on Technology patterns,
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
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namely Image Quality (5), Acquisition Point (1), Motion Resolution (9) and the Activity related patterns
(41, 28, 29 and 30). Mediation with a virtual environment is essentially illusionary and any interference
with this can result in stress on the part of the user and ultimately a break in presence. In the case of
rendering a relaxing scene, it is important to ensure that factors such as Image Quality (5) and REX (13, 14
& 15) do not interfere with the experience. Low quality out of focus images as well as blind spots and
image drop outs all lead to disorientation and stress, distracting the user and increasing the potential for a
stressful experience. Similarly, if the intention is to create a stressful scene, for example a cliff edge it is
important to concentrate on the detail in order to make the experience believable. To avoid such problems
it is important to have high Image Quality (5) and a suitable REX (13, 14 & 15). The choice of
environment and its associated Acquisition Point (1) is important, together with the activity type that
matches the expectations of the participants. Another technique for reducing stress within a virtual
environment is to augment images where small details, such as text, cannot easily be read.
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
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4.4 Activity Patterns
Analysis of the real and virtual environments studied using the Place Probe during the BENOGO project
revealed four main activities associated with place. Pattern 41 is another super ordinate pattern dealing with
the overall feelings of ego motion. Patterns 28 (static/observational), 29 (local/explorative) and 30
(locomotive) deal with specific aspects of activity in BENOGO environments. The patterns are presented in
full in the appendix. In the following sections examples are used to illustrate each of the different types of
pattern. The Ego Motion (27a) will be considered in more detail in this section. Ego motion is the
sensation of movement afforded to participants in virtual environments by the number of images or Motion
Resolution (12) rendered by the system (Table 6).
In general, the more images that are rendered at run time, the smoother and clearer the feeling of movement
through the REX (13, 14 and 15) resulting in a higher motion resolution. As in the previous example,
quotations from studies that refer explicitly to ego motion are included in the pattern by way of illustration.
From the perspective of the BENOGO technology, ego motion influences both Motion Resolution (12) and
the REX (13, 14 and 15).
Pattern (41) describes the problem resulting from ego motion as follows. Natural ego motion always
produces parallax and occlusion between objects in the environment. IBR ego motion attempts to
reproduce this effect but is generally restricted by the massive processing power necessary to compute the
position of potentially thousands of images. BENOGO IBR uses special algorithms that reduce the number
of images necessary to achieve a realistic representation of natural ego motion. When considering the issue
of ego motion it is important to establish the type of activity that users will perform in the rendered
environment. Accordingly an appropriate REX (13, 14 & 15) should be selected together with suitable
Motion Resolution (12). If restrictions are still evident then ego motion can be supported through the
judicious use of augmentations that culturally enforce restricted movement (e.g.. a guide rope or railing). A
related technique is to use augmentation as a distraction owing to its potential for parallax effects.
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
24
Table 6. The Ego Motion Pattern relating to Activities associated with Real and Virtual Places
41. EGO MOTION
Description
Ego motion is the feeling of movement that is afforded by the number of images, or Motion
Resolution (12), rendered by the system. The higher the motion resolution i.e. the more images there
are rendered at run time, the smoother and clearer the feeling of movement through the REX.
‘I noticed time when I turned my head world was moving a little’ (botanics)
‘ I thought it looked real, it was … I got the feeling it was a museum… and but I don’t think I got the
feeling I was there I was kinda of looking into it so …’ (technical museum)
Influential Patterns
Motion Resolution (12), REX (13, 14, 15)
Problem
Natural ego motion always produces parallax and occlusion between the objects in our environment.
IBR ego motion attempts to reproduce this affect but is generally restricted by the massive processing
power necessary to compute the position of potentially thousands of images. Benogo IBR uses special
algorithms that reduce the number of images necessary, however no system as yet has come close to
natural ego motion, although BENOGO despite some restrictions comes pretty close.
Solution
It is important to establish the type of activity that users will perform in the rendered environment.
Accordingly an appropriate REX (13, 14, 15) has to be selected as well as a suitable motion resolution.
If restrictions are still evident then ego motion can be supported through augmentation that culturally
enforces restricted movement e.g. a guide rope or railing. Similarly augmentation might provide a
focus of attention offering interesting parallax effects.
