Zoe Leonard, 10 Mar 2016
The Centre for Digital Entertainment will be exhibiting at the VR World Congress, in Bristol on 12th April 2016. As part of the lead up to the event, we have highlighted here a few Research Engineer case studies, working within the field of VR.
Chris Ramsey - Developing a Virtual Reality Eye-Tracking Research Platform, Bournemouth University
This research project aims to develop a Virtual Reality Eye-Tracking System (VIRETS), an immersive virtual reality (VR) research platform capable of displaying naturalistic viewing conditions with high ecological validity and large field of view (FOV) in order to investigate the effects this has on human gaze behaviour and head movement and how this could prove advantageous when looking at methods for visual cognition experiments.
Progress is being made on combining a head mounted eye tracker (Eye Link II, SR Research) and a motion & orientation tracker (FASTRAK motion tracker, Polhemus) to generate 3D eye-tracking data which allows for gaze to be tracked across three screens. A virtual reality engine (Vizard 5, WorldViz) is currently used to build realistic research applications that make use of the eye-tracking system.
Hashim Yaqub - Virtual Reality and Maritime Defence Training, BMT Defence Services
“My research involves evaluating the effectiveness of consumer off-the-shelf HMDs in Virtual Maritime Training. I am based at BMT Defence Services, Bath, with a department who specialises in developing training solutions for naval platforms.
My work involves using new consumer VR technologies like the Oculus Rift in training scenarios which include platform familiarisation, maintenance, and emergency procedures. Currently my projects are extending to having multiple users interacting with each other in the same environment via these devices."
Owen O’Neill - Analysis of Commercial Virtual Reality for Upper Limb Stroke Impairment, Salisbury NHS Trust
“In the UK, over 150,000 people experience a first time stroke each year. It is the most common cause of severe adult disability, and data from 2012 suggests that there are around 1.1 million survivors in the UK suffering from a wide spectrum of both physical and psychological disabilities including loss of language, memory, use of limbs and depression. The impetus of stroke research is to explore avenues that may improve treatment, patient care and preventative measures.
Our research is focused on critically evaluating the use of low-cost, easily accessible commercial technologies and how these may, or may not, be of therapeutic value in the neuromuscular rehabilitation of patients. Recent examples of research in this area have identified technologies such as Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect, augmented and virtual reality as potentially exciting avenues of research.”
Zack Lyons - Virtual Therapy, Designability and Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust
"My research involves using interactive computational simulations to deliver meaningful benefits to people with acquired brain injuries. It will contribute to the science base on human-agent interaction, as well as to research on Human-Computer Interaction in mental health.
I am currently carrying out exploratory work with the intention of articulating design goals to inform future development of simulations. The envisioned emphasis of the project is in exploring the unique dynamics of the three-way interaction between clients, clinicians and the machine."
Pete Allen - The Effects of Environment on Prey Detection Rates, Bournemouth University
My research focuses on the psychology of perception, specifically how the makeup of the environment affects the ability of humans to detect target objects within it.
This research is then being applied in a paleo-archeologial context to help understand the abilities of early humans to detect prey animals in differing environments prior to the last glacial maximum. The research is being conducted using the latest 3D virtual environment technologies and eye tracking equipment.
John Tredinnick - Virtual Reality Full Dome Experiences in Cultural Heritage, The National Trust
Development of Digital Dome Projection Space Technology for the Delivery of Virtual Cultural Heritage Interpretation to Public Audiences. This project involved devising and trialling an immersive virtual exploration exhibit (a so-called ‘discovery dome’) depicting the archaeological discovery of The National Trust’s Chedworth Roman Villa.
Alongside demonstrating the potential of such technology for visitor interpretation at heritage sites, the project involved the collection of data from visitors in order to reveal future research paths that could be undertaken with the system.