HIT Lab NZ: Theses and Dissertations


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 79
  • ItemOpen Access
    Teaching dance with mixed reality mirrors : comparing virtual instructors to other forms of visual feedback.
    (2024) Treffer, Anna
    This research aimed to assess whether a virtual instructor and visual feedback combination displayed on a Mixed Reality (MR) mirror can be used to teach a beginner a simple dance routine, replacing the traditional instructor and mirror methods. A prototype was developed using a camera and projector that displayed a digital mirror image of the participant as they learned dances, with the system able to overlay computer graphics onto the image. The camera used to capture the image and motion of the participants was a Microsoft Azure Kinect camera. Three visual feedback types were developed and used as randomized conditions in the user study based on input from expert interviews and an online survey. These were Spheres, Rubber Bands, and Arrows. Three simple dance routines were developed, motion captured, and presented in random order in the user study. During the user study participants learned the dances by following a virtual instructor in the MR mirror (present for each condition), with the MR mirror providing a different form of visual feedback for each dance. After practicing a dance three times with the feedback, participants then performed the dance in front of the MR mirror following the virtual instructor without any feedback, and the system measured the accuracy of their performance by comparing the amount of time that the user’s joints, such as shoulders and elbows, were within desired bounds for each pose. Participants filled out an AttrakDiff Questionnaire describing their experience for each form of feedback, and gave comparative opinions of the different forms of visual feedback in a final interview. The results showed that participants performed best with the Arrows feedback variant which were a directional feedback showing their depth difference, however they ranked this variant the lowest based on their own preference. The most preferred form of feedback was Spheres, which were the simplest feedback, not providing any guidance into the correct pose, but participants performed poorest with them.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Entering the realm of the wetlands: design and evaluation of engagement for a mobile augmented reality game
    (2024) Yin, Wenliang
    This thesis explores the potential of Augmented Reality (AR) in enhancing environmental edu- cation, with a focus on the conservation of New Zealand’s wetlands. Through the development and evaluation of a mobile AR game titled “NZ Wetlands Invasion,” this research investigates how different perspectives in the game impact player engagement and learning outcomes. Em- ploying a mixed-methods approach, the study integrates quantitative data from pre-test and post-test quizzes with qualitative feedback from participants to assess the effectiveness of AR in fostering environmental awareness and knowledge. Findings from this study reveal that the first-person view (FPV) in the AR game significantly enhances player engagement by providing a more immersive experience compared to the bird’s eye view (BEV). However, contrary to initial hypotheses, there was no significant difference in learning outcomes between FPV and BEV perspectives. This suggests that while FPV may offer a more engaging and immersive experience, both perspectives are equally effective in facilitating learning about wetland conservation. The research results also highlight the influence of environmental factors and physical comfort on the AR learning experience, underscoring the need for careful consideration of the physical and environmental context in which AR games are deployed. Additionally, the study addresses the concept of response shift bias, illustrating the complexity of measuring learning outcomes. In conclusion, this thesis contributes valuable insights into the design and implementation of AR in environmental education, offering recommendations for future AR game development aimed at engaging and educating users about environmental conservation. The findings suggest broader applications of AR in enhancing learning experiences across various domains, encouraging for the integration of immersive technologies in Game-Based Learning Environments(GBLEs) to boost a deeper understanding and appreciation of environmental issues.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Trust and trustworthiness while exchanging virtual items in shared augmented reality.
    (2024) Ritter, Marko
    This thesis is split into nine chapters, which contain the following contents: Chapter 2. The Background chapter collects relevant insights from scientific literature as they concern this thesis. Chapter 3. Roleplay as an experimental method will be explored. Because Fantasy storytelling is an unconventional choice for a scientific work, so reasoning will be provided there as well. Chapter 4. A Pre-Trial was conducted to substantiate that the chosen narrative does in fact model the intended variables. Chapter 5. The Design and Development of the AR-prototype is described in detail. This follows the principles of an established design process called "Double Diamond". Chapter 6. The hypotheses, the design, the quantitative measurements, and procedures of the User Study is outlined. Chapter 7. Results presents the data collected during the user study and evaluate them by statistical means. Chapter 8. The Discussion chapter will interpret the findings and attempt to answer the research question. It will discuss the findings’ limitations and how they relate to the scientific literature. Chapter 9. The Conclusion chapter gives a broad summary of the findings.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Daddy long legs : a scale and speed up virtual reality locomotion technique for medium-scale scenarios.