Affected Patterns
Static Observational (28), Local Explorative (29), Locomotive (30), Spatial Characteristics (16)
Identifiable Features (21)
5. Conclusions
Existing tools and techniques for the measurement of the sense of presence in real and virtual environments
have failed to provide formal mechanisms through which to inform the design process associated with their
creation. From an HCI perspective this was viewed as a major shortcoming. An analysis instrument, the
Place Probe has been introduced. The probe utilised a blended approach to the generation of both
qualitative and quantitative data concerning the experience of place associated with a range of real and
virtual environments. Based on the responses of developers of virtual environments, the design team and
the experiences of several studies of real and virtual environments, the probe has been refined to include
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
25
three parts: the qualitative parts, the semantic differentials and the MEC Spatial Presence Questionnaire
(Vorder et al, 2000).
Associated with the Place Probe, a pattern based approach has been developed to articulate the data
generated from using the probe into a form that is accessible and pertinent during the design phase
associated with the creation of virtual environments. The Patterns of Place have been classified relative to
participants’ responses to a series of real and virtual environments developed over the course of the work
into: the physical properties of the space, the activities supported, the meanings associated and affect
engendered, and the technology necessary to create the illusion of non-mediation.
We conceptualise the situation as indicated in Figure 3. The characteristics of real and virtual places are
represented in terms of the three characteristics of Relph’s model of place. In between the real and the
virtual representation of the place lies some technology. In our case this was the BENOGO IBR technology
and so the current version of technology patterns refer to the BENOGO IBR approach. However, the
method generalises to any other mediating technologies. These could include rich and complex
technologies such as film where there are many, many technologies (set design, costume design,
choreography, lighting, script, location and so on) that together provide the mediating technology for the
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
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authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
26
Figure 3. The characteristics of places and mediating technology
experience. They too could be used in conjunction with the Place Probe and could generate new patterns to
be substituted into the existing set of patterns.
The integrated approach to the design of virtual environments presented in this chapter is an nascent
attempt at connecting the measurement of sense of presence to the design of virtual environments. Presence
demands a qualitative, phenomenological approach to its understanding. Presence is a personal response to
a social and physical setting, experienced through an embodied interaction. A key part of presence is the
sense of place; a person’s feelings, understandings and attitudes to a place. If people are to experience a
strong sense of presence through some technologically mediated interaction, they will need to experience a
sense of place; that is they will need to feel that they are somewhere. The pragmatics of delivering this
sensation comes from the designers and engineers of the technologies and their understanding of the
experience of being there.
Acknowledgements
Physical
Affective
Activities
Technology
Physical
Affective
Activities
Real Experience
The Illusion of
Non-Mediation
Virtual Experience
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
27
The authors would like to thank all members of the BENOGO project for their input and co-operation with
the studies mentioned in this paper. Funding for this project was provided by the European Union under
grant number IST-2001-39184.
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Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
30
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To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
31
Appendix 1 The Place Probe
Instructions
Please read the following questions carefully and answer all parts of the booklet. It should take around 10
minutes to complete. Once finished please return the booklet to the researchers. Thank you for your co-
operation.
Background Information
Age: Sex:
Nationality:
First time visitor/Regular visitor:
Section 1 General Impression of the Place
1.1 Description
Please write a paragraph of description telling us about your experience of being in the place you have just
visited.
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
32
1.2 Map
Please draw us a map of the place you have just visited. Indicate the most important features that you
remember and the best place to stand to see them.
1.3 Features
Pick 3 features of the environment that you remember and rank them in order of importance:
1
2
3
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
33
1.4 Pictures
From the photographs provided, please select one that best captures your experience of being in the place
you have just visited. Write down the number from the back of the photograph onto this page and tell us
why you chose it (if no photographs are provided skip this section).
1.5 Sounds
Please describe any sounds that you remember from the environment you have just visited.
1.6 Words
Please write down six individual words that best capture your experience of being in the place you have just
visited.
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
34
Section 2 Key Features of the Place
On the tables provided in each question below, please mark a cross in the box that best describes your
experience in relation to the adjectives provided at either side. Below is an example for an experience that
was ‘quite bad’ and ‘very light’.
