This study intends to investigate how multi-symbolic representations (text, digits, and colors) could effectively enhance the completion of co-located/distant collaborative work in a virtual reality context. Participants' perceptions and behaviors were also studied. A haptics-enhanced virtual reality task was developed to conduct collaborative work. An experiment was conducted with which participants were separated into four groups with the combinations of two variables: w/o multi-symbols and co-located/distant. Performance results show that multi-symbolic representations significantly helped users reduce the time in completing a task in the co-located case. Perception results show that awareness, presence and social presence are highly correlated to usefulness, ease of use and playfulness. Further, behavior analysis found two strategies beneficial to the completion of collaborative work with which divide and conquer is used in problem solving. In addition, the major failure mode is identified and it implies that participants had problems in depth perception. In summary, multi-symbolic representations in haptics-enhanced virtual reality systems have potentials to effectively help collaborative work.
- symbolic representation
- virtual reality