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Showing papers in "Virtual Reality in 2021"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This survey explores Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality within social learning spaces, such as classrooms and museums, while also extending into relevant social interaction concepts found within more reality-based and social immersive media frameworks.
Abstract: In this survey, we explore Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality within social learning spaces, such as classrooms and museums, while also extending into relevant social interaction concepts found within more reality-based and social immersive media frameworks. To provide a foundation for our findings we explore properties and interactions relevant to educational use in social learning spaces; in addition to several learning theories such as constructivism, social cognitive theory, connectivism, and activity theory, within a CSCL lens, to build a theoretical foundation for future virtual reality/augmented reality educational frameworks. Several virtual reality/augmented reality examples for learning are explored, and several promising areas to further research, such as a greater focus on accessibility, the interplay between the physical and virtual environments, and suggestions for updated learning theory foundations, are proposed.

113 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A variety of studies that provide qualitative and/or quantitative data to investigate the current practices with VR support focusing on students’ outcomes, performance, alongside with the benefits and challenges of this technology concerning the analysis of visual features and design elements with mobile and desktop computing devices in different learning subjects are presented.
Abstract: There has been an increasing interest in applying immersive virtual reality (VR) applications to support various instructional design methods and outcomes not only in K-12 (Primary and Secondary), but also in higher education (HE) settings. However, there is a scarcity of studies to provide the potentials and challenges of VR-supported instructional design strategies and/or techniques that can influence teaching and learning. This systematic review presents a variety of studies that provide qualitative and/or quantitative data to investigate the current practices with VR support focusing on students’ outcomes, performance, alongside with the benefits and challenges of this technology concerning the analysis of visual features and design elements with mobile and desktop computing devices in different learning subjects. During the selection and screening process, forty-six (n = 46) articles published from the middle of 2009 until the middle of 2020 were finally included for a detailed analysis and synthesis of which twenty-one and twenty-five in K-12 and HE, respectively. The majority of studies were focused on describing and evaluating the appropriateness or the effectiveness of the applied instructional design processes using various VR applications to disseminate their findings on user experience, usability issues, students’ outcomes, and/or learning performance. This study contributes by reviewing how instructional design strategies and techniques can potentially benefit students’ learning performance using a wide range of VR applications. It also proposes some recommendations to guide and lead effective instructional design settings in several teaching and learning contexts to outline a more accurate and up-to-date picture of the current state of literature.

92 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Results show that the nature of movement and, in particular, sensory mismatch as well as perceived motion have been the leading cause of CS, and an outlook on future research is suggested.
Abstract: Cybersickness (CS) is a term used to refer to symptoms, such as nausea, headache, and dizziness that users experience during or after virtual reality immersion. Initially discovered in flight simulators, commercial virtual reality (VR) head-mounted displays (HMD) of the current generation also seem to cause CS, albeit in a different manner and severity. The goal of this work is to summarize recent literature on CS with modern HMDs, to determine the specificities and profile of immersive VR-caused CS, and to provide an outlook for future research areas. A systematic review was performed on the databases IEEE Xplore, PubMed, ACM, and Scopus from 2013 to 2019 and 49 publications were selected. A summarized text states how different VR HMDs impact CS, how the nature of movement in VR HMDs contributes to CS, and how we can use biosensors to detect CS. The results of the meta-analysis show that although current-generation VR HMDs cause significantly less CS ( $$p<0.001$$ ), some symptoms remain as intense. Further results show that the nature of movement and, in particular, sensory mismatch as well as perceived motion have been the leading cause of CS. We suggest an outlook on future research, including the use of galvanic skin response to evaluate CS in combination with the golden standard (Simulator Sickness Questionnaire, SSQ) as well as an update on the subjective evaluation scores of the SSQ.

