Remote communication has rapidly become a part of everyday life in both professional and personal contexts. However, popular video conferencing applications present limitations in terms of quality of communication, immersion and social meaning. VR remote communication applications offer a greater sense of co-presence and mutual sensing of emotions between remote users. Previous research on these applications has shown that realistic point cloud user reconstructions offer better immersion and communication as compared to synthetic user avatars. However, photorealistic point clouds require a large volume of data per frame and are challenging to transmit over bandwidth-limited networks. Recent research has demonstrated significant improvements to perceived quality by optimizing the usage of bandwidth based on the position and orientation of the user's viewport with user-adaptive streaming. In this work, we developed a real-time VR communication application with an adaptation engine that features tiled user-adaptive streaming based on user behaviour. The application also supports traditional network adaptive streaming. The contribution of this work is to evaluate the impact of tiled user-adaptive streaming on quality of communication, visual quality, system performance and task completion in a functional live VR remote communication system. We performed a subjective evaluation with 33 users to compare the different streaming conditions with a neck exercise training task. As a baseline, we use uncompressed streaming requiring approximately 300 megabits per second and our solution achieves similar visual quality with tiled adaptive streaming at 14 megabits per second. We also demonstrate statistically significant gains in the quality of interaction and improvements to system performance and CPU consumption with tiled adaptive streaming as compared to the more traditional network adaptive streaming.
30th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, MM 2022
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Subramanyam, S., Viola, I., Jansen, J., Alexiou, E., Hanjalic, A., & César Garcia, P. S. (2022). Evaluating the impact of tiled user-adaptive real-time point cloud streaming on VR remote communication. In Proceedings of the 30th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, MM'22 (pp. 3094–3103). doi:10.1145/3503161.3548220