1. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted in-person user studies involving specialized technology, such as virtual and augmented reality headsets, creating challenges for the extended reality (XR) community.
2. Short-term solutions involve collaborating between labs to provide participants for each other's experiments, while medium-term solutions involve recruiting external users who have the necessary hardware.
3. Long-term solutions include generating pools of users through funded hardware distribution and addressing ethical and health considerations related to remote experiments using XR technology.
The article "Evaluating immersive experiences during Covid-19 and beyond" provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges faced by the extended reality (XR) community in conducting experiments during the pandemic. The authors present short-term, medium-term, and long-term solutions to deal with the current situation and its potential longer-term impacts. However, there are some potential biases and missing points of consideration that need to be addressed.
One potential bias is that the authors focus primarily on the technical challenges of conducting XR experiments remotely, such as the expense of high-end HMDs and specialized sensors. While these are undoubtedly important considerations, there is little discussion of the ethical implications of remote data collection and direct supervision of experiments. The authors briefly mention participant privacy but do not delve into this issue in depth. Additionally, they do not address concerns about informed consent or potential harm to participants.
Another potential bias is that the authors assume that XR experiments are primarily conducted in research institutions. While this may be true for some studies, it overlooks the growing trend of XR experiences being developed for commercial purposes. As such, there may be different ethical considerations when conducting experiments with consumers rather than research participants.
The article also presents some unsupported claims, such as stating that "there are currently no strong ethical guidelines for designing and running experiments in VR and AR." While it is true that there may not be universal guidelines for all countries or institutions, many organizations have developed their own ethical frameworks for conducting XR research.
There are also missing points of consideration in the article. For example, while the authors discuss recruiting external users who have necessary hardware as a medium-term solution, they do not address how to ensure that these users are representative of diverse populations. Additionally, while they suggest using disinfectant wipes and additional masks to limit infection spread when sharing hardware among participants, they do not address how to ensure compliance with these measures or what to do if a participant refuses to follow them.
Overall, while "Evaluating immersive experiences during Covid-19 and beyond" provides valuable insights into how the XR community can adapt to remote experimentation during a pandemic, it would benefit from more thorough consideration of ethical implications and diversity issues.