92 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors conducted a preliminary survey to assess users' emotional responses during VR gameplay, with the results suggesting that certain VR situations can in fact produce intense negative emotional experiences.
Abstract: As virtual reality (VR) technology enters mainstream markets, it is imperative that we understand its potential impacts on users, both positive and negative. In the present paper, we build on the extant literature’s focus on the physical side effects of VR gameplay (e.g., cybersickness) by focusing on VR’s potential to intensify users’ experiences of negative emotions. We first conducted a preliminary survey to assess users’ emotional responses during VR gameplay, with the results suggesting that certain VR situations can in fact produce intense negative emotional experiences. We then designed an interactive scenario intended to elicit low to moderate amounts of negative emotion, wherein participants played out the scenario in either VR (using the HTC Vive) or on a laptop computer. Compared to the participants who enacted the scenario on the laptop, those in the VR condition reported higher levels of absorption, which in turn increased the intensity of their negative emotional response to the scenario. A follow-up questionnaire administered several hours later revealed that the intensified negative emotions resulting from VR had a significant positive correlation with negative rumination (i.e., harmful self-related thoughts related to distress). These results show that VR gameplay has the potential to elicit strong negative emotional responses that could be harmful for users if not managed properly. We discuss the practical and policy implications of our findings.

62 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Evaluating fire extinguisher training using a VR simulation with a non-interactive training video and evaluates the trainees learning of a fire extinguishers basic operation steps, showed that the VR trainees scored better than video trainees, in terms of knowledge acquisition, retention of information and change of self-efficacy.
Abstract: Fire is a major hazard in built environments. Fires in buildings cause fatalities, serious injuries and tremendous damage. Most fires can be extinguished in the early stages of the fire’s development, with the right equipment and correct use of the equipment. However, as there can be as little as a few minutes between a fire starting and very dire consequences, rapid and correct responses are critical. Implementing effective training solutions is necessary to enable members of the public, who are not experts in fire safety, to use a fire extinguisher correctly. This can assist to build resilience to fires. In recent decades, virtual reality (VR) has aroused the fire safety community’s attention, as a smart, safe and effective training method compared to the traditional methods of lectures, non-interactive videos, and brochures. VR has been used for training for fire emergency preparedness and to collect data about evacuee decision-making, but VR has rarely been applied to a fully immersive training experience about fire extinguishers operation steps. Fire extinguisher operation steps are Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep. Each step is critical to quickly extinguish a fire. This paper compares fire extinguisher training using a VR simulation with a non-interactive training video and evaluates the trainees learning of a fire extinguisher’s basic operation steps, in terms of knowledge acquisition, retention of information and change of self-efficacy. The results showed that the VR trainees scored better than video trainees, in terms of knowledge acquisition, even if the same trend was observed for long term retention of information. It was also observed that VR training provided a higher increment of self-efficacy right after the training. The VR group participants had maintained the same level of self-efficacy even 3–4 weeks after the training, while the video group had shown a significant drop of self-efficacy.

58 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Past publications were analyzed for their factors and resulting cybersickness scores and these factors were used to develop three predictive models using demographics, software, and hardware factors.
Abstract: Cybersickness is a known issue in virtual reality affecting a notable percentage of the populations. However, predicting the level and incidence of cybersickness in new systems is difficult. Past publications were analyzed for their factors and resulting cybersickness scores. These factors were then used to develop three predictive models using demographics, software, and hardware factors. Using demographic information alone explained 44.2% of the adjusted variance in a linear model. Using hardware and software factors alone explained 55.3% of the adjusted variance in a linear model. Using demographics, software, and hardware factors did not use a linear model, but rather had an average residual error of 1.03. This residual error is an estimate of how far the predicted cybersickness score is from the actual score.

