Real & Virtual Worlds – Review Week #12

This week’s lecture was focused around the topic of haptic feedback and the content provided is as follows:

  • Mobile AR – Creating Augmented Experiences from the Anti-Po-Des Design Journal 2 by Max R.C Schleser and Gaby David (2013)
  • Chapter 8: Reach Out and Touch Someone: Haptics, Tactile Presence and Making VR Physical from “Future Presence: How Virtual Reality is Changing Human Connection, Intimacy, and the Limits of Ordinary Life” by Peter Rubin (2018)
  • Voices of VR Podcast #351: Redirected Touch: Using Perceptual Hacks to Create Convincing Haptics with Luv Kohli

The first few sections covered topics previously discussed such as the use of AR with mobile applications e.g. geographical using qr codes, markers and location etc. For these types of applications, the author, Gaby David, coins the term “mAR” when referencing geographical based mobile ar apps.

The first case study is focused around CultureClic, a cultural application for France. This app sounds great in theory with providing the user information about different artworks, historical buildings and local events. However, at the date this article was published, content was only available within Paris and modern and contemporary art pieces were not included either; limited.

On the other hand, I do agree that the concept of viewing one of Arthur Rimbaud’s poems once present within the region, does create a different experience for the user and may work well as a virtual tour guide. Although, it would need to be expanded upon in order for it to be a sufficient replacement for existing tours.

The second case study, StreetMuseum, operates similarly by offering the user information about locations in London with the example provided being the Anteros Statue in Piccadilly Circus. I particuarly liked the quote provided of “Technology is a way of revealing. ” as this resonated with me as I have always felt that technology has the potential to enhance how we experience culture. Technology is already improving visitors’ experiences to museums, even with the simple implementation of audio guides, video projections and interactive displays.

This reading focused on the evolvement of haptics and its present implementation within virtual reality experiences. For example, one of its first uses was within the arcade sector with a motorbike attraction in which the user felt a vibration if they crashed or hit something etc.

This has since evolved and a very powerful example explored was Ape-X. This involved the user wearing a very large HMD and being present within a room with a pillar and metal grate. Once the experience began, the user would need to walk along the narrow catwalk along the top of a skyscraper whilst fending off waves of enemies. The biggest challenge of all though, involved the user needing to leave the metal catwalk and escape into a hovercraft. The author, Peter Rubin, was congratulated as one of the few that ended up jumping to safety. This posed a difficult challenge due to how immersed the users became within the experience; they truly believed that they were standing on the platform at a great height. This could also pose a potential problem within my experience as users may feel that they are at danger of falling into the arctic waters. I could negotiate this feeling by either including invisible walls or, for a more diegetic method, simply limit the users movement to seated during the boat sequences.

However one of the most important concepts within this chapter is that the location of stimulation on the users hand(s) is directly relative to what type of emotion is felt. For example, for a positive emotion, stimulation may occur within the area located around the thumb, index finger or the middle of the palm. On the other hand, “touching” the pinky or the outer edges of the palm can be used to indicate a negative emotion. Direction is also equally as important as moving away from the user can be negative and vice versa.

This was an interesting discussion with Luv Kohli, the founder of the redirected walking concept, which he has expanded on to include touch.

The original concept for redirected walking was associated with the user walking in circles but in the simulation, they believed that they were walking in a straight line. This primarily works as the visual sense is the most dominant and therefore takes over the other senses.

From this, Kohli evolved a concept that involves the user touching an object using haptic gloves and by the use of haptics, the user’s perception of the object is changed. For example, the object physically may be a cube, but visually it appears to be a sphere and therefore the user believes that they are now holding a spherical object. However, I feel that gloves are not readily available and not all consumers will have access to these so development for this could potentially be more of a future focus.

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