Computer games are designed to spread fun and entertainment and motivate players to play long term. So it makes sense to use these added values not only in the entertainment industry, but also in other areas, for example in therapy or rehabilitation (see our blog article Little big heroes – supporting children’s patients in therapy with virtual reality). Games have great motivational potential, which could be used particularly well there. But not all people with motor or cognitive impairments can participate in this experience if the so-called “Game Accessibility” is too low. Let me illustrate this with an example.
Thinking Out of the Box
Posts Tagged ‘Virtual Reality’
Reach small and large goals easily and playfully, without being aware of the effort involved. This is a vision that drives researchers and practitioners in various fields of application around the topic of gamification. In this article, I describe how we apply gamification in practice in the Mighty U research project to help children with motor disabilities with therapy.
In the last few years, gamification has increasingly developed into a topic with a strong media presence in the German-speaking world, with which numerous TV reports, newspaper articles and conferences have also been in touch. But Gamification not only received a positive response in the media. We at Centigrade also receive more and more request in the gamification and enterprise gaming area, of which some have already been implemented.
The subject of capacity planning is often a challenging task in medium-sized or large companies. With a growing number of employees, it can become difficult at some point to distribute them effectively and above all efficiently to task areas or projects. For such a planning a lot of data is used (“Big Data”), which is often difficult to visualize and interpret.
We at Centigrade have been working with new technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and other forms of 3D visualization for quite some time. This opens up completely new fields of application. One of these new fields of application could be the personnel capacity planning with the support of Augmented Reality, or in a further expansion stage also the planning of machines and material. By extending the data visualization from a 2D representation to 3D projections in real space, completely new interaction and design concepts can be applied, allowing the user to explore the data in a natural way. This could not only be more enjoyable, but it would also make more efficient data analysis possible. It would be particularly exciting to also feed the usage data of such planning rounds into the Big Data pool and thus to arrive at predictive capacity planning over time with ever better suggestions. However, the use of the still quite new technology raises questions:
- Can an AR application, unlike conventional desktop solutions, provide more effective capacity planning and efficiently support the HR department?
- What is the added value in terms of usability and utility when using such an application?
- How efficient is this in its handling?
- How do users rate the user experience?
As part of my master thesis I developed a holographic application in the last half year to find answers to these questions – DeepData. A project report.
A shift supervisor is standing in a large machine hall monitoring production. From her vantage point she can overlook the complete hall. She is carrying no laptop, no tablet, not even a phone. Instead she is wearing a plain pair of glasses and looking from one machine to the next. When she gazes at a machine, a window opens in her field of view, showing the machines’ current status. The shift supervisor can check which job the machine is working on, the number of finished items, and if all tools are in order. When she gazes away from the machine, the window disappears and she can look around the machine hall freely.
A promising vision, but is it realistic? Unfortunately at the current state of technology (March 2017) it isn’t – yet.
Update 2018: Results of this study are already being used in current Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality projects. You can take a look at our 3D services portfolio.
But the progress of companies like Microsoft, Magic Leap, or Daqri in the development of augmented reality glasses suggests that augmented reality will be ready for use in the near future. This is a giant step towards Industry 4.0: across the production process workers can be supported in their everyday tasks. But how can we prepare for this new technology? How can we already gain experience now to start developing user-friendly applications when operational devices are released, integrating augmented reality effectively and efficiently into work routines?
With the DeepSight project we at Centigrade have found a way to prototype augmented reality applications right now while identifying and leveraging possible advantages of this promising technology. For this we resorted to another technology that might be surprising in this context: virtual reality.
In the last few years, more and more people have started talking about “Virtual Reality”. The possibility of completely immersing in a virtual world via new technologies like e.g. the Oculus Rift fascinates gamers, developers and UX-Designers alike. Looking around a virtual environment by just turning your head, or moving virtual objects with your own hands, offers a completely new and extremely direct way of interacting. In consequence, many users of VR applications really feel like being inside of the virtual environment. It is exactly this feeling, called “immersion”, which makes users expect to be able to really interact with the virtual objects, just as naturally as they would with real ones. But unfortunately, this is not possible with the contemporary setups. VR-glasses just offer visual access to the virtual world. Hence, a user touching a virtual object will not feel any haptic feedback.
To discover how the integration of the tactile sense into a virtual reality application affects the immersion of their users, we at Centigrade developed the prototype “DeepGrip” – an application combining visual and haptic feedback in a virtual reality.read more…
This article is currently only available in German language.