Prof. Dr. Patrick Baudisch

VirtualSpace - Overloading Physical Space with Multiple Virtual Reality Users

Although virtual reality hardware is now widely available, the uptake of real walking is hindered by the fact that it requires often impractically large amounts of physical space. To address this, we present VirtualSpace, a novel system that allows overloading multiple users immersed in different VR experiences into the same physical space. VirtualSpace accomplishes this by containing each user in a subset of the physical space at all times, which we call tiles; app-invoked maneuvers then shuffle tiles and users across the entire physical space. This allows apps to move their users to where their narrative requires them to be while hiding from users that they are confined to a tile. We show how this enables VirtualSpace to pack four users into 16m2.

(a) This user is playing a badminton app. His side of the court fills the entire 4x4m tracking volume. (b) This other user is playing a Pac-Man game mapped to the same tracking volume. (c) VirtualSpace allows both users to share the same tracking space, without being aware of the other user. To keep users from running into each other, VirtualSpace limits each app to non-overlapping tiles at any given time. Client apps handle this in a way transparent to their users. The badminton app, for example, always makes the user’s virtual opponent return the ball to locations inside the tile currently assigned to the app. (d) By reassigning tiles frequently, VirtualSpace moves users across the entire space, thereby seemingly allowing for unrestricted walking


Marwecki, S., Brehm, M., Wagner, L. Cheng, L., Mueller, F., and Baudisch, P.
VirtualSpace - Overloading Physical Space with Multiple Virtual Reality Users
In Proceedings of CHI'18.