(Example)
Very
Quite
Neither
Quite
Very
Good
x
Bad
Light
x
Dark
Did the images that were displayed seem?
Very
Quite
Neither
Quite
Very
Grainy
Clear
Realistic
Unrealistic
Unbelievable
Believable
Distorted
Accurate
Did the movement of the images seem?
Very
Quite
Neither
Quite
Very
Smooth
Jerky
Broken
Unbroken
Slow
Fast
Consistent
Erratic
Did you feel that you were?
Very
Quite
Neither
Quite
Very
Passive
Active
Free
Restricted
Disorientated
Oriented
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
35
Inside
Outside
Mobile
Immobile
Did you feel that the environment was?
Very
Quite
Neither
Quite
Very
Small
Big
Empty
Full
Light
Dark
Enclosed
Open
Permanent
Temporary
Colorless
Colorful
Static
Moving
Responsive
Inert
Far
Near
Untouchable
Touchable
Did you feel that the environment was?
Very
Quite
Neither
Quite
Very
Ugly
Beautiful
Pleasant
Unpleasant
Stressful
Relaxing
Harmful
Harmless
Exciting
Boring
Interesting
Uninteresting
Memorable
Forgettable
Meaningful
Meaningless
Confusing
Understandable
Significant
Insignificant
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
36
Section 3 Feelings of Presence
Please answer the following questions by placing a tick in the box that best expresses
your feelings.
1 = I totally disagree
2 = I disagree
3 = I neither agree nor disagree
4 = I agree
5 = I totally agree
1
2
3
4
5
Q1.1 I devoted my whole attention to the [medium].
Q1.2 I concentrated on the [medium].
Q1.3 The [medium] captured my senses.
Q1.4 I dedicated myself completely to the [medium].
Q2.1 I was able to imagine the arrangement of the spaces presented in
the [medium] very well.
Q2.2 I had a precise idea of the spatial surroundings presented in the
[medium].
Q2.3 I was able to make a good estimate of the size of the presented
space.
Q2.4 Even now, I still have a concrete mental image of the spatial
environment.
Q3.1 I felt like I was actually there in the environment of the
presentation.
Q3.2 It was as though my true location had shifted into the environment
in the presentation.
Q3.3 I felt as though I was physically present in the environment of the
presentation.
Q3.4 It seemed as though I actually took part in the action of the
presentation
Q4.1 I had the impression that I could be active in the environment of
the presentation.
Q4.2 I felt like I could move around among the objects in the
presentation.
Q4.3 The objects in the presentation gave me the feeling that I could do
things with them.
Q4.4 It seemed to me that I could do whatever I wanted in the
environment of the presentation.
Q5.1 I thought most about things having to do with the [medium].
Q5.2 I thoroughly considered what the things in the presentation had to
do with one another.
Q5.3 The [medium] presentation activated my thinking.
To appear in “Immersed in the Media: Telepresence Theory, Measurement & Technology”. Eds: Lombard, B., Biocca, F., Freeman, J.,
Ijsselsteijn and W Schaevitz. Springer, 2015. Corresponding author: m.smyth@napier.ac.uk. The work was undertaken while all
authors were at Edinburgh Napier University.
37
Q5.4 I thought about whether the [medium] presentation could be of use
to me.
Q6.1 I concentrated on whether there were any inconsistencies in the
[medium].
Q6.2 I didn’t really pay attention to the existence of errors or
inconsistencies in the [medium].
Q6.3 I took a critical viewpoint of the [medium] presentation.
Q6.4 It was not important for me whether the [medium] contained
errors or contradictions.
Q7.1 I am generally interested in the topic of the [medium].
Q7.2 I have felt a strong affinity to the theme of the [medium] for a
long time.
Q7.3 There was already a fondness in me for the topic of the [medium]
before I was exposed to it.
Q7.4 I just love to think about the topic of the[medium].
Q8.1 When someone shows me a blueprint, I am able to imagine the
space easily.
Q8.2 It’s easy for me to negotiate a space in my mind without actually
being there.
Q8.3 When I read a text, I can usually easily imagine the arrangement
of the objects described.
Q8.4 When someone describes a space to me, it’s usually very easy for
me to imagine it clearly
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