48 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The goal for this review was to take a domain-agnostic perspective to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that have been trained effectively or enhanced with the use of VR.
Abstract: Prior to adopting new technologies for training, evaluations must be executed to demonstrate their benefit. Specifically, the appeal of virtual reality has led to applications across domains. While many evaluations have been conducted on their effectiveness, there has yet been a review to summarize and categorize the evidence on training outcomes. To assess the benefits these new technologies may bring to the trainee, a review of the research on the training effectiveness with virtual reality (VR) technology that was conducted. The goal for this review was to take a domain-agnostic perspective to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that have been trained effectively or enhanced with the use of VR. This review searched the related literature within multiple databases and found publications that met the search criteria from 1992 to 2019. A discussion of previous VR training reviews is first presented, followed by an in-depth evaluation of the literature that met the inclusion criteria. Three distinct categories of KSAs were identified consistently: psychomotor performance, knowledge acquisition, and spatial ability. Recommendations to support achievement of training outcomes utilizing VR training systems are provided.

46 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is supported that VR sickness produces unequal effects across multiple individual differences, and these effects appear resilient across applications of VR programs, and further research is needed to develop theory and identify explanatory mechanisms that detail these relationships.
Abstract: Practical applications of virtual reality (VR), defined as a three-dimensional digital representation of a real or imagined space, have become increasingly popular and are now applied in workplace training, physical rehabilitation, psychological therapy, and many other settings. Feelings akin to motion sickness, called VR sickness, can arise from interacting with VR programs, and researchers have shown that certain aspects of the user, such as gender and age, may predict the occurrence of VR sickness. The unequal effects of VR sickness are a dire concern and the application of VR is unfair to certain users if they are prone to sickness. For instance, a workplace VR training program could result in disparate treatment if women experience more VR sickness than men. To investigate this notion, we perform a meta-analysis on the relationship between VR sickness and a wide array of potential antecedents. The results demonstrate that motion sickness susceptibility, gender, real-world experience, technological experience, possessing a neurological disorder, and possessing a relevant phobia all significantly relate to VR sickness; however, no moderating effects produced recurrent significant results. These results were partially explained by the current dominant framework for VR sickness, postural instability theory, but some findings were not predicted by the theory. Therefore, we support that (a) VR sickness produces unequal effects across multiple individual differences; (b) these effects appear resilient across applications of VR programs, and (c) further research is needed to develop theory and identify explanatory mechanisms that detail these relationships.

43 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is concluded that: (1) postural instability can identify people who are more susceptible to cybersickness, (2) vection can increase an HMD user’s feelings of presence, and (3) dynamic FOV restriction can serve as a viable countermeasure to cybsickness.
Abstract: The phenomenon of cybersickness is currently hindering the mass market adoption of head-mounted display (HMD) virtual reality (VR) technologies. This study examined the effects of dynamic field-of-view (FOV) restriction on the cybersickness generated by ecological HMD-based gameplay. Forty participants were exposed to a commercially available HMD game (Marvel Powers United VR) under both unrestricted FOV and dynamic FOV restriction conditions across three sessions. Participants had their spontaneous postural instability measured before entering VR. Then, during/following each of these 10-min exposures to HMD VR, they rated their cybersickness, vection (illusory self-motion), and feelings of presence. Individual differences in spontaneous postural instability were found to predict cybersickness during HMD VR gameplay. Cybersickness severity increased steadily over the course of each VR exposure and was significantly reduced by dynamic FOV restriction. Presence also increased steadily over the course of each VR exposure and was positively correlated with vection. We conclude that: (1) postural instability can identify people who are more susceptible to cybersickness, (2) vection can increase an HMD user’s feelings of presence, and (3) dynamic FOV restriction can serve as a viable countermeasure to cybersickness.