    (2024) Zhao, Yue
    This study investigates the effectiveness of a novel natural walking-based locomotion technique, "Daddy Long Legs," for navigating medium-scale virtual scenarios. While real walking remains ideal for such scenarios, prolonged use can become physically demanding and inefficient. Conversely, artificial locomotion methods often induce disorientation or fatigue that comes from abrupt viewpoint changes or repeated gestures. Drawing inspiration from previous research on Seven-League Boots and Ground-Level Scaling, both with documented advantages and limitations, this study proposes a combined approach. We believed that their strengths and weaknesses could be effectively balanced through careful design, but there has been a lack of comprehensive study in this area. A user study involving 24 participants was conducted, in which they were required to perform a series of walking tasks within a medium-scale virtual garden. Furthermore, they did a Pre-Experiment Questionnaire and Post-Experiment Questionnaires, along with a brief one-on-one interview that specifically addressed their feelings and preferences regarding all the methods. Results indicate that Daddy Long Legs outperformed Seven-League Boots in all aspects. Notably, Ground-Level Scaling yielded the most natural walking behaviour, received the most positive feedback, and emerged as the preferred method.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Immersive virtual reality for children in formal education.
    (2023) Belter, Meike
    This PhD thesis explored the integration of virtual reality (VR) technology into formal education, specifically targeting school-aged children. While VR has gained traction primarily for entertainment, this study sought to harness its immersive potential for educational purposes within, for example, schools. Games have long been recognized as valuable tools for enhancing learning experiences. In recent years, schools have increasingly adopted them, particularly in subjects such as math. Not all learning methods and tools are inclusive to all learners. Common challenges for children in a school context are inattention and hyperactivity. VR, with its ability to create immersive and customizable environments, presents an intriguing avenue for addressing these challenges. To address this, a VR math game was developed for this research, drawing from established educational frameworks and insights garnered from subject matter experts. Through qualitative interviews and thorough requirement analysis, the game’s design was refined. Subsequently, two user studies were conducted within real-world school environments. The initial study focused on assessing usability and refining the prototype based on user feedback. Encouraging outcomes paved the way for a more extensive second study. This followup delved into the influence of a reward system and virtual agent on the user experience, and comparing the VR game against a non-VR counterpart. The findings demonstrated that the VR game not only cultivated positive user experiences but also heightened motivation and engagement. Despite these promising results, further exploration is necessary to determine the role of ‘peerpresence’ in VR learning, and the game’s suitability for children with clinically diagnosed attention and hyperactivity issues. This research adds valuable insights into the process of creating inclusive and effective VR learning experiences. Through a comprehensive research approach, including design, usability testing, and user studies, the thesis underscored the potential of VR to enhance user engagement and experiences within educational contexts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Feeling moved in VR concerts.
    (2023) Aguilar, David J.
    This research explores the user experience design elements necessary to evoke the emotion called kama muta, most commonly known as” being moved” or “being touched”, in a virtual reality concert. Previous research has been able to mediate this emotion using video, nevertheless, to the best of my knowledge, no work has been done related to evoking kama muta in Virtual Reality. Accordingly, a VR experience prototype was created to simulate the performance of a fictional pop singer called X-ABC, who would have been dealing with grief as a consequence of his brother being missing and decides to share his feelings with the audience. Twenty participants took part in a between subjects’ study, in which they reported their emotional state using the KAMMUS Two, and Bailenson’s social presence questionnaires. Ultimately, participants’ answers were analysed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Overall, the findings suggest that it is possible to elicit kama muta in a simulation by featuring a narrative that increases the intensity of communal sharing relationships, such as loss, reunion, or memories of loved ones. It was also found that the user-experience design elements that contributed the most to the emotional response were a set of floating screens with portraits of the siblings when they were children, a believable voice acting and a character with emotional facial animations which were also lip-synced with the acted voice.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Redirected hands for reducing arm fatigue during mid-air interactions in virtual reality.
