SurroundWeb: Mitigating Privacy Concerns in a 3D Web Browser

  • John Vilk ,
  • David Molnar ,
  • ,
  • Chris Rossbach ,
  • Ben Livshits ,
  • Alexander Moshchuk ,
  • ,
  • Helen Wang

MSR-TR-2014-147 |

Immersive experiences that mix digital and real-world objects are becoming reality, but they raise serious privacy concerns as they require real-time sensor input. These experiences are already present on smartphones and game consoles via Kinect, and will eventually emerge on the web platform. However, browsers do not expose the display interfaces needed to render immersive experiences. Previous security research focuses on controlling application access to sensor input alone, and do not deal with display interfaces. Recent research in human computer interactions has explored a variety of high-level rendering interfaces for immersive experiences, but these interfaces reveal sensitive data to the application. Bringing immersive experiences to the web requires a high-level interface that mitigates privacy concerns.

This paper presents SurroundWeb, the first 3D web browser, which provides the novel functionality of rendering web content onto a room while tackling many of the inherent privacy challenges. Following the principle of least privilege, we propose three abstractions for immersive rendering:1)the room skeleton lets applications place content in response to the physical dimensions and locations of renderable surfaces in a room; 2) the detection sandbox lets applications declaratively place content near recognized objects in the room without revealing if the object is present; and 3)satellite screens let applications display content across devices registered with SurroundWeb.

Through user surveys, we validate that these abstractions limit the amount of revealed information to an acceptable degree.In addition, we show that a wide range of immersive experiences can be implemented with acceptable performance.

Behind the Scenes with Microsoft: VR IN THE WILD

Behind the Scenes: Microsoft's Principal Researcher Eyal Ofek speaking about technical and social perspectives of XR The XR Bootcamp Open Lecture Series continues with Microsoft's Principal Researcher Eyal Ofek! Virtual Reality (VR) & Augmented reality (AR) pose challenges and opportunities from both a technical and social perspective. We could now have digital, and not physical objects change our understanding of the world around us. It is a unique opportunity to change reality as we sense it. The Microsoft Researchers are looking for new possibilities to extend our abilities when we are not bound by our physical limitations, enabling superhuman abilities on one hand, and leveling the playfield for people with physical limitations. Dr. Ofek will describe efforts to design VR & AR applications that will adjust according to the user’s uncontrolled environment, enabling a continuous use during work and leisure, over the large variance of environments. He will also review efforts to the extent the rendering to new capabilities such as haptic rendering. His lecture will be followed by a Q&A session where you can ask all your questions about the topic. Lead Instructors: Eyal Ofek is a principal researcher at the Microsoft Research lab in Redmond, WA. His research interests include Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR), Haptics, interactive projection mapping, and computer vision for human-computer interaction. He is also the Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Virtual Reality, for the area of Haptics and an Assoc. Editor of IEEE Computer Graphics and Application (CG&A). Prior to joining Microsoft Research, he obtained his Ph.D. at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has founded a couple of companies in computer graphics, including a successful drawing and photo editing application and developing the world's first time-of-flight video cameras which was a basis for the HoloLens depth camera. This event is part of the Global XR Bootcamp event: The Global XR Bootcamp 2020 will be the biggest community-driven, FREE, online Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality event in the world! Join us on YouTube or AltspaceVR for a 24 hour live stream with over 50 high quality talks, panels and sessions. Meet your fellow XR enthousiasts in our Community Zone, and win amazing prizes - from vouchers to XR hardware. YouTube: