Tuesday, 6 June 2017

FaceDisplay and Other Bizarre Virtual Reality Projects from CHI 2017



Recently in Denver the ACMCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing took place and similar to last year, hosted some remarkable, unbelievable and absolutely unusual technology demos. The theme for this year is `Explore, Innovate, Inspire’, which tends to provide adequate room for encouraging the weirdness that CHI is famous for. Some of the most amazing 3D printing related stuff are:

  • FaceDisplay
  • Fingertip Tangible Devices 
  • CarVR 
  • Ambiotherm 
  • Haptic Walls

FaceDisplay – Supporting Multi-user Interaction for Mobile Virtual Reality

Observing someone while they seem to don a head mounted display, experiencing virtual reality environment would seem to be quite boring. FaceDisplay, a multi-display mobile VRHMD, enabling by-stander to view within the immersed virtual world of the users, permitting them to interact through touch. A prototype is built comprising of three additional screens together with prevailing interaction techniques as well as an example application which tends to power the FaceDisplay design area.

Fingertip Tangible Devices for Virtual Object Operation & Assessment

Often controlling objects in VR has been unproductive and the fact that one does not tend to feel anything when your virtual hand touches a virtual object seems to interrupt you from the experience, making you aware that in the imaginary territory, the object nor the hand tends to actually exist. This crafty glove seems to put force on your fingertips in order that one can grasp something in VR and get a convincing physical feeling of the weight of a virtual object.

The most important obstacle to immersivity at the time of object manipulation in virtual reality is the absence of feedback of realistic haptic. The intention here is to express convincing interactions with virtual objects like grasping, pressing, squeezing, lifting together with stroking without the need of a bulky, world-grounded kinaesthetic feedback device or the utilisation of predetermined passive object. In order to attain this, a pair of finger-mounted haptic feedback device which tends to bend the skin on the fingertips in expressing cutaneous force information from object manipulation is used. It is detected that users appear to see alterations in virtual object weight and they relate to increasing grasp forces while lifting virtual objects as condensed mass in increased.

Besides this, it is also observed that inexperienced users view changes of physical properties of a virtual object when skin deformation in rendering objects with varying mass, friction and stiffness is utilised. The research portrays that fingertip skin deformation devices tend to offer a convincing haptic familiarity adequate for virtual reality scenarios pertaining to object manipulation. 

CarVR Empowering In-Car Virtual Reality Entertainment

When cars tend to be driverless, the main issue on road trips would be keeping oneself amused wherein VR tends to be of great support with the exception that the motion of the car would probably be an issue. CarVR on the contrary utilises the motion of the vehicle in improving the VR experience, syncing what tends to happen in VR to what the car seems to be doing in the actual world. This would make the VR much more immersive as well as supportive in alleviating impulsive spewing.

CarVR is a solution permitting VR in moving vehicles by subtracting the rotation of the car and mapping vehicular movements with the visual information. This enables the user to feel the precise kinaesthetic forces at the time of the VR experience. A comparison with CarVR inside a moving vehicle with the baseline of using VR without vehicle movement was made.

 It was shown that apparent kinaesthetic forces caused by CarVR increase enjoyment and immersion considerably while simulator sickness is abridged in comparison to a stationary VR experience. Lastly the design space of in-car VR entertainment application utilising actual kinaesthetic forces was explored to develop design considerations for practitioners.

Ambiotherm – Increasing Sense of Existence in Virtual Reality on Simulating Real World Environmental Conditions

To evaluate Ambiotherm, a wearable accessory for head-mounted display is presented which offers thermal as well as wind stimuli in simulating real-world environmental conditions like ambient temperatures together with wind condition to augment the awareness of virtual reality. Ambiotherm comprises of Ambient Temperature Module which is linked to the neck of the user, a Wind Simulation Module directed towards the face of the user together with a control module using Bluetooth communication. A demonstration was conducted on Ambiotherm with two VR environments, a hot desert as well as a snowy mountain to showcase the various kinds of computer-generated environmental conditions. Several researches were also done to address design factors of the system, to evaluate the effects of Ambiotherm on factors connected to the sense of presence of the user. It was discovered that the calculation of wind and thermal stimuli considerably improved sensory and realism aspects contributing to an improved sense of presence in comparison to traditional VR experiences.

Offering Haptic to Walls & Heavy Objects in Virtual Reality through Electrical Muscle Stimulation

A wall is said to be something wherein it tends to be difficult to pass through. To simulate a wall in VR, a system is utilised which uses electrical muscle stimulation in taking-over the muscles in your arm in order that one is physically incapable of passing your arms through a virtual wall. It is somewhat a brute force approach to haptic though apparently is effective but hard to believe that the feeling is mostly pleasant. Other options were considered on how to add haptic to walls together with the other heavy objects in virtual reality. Our systems tends to trigger the user’s shoulder, arm and wrist muscles whenever a user attempts to push such objects, through electrical muscle stimulation, developing a counter force which seems to pull the user’s arm backward. This device has achieved this in wearable form aspect. The repugnance design together with the soft design is said to receive high scores on `prevented me from passing through’ and `realist’. In the second research, the effectiveness of approach was demonstrated, by enabling participants to explore a virtual world wherein all the objects offer haptic EMS effects comprising of walls, gates, boxes, sliders together with projectiles.

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