    (2023) Hobson, Alex
    Muscle fatigue is a major impediment to the long-term usage and acceptance of Virtual Reality (VR). Users must routinely manipulate objects, perform repeated teleportations, and interact with user interface elements using prolonged arm and hand gestures. One leading strategy for reducing arm fatigue is ray-casting, which gives the user a laser pointer metaphor, allowing them to select objects with a comfortable position of the arms, but limits the fidelity of interactions by deviating from how hands are used in the real world. In this thesis a lesser-explored strategy to address arm fatigue is explored: hand redirection. “Hand redirection” is a technique made possible with VR, where the user can be fooled into believing their hand is in a different location to where it is in the real world, since people are visually dominant and VR completely immerses a person’s vision. Existing hand redirection literature mainly relates to being able to redirect the hand to a sparse haptic proxy, allowing the user to feel objects in VR, however its impact on arm fatigue is lesser explored. In this thesis, hand redirection is explored as a practical mitigation strategy addressing arm fatigue in VR, which still supports natural hand interactions (unlike ray-casting). A system was built that provides hand tracking and a physical surface at different heights, such that the user can touch the lower or tilted surface, and still see themselves touching an upright surface at eye level in VR. A between-subjects study was then conducted with 48 participants across six conditions, using a 2×3 mixed-factorial design, with two levels of redirection (Tilted, Redirected) and a control (No Redirection), with (Present) and without (Not Present) a physical surface on which to tap. The findings show that hand redirection is a valid way to reduce arm fatigue in VR, since arm fatigue was dramatically reduced without a significant impact on task performance. This behaviour differs when looking at results when the surface was present versus when it was not, suggesting that the way in which users behave in the presence of hand redirection is different when there is a physical surface to touch. Finally, the Tilted condition (where the board was rotated but not moved vertically) did not reduce arm fatigue, suggesting that the main way to reduce arm fatigue is to introduce a vertical offset rather than changing the angle that the hand interacts with the virtual content.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Augmented reality for alternative measuring techniques in geospatial field work.
    (2023) Turton, David
    This thesis assesses the value of a LiDAR application created for the the collection of data in geospatial field work. Several interfaces were developed for this tool with the purpose of determining the best method of selection in 3D space using augmented reality for data collection. Background research evaluates multiple tools and the validity of mobile LiDAR for measuring and data collection. Selection in 3D space using augmented reality is complex and multiple tools were analyzed for how they could be adapted for this task. Two user studies were performed. The first user study was performed with non- professional users aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of the different interfaces developed based on time taken, efficiency, accuracy, and user experience. The second user study consisted of interviews and test runs with GIS developers who analyzed the interfaces, gave feedback on them, and discussed how they compare to existing workflows in GIS data collection. Feedback from these studies was used to determine the best possible interface for the application, how the interfaces can be improved, and if it can operate as a potential alternative measuring tool to existing workflow.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Acting aids in virtual production.
    (2023) Moisset, Sylvain
    Previous research has shown how using virtual production could solve some of the inherent problems that suffers the traditional film making workflow mainly by bringing more flexibility to the overall process, allowing more iterative work and more communication between all the departments involved. That being said, studies have also shown that for actors, working on a film that involves visual effects can put a lot of strain on their concentration and attention and lead to a frustrating experience for them and potentially less optimal results for the film. This project’s aim is to study if a virtual production setup can be used to provide actors, in a visual effects film making environment, with acting aids in the form of visual cues on a display. It also aims at studying which cues are more helpful for actors. A simple setup was designed to mimic the experience of acting in a professional virtual production volume. The system includes the possibility of displaying different cues within the virtual production environment. A user study was run on a sample of actors to identify if cuing using a virtual production setup leads to better results. Experts opinions were collected during the design phase of the project to assess the relevance of the project and get directions for the design of the prototype and the use study.
  • ItemOpen Access
    TUFT-XR : exploring tactility for underfoot sensation with simulated fabric textures in extended reality.