42 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is shown that there is a correlation between the participant-reported cybersickness (as measured by movements of a joystick) and brain EEG signals and EEG-measured brain activity provides the first step toward interactively characterizing and mitigating cyberickness in virtual environments.
Abstract: Current techniques for characterizing cybersickness (visually induced motion sickness) in virtual environments rely on qualitative questionnaires. For interactive graphics to create visual experiences that enhance the illusion of presence while mitigating cybersickness, interactive measures are needed to characterize cybersickness. In this paper, we acquire EEG signals from participants as they experience vection-induced cybersickness and compare those signals to a baseline. Our study shows that there is a correlation between the participant-reported cybersickness (as measured by movements of a joystick) and brain EEG signals. Through independent component analysis, we separate those signals which are a result of cybersickness from other sources (such as eye blinks). Our user study finds that there is a highly correlative and statistically significant Delta- (1.0–4.0 Hz), Theta- (4.0–7.0 Hz), and Alpha-wave (7.0–13.0 Hz) increase associated with cybersickness in immersive virtual environments across participants. Establishing a strong correlation between cybersickness and EEG-measured brain activity provides us with the first step toward interactively characterizing and mitigating cybersickness in virtual environments.

39 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, an extended Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was developed that incorporates factors related to education and the use of VR technology in training environments to determine the factors that influence students' intention to use VR in a dynamic learning environment.
Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) is being researched and incorporated into curricula and training programs to expand educational opportunities and enhance learning across many fields. Although researchers are exploring the learning affordances associated with VR, research surrounding students’ perceptions of the technology, and intentions to use it for training has been neglected. The goal of this research was to determine the factors that influence students’ intention to use VR in a dynamic learning environment. An extended Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was developed that incorporates factors related to education and the use of VR technology in training environments. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM) processes were employed. Nine of 14 hypotheses in the original model were supported, and eight of the nine predictor factors of the model were determined to directly or indirectly impact behavioral intention (BI). The original TAM factors had the strongest relationships. Relationships between factors particularly relevant to VR technology and learning were also supported. The results of this study may guide other educators interested in incorporating VR into a dynamic learning environment.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors conduct a systematic review of the literature that addresses the performance of immersive systems and identify those applications that have been successfully tested and also delineate areas of future research where more data may be needed to assess the effectiveness of proposed applications.
Abstract: Immersive systems can be used to capture new data, create new experiences, and provide new insights by generating virtual elements of physical and imagined worlds. Immersive systems are seeing increased application across a broad array of fields. However, in many situations it is unknown if an immersive application performs as well or better than the existing application in accomplishing a specific task. The purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review of the literature that addresses the performance of immersive systems. This review assesses those applications where experiments, tests, or clinical trials have been performed to evaluate the proposed application. This research addresses a broad range of application areas and considers studies that compared one or more immersive systems with a control group or evaluated performance data for the immersive system pre- and post-test. The results identify those applications that have been successfully tested and also delineate areas of future research where more data may be needed to assess the effectiveness of proposed applications.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A novel training framework for first responders that leverages augmented reality and virtual reality technologies is presented and it is shown that the proposed training methodology improved the accuracy of the first responders by a factor of 46% and the speed on executing tasks by 29%.
Abstract: The first responder training sector presents crucial difficulties on adopting “future of work” online training principles because physical (muscle) memory is considered as important as cognitive memory. It is obvious that physical memory cannot be obtained by existing screen- and paper-based trainings. This paper presents a novel training framework for first responders that leverages augmented reality and virtual reality technologies. The framework incorporates novel design thinking processes that are implemented for the design of the training experiences. In addition, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of various metrics such as performance, time on task, accuracy and learning rate are developed to analyze the effectiveness of the proposed framework. A special use case of the emergency medical services called the ambulance bus is investigated and it is shown that the proposed training methodology improved the accuracy of the first responders by a factor of 46% and the speed on executing tasks by 29%.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: There is no difference between a 360° panorama environment and a simulated environment in generating sense of presence, anxiety reduction, and in improving emotional states, and the feasibility of using a360° real panorama VR if the participants’ task is passive and requires no active exploration of the environment.
