Prototyper: A Virtual Remote Prototyping Space
Collaborative virtual environment groupware is—despite of notable research efforts over several years—still not common in users’ workplaces. Reasons are high costs of engaging in collaboration next to the loss of information and capabilities that people enjoy in co-located settings. Low-fidelity prototyping is a way for co-located teams to create joint understandings and to gather feedback in early design stages. When it comes to geographically dispersed teams, dedicated tools are required that help to fulfill tasks at hand, while enabling team members as much as possible to apply working modes known from co-located settings. We present a web browser-based collaborative virtual environment that supports the joint real time creation of three-dimensional low-fidelity prototypes. It is a cross-platform application that runs on a multitude of hardware devices. While focusing on usage with virtual reality hardware, users may also freely participate when there are only traditional input and output devices available. The system provides enhanced awareness through visual remote user embodiment combined with spatial audio communication.
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