    (2023) Topliss, Jack
    This thesis research focuses on the relationship between visual and tactile feedback and their impact on a person’s underfoot tactile perception of materials. Specifically, the research explores whether changing the visual appearance of materials affects a person’s underfoot tactile perception and which tactile perception is most affected by the change. Additionally, the study examines whether people are aware of changes in visual appearance when focused on other tasks. A mixed reality system was developed to answer these questions, and two tactile perception experiments were conducted. The first experiment involved 18 participants rating three tactile properties (roughness, hardness, and stiffness) for four different flooring materials, each with four different virtual overlays. The aim was to determine whether visual appearance affects tactile perception and whether materials with different tactile properties are impacted differently. Results indicated that tactile perception was most impacted by changes in visual appearance for roughness, and less so for more extreme tactile properties. The second experiment investigated whether users were aware of changes in tactile feedback when focused on a task in virtual reality. Eighteen participants walked around the experiment space standing on virtual objects, with two different materials covering the experiment flooring space. Nine participants each experienced virtual textures matching the flooring, and a single texture covered the experiment floor. Results showed that participants were more aware of walking between the different floorings when the visual appearance matched the flooring than when only a single texture was presented. Overall, the research demonstrates that visual appearance can impact tactile perception, particularly for roughness. Users are more aware of changes in tactile feedback when the visual appearance matches the flooring. These findings have implications for the development of immersive technologies in various fields, including product design.
  • ItemOpen Access
    5 Minute Volcano: designing serious games about volcanic hazards for a bi-cultural environment.
    (2023) Wall, Kieron
    This thesis proposal intends to asses how serious games can be designed to communicate volcanic tsunami risk in the bi-cultural environment of Aotearoa New Zealand. Background research has shown that children are vulnerable to natural hazards, yet crucial in risk communication. Serious games have been developed to help children learn, yet the research gaps are extensive. This research proposes working with a M¯aori kura to co-design a serious game for school children about tsunami risk communication and evacuation strategies. The tamariki engaged in workshops and through exploratory observational and interview qualitative methods, the prototype 5-Minute Volcano was designed, incorporating Māori and Western cultural aspects. The user study conducted observed a small group of four children whilst they played the game, and the feedback was used to determine if serious games can be used for learning and risk reduction in future studies.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring effective storytelling guidelines for cinematic virtual reality
    (2022) Tong, Lingwei
    Content creators have been exploring ways to use virtual reality (VR) as an effective storytelling tool. The term cinematic virtual reality (CVR) was then created to describe the kind of VR experience that is produced using pre-rendered content with lengthier and complete story structures, with the interaction design that enables viewers to actively choose where to look. Initially, creators of CVR content began by transferring storytelling grammars and techniques from mature media, such as cinema and theater. However, specific challenges for CVR followed, including the narrative paradox (NP) (which is the conflict and tension arising between authorial control and viewer agency), the fear of missing out (FOMO), and the discrepancy between viewer expectations on agency and the system’s interactive capacity. Because CVR is a type of immersive experience, viewers are also inclined to interact with the story world freely. To achieve a final product that is a successful and engrossing storytelling experience, creators must address the NP and FOMO issues and establish a design balance between authorial control and viewer participation in terms of narrative progression. To investigate the issues raised above and assess potential solutions, several user studies were undertaken in this thesis. A human body-language-based attention guidance cue set called Action Units (AUs) was created to address the FOMO issue. It was then compared with two other commonly used synthetic cues for user experiences. According to the findings, the use of AUs in CVR content can boost viewer enjoyment and engagement with the story. The AUs were also favored by viewers for their diegetic qualities and by creators for the simplicity of use. Moving on to the NP issue, the second user study sought to identify the upper limit of a viewer’s desire to actively interact and participate in the narration. Results indicated that viewer control is advised for CVR projects. To handle viewer curiosity and motivate them to interact freely, creators must carefully set up the interactors. Based on the findings, a coherent framework was researched and developed by tying together previously acquired knowledge and rules that were dispersed to various components of producing CVR with the workflow that a creator uses to build the experience. The procedure resulted in a formalized framework called the Adaptive Playback Control (APC) for CVR. The APC starts by guiding content preparation by highlighting the need for applying diegetic attention guidance cues. It also includes guidelines for interactive design by emphasizing the need for design considerations regarding the harmony between viewer and creator roles in directing the narrative development, and raising the visibility of interaction affordances in the immersive storytelling experience. Then, a real-world case study of applying the APC to an immersive Māori (New Zealand indigenous people) storytelling experience was presented. The case study examined whether viewer-participatory design, including profiling viewers and the strategies to introduce narrative variations, was culturally appropriate. In this case study, personalized variations were added to CVR by taking into account both the unique demands of each viewer and their participation in the storytelling process. Insights from the case study showed that for creators to safely guarantee that experiences will live up to viewer expectations and be entertaining and diverse, individual users must also be taken into account from the very beginning of content design. Finally, this thesis offers the Adaptive Playback Control (APC), a novel frame- work for those who create CVR experiences. They can follow the framework’s instructions to create materials specifically designed for an immersive experience utilizing pre-rendered content, such as 360-degree videos. It intends to address the FOMO issue and help creators produce CVR experiences with correct viewer interaction and integrated viewer personalization, resolving the problem of NP and improving the overall experience. This thesis also employed a case study to show how adaptable the framework is and how it may be used in a larger context, in and beyond the cultural heritage sector.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Gyroscope induced force feedback for ball impact simulation in exergames.
