XSpace: An Augmented Reality Toolkit for Enabling Spatially-Aware Distributed Collaboration

Jaylin Herskovitz, Yi Fei Cheng, Anhong Guo, Alanson Sample, and Michael Nebeling

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Augmented Reality (AR) has the potential to leverage environmental information to better facilitate distributed collaboration, however, such applications are difficult to develop. We present XSpace, a toolkit for creating spatially-aware AR applications for distributed collaboration. Based on a review of existing applications and developer tools, we design XSpace to support three methods for creating shared virtual spaces, each emphasizing a different aspect: shared objects, user perspectives, and environmental meshes. XSpace implements these methods in a developer toolkit, and also provides a set of complimentary visual authoring tools to allow developers to preview a variety of configurations for a shared virtual space. We present five example applications to illustrate that XSpace can support the development of a rich set of collaborative AR experiences that are difficult to produce with current solutions. Through XSpace, we discuss implications for future application design, including user space customization and privacy and safety concerns when sharing users' environments.