Abstract: Recently, 360° panorama technologies have been used to create videos and pictures of real and virtual environments, thus opening new possibilities for psychological research. The aim of this study is to compare a 360° real panorama environment to a computer-simulated one to verify if they are equally efficient in generating sense of presence, emotions, and relaxation in individuals. The study employs a 3 × 2 mixed factorial design. Forty participants took part in the study and were assessed on self-reported anxiety and mood levels before and during the virtual reality (VR) experience of a relaxing video in computer graphics or shot in 360°. After the experience, sense of presence and experience ratings were also collected. Heart rate data during the experience were also used. Both inferential and Bayesian analyses showed a lack of effect of the manipulation: there is no difference between a 360° panorama environment and a simulated environment in generating sense of presence, anxiety reduction, and in improving emotional states. These results highlight the feasibility of using a 360° real panorama VR if the participants’ task is passive and requires no active exploration of the environment, as the development of the 360° video is easier and cheaper than the one required by a computer-simulated environment.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Results provide some support for the construct validity of a soccer-specific VR simulator and suggest at least partial overlap between the perceptual-cognitive and motor skills needed to perform well across ‘real’ and virtual environments.
Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) provides the potential for immersive and engaging training solutions for improving sport performance. However, if VR training is to be adopted and used in an effective and evidence-based fashion, a more rigorous assessment of the validity of the simulation is required. Construct validity is the degree to which the simulation provides an accurate representation of core features of the task. In the context of sport, if the training drills in the VR environment are a true representation of the skills needed in the real world, then those that excel at the sport in the real world should also excel in the virtual one. In this experiment, we examined the construct validity of a soccer-specific VR simulator by recruiting professional, academy, and novice players. Seventeen participants in each group completed four VR soccer drills, and the VR software provided scores relating to performance and process (e.g., passing accuracy, composure, reaction time, and adaptability). Based on these scores, an algorithm gave a diagnostic score relating to the predicted ability of the player. Results showed that this VR platform successfully differentiated between participants of differing skill levels. These results provide some support for the construct validity of this VR simulator and suggest at least partial overlap between the perceptual-cognitive and motor skills needed to perform well across ‘real’ and virtual environments. Further work is needed to explore the validity and fidelity of the simulation before its adoption as a training device can be fully endorsed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, an experiment was conducted to find the link between level of immersion and cyber-sickness felt by participants, where the task for the participants was to navigate through the maze for a specified amount of time (10min).
Abstract: It is known that virtual reality (VR) experience may cause cyber sickness. One aspect of VR is an immersion or otherwise sense of presence, the sense of feeling oneself in a virtual world. In this paper an experiment which was conducted in order to find the link between level of immersion and cyber sickness felt by participants is presented. Eighty-nine participants aged between 19 and 36 years have been equally divided into four groups with different level of VR immersion. The low-immersive group was represented by PC with monoscopic screen, the semi-immersive group was represented by CAVE with stereoscopic projector, the fully immersive group was represented by VR head-mounted display, and the last group was the control group without any kind of immersion. The task for the participants was to navigate through the maze for a specified amount of time (10 min). The Simulator Sickness Questionnaire was used as a subjective measure tool for cyber sickness level and Grooved Pegboard Test for assessing the fine dexterity, both before and after the experiment. Regarding the time spend in VR the fully immersive environment had the biggest problems as more than half of the participants had to stop before 10 min (p < 0.001). Concerning the cyber sickness, the significant increase in nausea score between pre-test and post-test scores has been observed in semi-immersive group (p = 0.0018) and fully immersive group (p < 0.0001). The increase in oculomotor score was smaller. The significant difference was noted only in fully immersive group (p = 0.0449). In spite of great nausea factor after the VR immersion the participants did not show a decrease of fine dexterity in any group (p < 0.001).