    (2022) Leete, Hayden
    A haptic feedback device for simulating batting sport haptics was designed using the resultant gyroscopic effect from rapidly reorienting spinning flywheels and integrated into a custom cricket themed virtual reality exergame. The device was capable of producing impact vibrations and a 0.1 N m torque. A within-subjects user study conducted on 16 participants, and player presence was evaluated using the Presence Questionnaire. The results of the user study were statistically insignificant due to a small sample size (p=0.153), and we were unable to reject the null hypothesis, but visual data analysis was used to identify trends that supported our hypothesis that increase haptic feedback fidelity increases presence in virtual reality batting sports exergames. Due to the statistical insignificance of these results, further research should be conducted to confirm these findings.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Development of a volcanic hazard visualisation tool for risk communication
    (2022) Pourgolmohammadgolshani, Amirali
    New Zealand is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of natural disasters. It is highly susceptible to geological disasters sch as earthquakes due to being located where the Pacific and Australian plates meet. New Zealand is home to 12 active volcanoes whose eruptions produce a wide variety of hazards, making the majority of the people living in New Zealand, susceptible to volcanic activity. Communication of geological risks is an important component of disaster risk management. Giving people who are at risk of being affected by volcanic hazards the right training and information is imperative for them to be able to make the correct decisions in the event of a disaster. With the advances in computer technologies, new and interactive methods of communication and visualisation are possible. In this paper we created and evaluated an interactive volcanic hazard simulation and visualisation application. This application is capable of visualising the landscape of mount Ruapehu in 3D. The ap- plication also uses mathematical model of volcanic ballistics to simulate the hazard allowing the user to create custom eruptions and view them. The application also outputs the data generated by these simulated volcanic particles which can be used to visualise the hazard footprint of various eruptions using a top down map of Ruapehu. A user study was conducted to evaluate whether such an application would allow volcanologist experts to better communicate volcanic hazard risks with the various stakeholders they engage with. Six volcanologists were interviewed and their feedback on the application was used to create a list of requirements for the future iterations of this application or to be used by other researchers and developers to create similar applications. The results of this study showed that volcanologist need interactive visualisation applications to better communicate with various communities to better disseminate critical information.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Involving children in the design process of VR games aimed at improving attention in children with ADHD.
    (2022) MacKay, James
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder which affects the ability to direct attention, and mediate impulsive behaviour. Children with ADHD tend to perform worse academically than their peers due to challenges focusing within a traditional classroom. Research suggests video games aimed at training attention can improve these children’s performance, and more recently, Virtual Reality (VR) applications are being studied as they allow for precise control of potentially distracting elements in such a game. This research looks at how children can be involved in the design process of such a game, through co-design. A class of children took part in design activities to generate ideas for a VR game, which were used in conjunction with existing design recommendations for children with ADHD to create a prototype game designed to improve attention in the classroom. The game is a rhythm game, designed to train children’s ability to direct and sustain their attention. The game’s design and usability were evaluated on a return visit to the classroom. Overall, the design process succeeded in producing a game which the children enjoyed playing, and many were proud to see their ideas in the prototype.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Using Augmented Reality for real-time feedback to enhance the execution of the squat.
