TurkDeck: Physical Virtual Reality Based on People


TurkDeck is an immersive virtual reality system that reproduces not only what users see and hear, but also what users feel. TurkDeck produces the haptic sensation using props, i.e., when users touch or manipulate an object in the virtual world, they simultaneously also touch or manipulate a corresponding object in the physical world. Unlike previous work on prop-based virtual reality, however, TurkDeck allows creating arbitrarily large virtual worlds in finite space and using a finite set of physical props. The key idea behind TurkDeck is that it creates these physical representations on the fly by making a group of human workers present and operate the props only when and where the user can actually reach them. TurkDeck manages these so-called "human actuators" by displaying visual instructions that tell the human actuators when and where to place props and how to actuate them. We demonstrate TurkDeck at the example of an immersive 300m2 experience in 25m2 physical space. We show how to simulate a wide range of physical objects and effects, including walls, doors, ledges, steps, beams, switches, stompers, portals, zip lines, and wind. In a user study, participants rated the realism/immersion of TurkDeck higher than a traditional prop-less baseline condition (4.9 vs. 3.6 on 7 item Likert).

Proceedings of the 28th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software & Technology