    (2022) Chun, Sungdeuk
    The importance of exercise and strength training has been emphasised, yet it is shown that the number of people who do not reach the average recommended hours of exercise has increased (WHO, 2020). Currently, a range of physical fitness products employs the use of technology. These products focus on providing engaging experiences but do not provide personalised real-time feedback to improve the execution of the exercise and reduce the risk of injuries. Hence, this research aims to explore the effectiveness of AR technology in providing real-time visual feedback for squat motion. Furthermore, which type of visual feedback is most effective for reducing errors in squat performance is also explored. This prototype includes a large screen that shows a mirror image of the participant as they perform squats with four different types of real-time visual feedback implemented. The motion of the participants was captured using the Kinect v2 system. This prototype focuses on giving feedback about the knee valgus error, which commonly occurs during the squat motion. The four visual feedback types implemented are Traffic, Arrow, Avatar, and All-in-One. A user study with twenty participants was conducted to evaluate the feedback methods. The participants performed ten squats for each type of visual feedback, and their performance was measured with the frequency of the good, moderate, and poor squats they performed. A User Experience Questionnaire (UEQ) and a post-experiment interview were also conducted to measure their preferences and opinions regarding visual feedback. The results showed that Arrow outperformed the other conditions in terms of performance, followed by All-in-One, Traffic and Avatar. However, the majority of participants preferred Traffic, Arrow, All-in-One and Avatar in the descending order of preferences. The participants could further be categorised into two groups, a beginner and an advanced group. It was found that the beginner group preferred All-in-One, Arrow, Traffic and Avatar, in descending order. For the advanced group, in descending order, their performance ranked with Arrow to be best and followed by Traffic, All-in-One and Avatar. However, the majority preferred Traffic, followed by Arrow, Avatar and All-in-One. The difference in performance results between the two groups can be attributed to the beginner group participants needing more information to improve their performance. In contrast, the advanced group benefits from a more straightforward and more intuitive visual feedback type since they already have sufficient knowledge. Future work could include a lateral view of the squat motion which would deliver more information to the user. Lastly, this prototype design can be extended to detect other types of errors users often perform during the squat motion or other strength training exercises or sports.
  • ItemOpen Access
    User-defined interaction using everyday objects for augmented reality first-person action games.
    (2022) Greenslade, Mac
    This thesis covers research into the use of everyday objects as props in first-person augmented reality action games. The thesis aims to answer three research questions: • RQ: Do more commonly chosen everyday objects provide a more immersive experience when used as props in a first-person augmented reality action game? – SQ1: Can a consensus be reached for what types of everyday objects are used as props in a first-person augmented reality action game? – SQ2: How can everyday objects be used as props in a first-person augmented reality action game? An elicitation study was performed to investigate these research questions. Participants in the study were offered a range of everyday objects that they could select as a prop to control a virtual sword, shield and then crossbow. Each participant completed a short game task with each virtual object, using their selection, filled in a questionnaire to measure their immersion and completed a short interview after all tasks were completed. Results from the study indicate that no, more commonly chosen everyday objects do not necessarily provide a more immersive experience when used as props in a first-person augmented reality action game - due to no significant differences found between immersion scores for the consensus and remaining objects. Yes, a consensus can be reached for what types of everyday objects are used as props in a first-person augmented reality action game but not necessarily for all virtual objects - the sword was found to have medium agreement with a shoehorn as the most popular choice, the shield was found to have high agreement with a pot-lid as the most popular choice and no consensus was found for the crossbow object. The qualitative results indicated that everyday objects can be used as props in a first-person augmented reality action game by providing intuitive ways to use the everyday objects that mimic how players would expect the virtual objects to be used and activated.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Improving the virtual flame experience and engagement with an electric fireplace at home
    (2022) Qiao, Han
    Techniques for electrical flame effects have been around since at least 1981. Since then, various faux flame techniques using smoke and mirrors have been applied in electric fireplaces to achieve more realistic visual effects. However, two main issues, (1) the low visual appeal of fake flames and (2) the lack of interactions, are still seriously affecting the user experience. This research is about the design and evaluation of an electric fireplace system that uses 3D display technologies and interactive methods to address the above issues. The goals of this research are twofold: 1) to evaluate the visual experience of different 3D display technologies 2) to explore innovative methods for the user to interact with an electric fireplace and evaluate the user experience. For that purpose, we developed two prototypes and an electric fireplace system. In addition, a within-subjects design user study was conducted to evaluate the visual experience and the user experience in different conditions. Firstly, we explored the possibility of combining two different 3D display technologies (Pepper’s Ghost Illusion and Persistence of Vision technology) with an electric fireplace. Secondly, we collected and analysed visual experience data to compare the effect of virtual flames created by our prototypes with real flames. For the purpose of exploring the user experience, we explored the usage of different interactive methods, gesture control and remote control, on an electric fireplace. Finally, we collected user feedback through questionnaires and analysed the results. Results indicated that there was a significant difference between virtual flames and real flames. Although 3D display technologies provided more interactions and visual effects to the user, which had stimulated the user’s interests, the experience they created were far away from the experience of using a real wood-burning fireplace. In terms of the comparison of interactive methods, gesture control performed better on all scales of the user experience than the remote control. Therefore, we concluded that the user would obtain a better user experience when using gesture control to operate an electric fireplace.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Using Virtual Reality to View BIM Metadata in Architectural Design Reviews for Healthcare.
    (2022) Buchanan, Emma
    This research seeks to assess whether Virtual Reality (VR) can be used to convey Building Information Modelling (BIM) metadata alongside geometric and spatial data in a virtual environment and by doing so, determine if it increases the effectiveness of the design review by improving participants understanding of the design. Previous research has illustrated the potential for VR to enhance design reviews, especially the ability to convey spatial information but so far there has been limited research into how VR can convey additional BIM metadata. A user study assessed participants performance and preference for conducting design reviews in VR or using a traditional design review system of PDF drawings and a 3D model. The VR condition had a higher task completion rate, a higher SUS score and generally faster completion times.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Identifying strategies to mitigate cybersickness in virtual reality induced by flying with an interactive travel interface.
    (2022) Page, Daniel W.
    Virtual Reality (VR) is a versatile and evolving technology for simulating different experiences. As this technology has improved in hardware, accessibility of development, and availability of applications its interest has surged. However, despite these improvements, the problem of Cybersickness (CS) remains, causing a variety of uncomfortable symptoms in users. Hence the need for guidelines that developers can use to create experiences that mitigate these effects. With an incomplete understanding of CS and techniques yet to be tried, this thesis seeks to identify new strategies that mitigate CS. In the literature, the predominant theories attribute CS or closely related sicknesses to the body rejecting inconsistencies between senses and the body failing to adapt to conflicts or new dynamics in an experience. There are also a variety of user, hardware, and software factors that have been reported to affect it. To measure the extent of CS, the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) is the most commonly used tool. Some physiological responses have also been associated with CS that can be measured in real-time. Three hypotheses for mitigation strategies were devised and tested in an experiment. This involved a physical travel interface for flying through a Virtual Environment (VE) populated with models as a control condition. On top of this, three manipulation conditions referred to as Gaze-Tracking Vignette (GV), Personal Embodiment (PE), and Fans and Vibration (FV) could be individually applied. The experiment was designed to be between-subjects, with participants randomly allocated to four groups. Overall, 37 participants did the experiment with Heart Rate (HR), eye-tracking data, and flight data recorded. Post-exposure, they also filled out a survey that included the SSQ. To analyse the data, statistical tests and regression models were used. These found significant evidence that a vignette that changes intensity with speed and scope position with eye-gaze direction made CS worse. The same result was found from adding personal embodiment with hand tracking. Evidence was also found from the SSQ that directional fans with floor vibration did not cause a difference. However, an overall lowering of HR for this condition indicated that it might help, but could be due to other factors. Additionally, comments from participants identified that many experienced symptoms consistent with CS, with dizziness as the most common, and some issues with the usability of the travel interface.