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The purpose of this pilot study was to test the use of augmented reality in teaching healthcare practitioners in a stroke assessment simulation designed for clinical training, where students at nursing school are targets in the study.
Abstract: The development of extended reality in recent years is opening doors for using extended reality devices (virtual reality, augmented, and mixed reality devices) in education and healthcare. The purpose of this pilot study was to test the use of augmented reality in teaching healthcare practitioners in a stroke assessment simulation designed for clinical training, where students at nursing school are targets in the study. To conduct our feasibility, a simulation application was developed for the mixed reality device that projects a human face displaying facial drooping (a symptom of stroke) onto a computerized training mannequin. Nursing students were then placed in a clinical simulation wherein they wore the mixed reality device and performed an assessment of their mannequin patient to identify the symptom of stroke and act accordingly. The students completed a survey following their simulations, and then provided feedback on the device and the quality of their experience. The results of the study show that most students enjoyed the simulation and felt that extended reality would be a very useful educational tool for clinical training and healthcare. Further development of the program and device is underway, and future tests will be conducted. The results from this study will be helpful in further progressing the development of extended reality, and the use of these devices in healthcare training.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The aim was to understand how different statistical information formats can enhance VR persuasive potential for plastic consumption, recycling and waste, and how numerical format was the least effective across all dimensions.
Abstract: Starting from the pro-environmental potential of virtual reality (VR), the aim was to understand how different statistical information formats can enhance VR persuasive potential for plastic consumption, recycling and waste. Naturalistic, immersive virtual reality environments (VREs) were designed ad hoc to display three kinds of statistical evidence formats, featured as three different formats (i.e., numerical, concrete and mixed). Participants were exposed only to one of the three formats in VR, and their affect, emotions, sense of presence, general attitudes toward the environment, specific attitudes and behavioral intentions toward plastic, use, waste, recycle, as well as their social desirability proneness were measured. Numerical format was the least effective across all dimensions. Concrete and mixed formats were similar. Social desirability only partially affected participants’ attitudes and behavioral intentions. Numerical format did not increase the persuasive efficacy of statistical evidence displayed in VR, with respect to visual alone. Implications and future directions for designing effective VRE promoting pro-environmental behaviors were discussed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Cumulative data suggest that the use of IVR with therapeutic intent in senior populations is in early stages of clinical development and shows promise as a complementary tool in the fields of health, rehabilitation, and active aging.
Abstract: Increased life expectancy leads to an increase in the number of older adults and in the prevalence of aging-associated diseases and disabilities. Active aging strategies—particularly those based on physical exercise therapy— have great positive impact on older people’s health. Virtual reality (VR) represents an innovative approach to involve and motivate patients during therapy sessions. Exergaming programs based on VR technologies and commercially available gaming platforms are amenable to therapeutic use in older adults, according to various systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The use of immersive virtual reality (IVR) in the field of rehabilitation or physical skills training in seniors is understudied.In the present systematic review, we analyze the therapeutic use and application of IVR in older adults through physical activity. We describe the populations studied, the conditions of IVR application (device, session, physical, and virtual environments), its potential benefits, and its limitations. We found that most studies are feasibility pilot experiences, where the use and acceptability of the immersive platform were evaluated. Cumulative data suggest that the use of IVR with therapeutic intent in senior populations is in early stages of clinical development and shows promise as a complementary tool in the fields of health, rehabilitation, and active aging.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This study gives a first insight into comparing foveal vision, especially gaze accuracy and precision between R and VR, and can serve as a reference for the development of VR applications in the future.
Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) is popular across many fields and is increasingly used in sports as a training tool. The reason, therefore, is recently improved display technologies, more powerful computation capacity, and lower costs of head-mounted displays for VR. As in the real-world (R), visual effects are the most important stimulus provided by VR. However, it has not been demonstrated whether the gaze behavior would achieve the same level in VR as in R. This information will be important for the development of applications or software in VR. Therefore, several tasks were designed to analyze the gaze accuracy and gaze precision using eye-tracking devices in R and VR. 21 participants conducted three eye-movement tasks in sequence: gaze at static targets, tracking a moving target, and gaze at targets at different distances. To analyze the data, an averaged distance with root mean square was calculated between the coordinates of each target and the recorded gaze points for each task. In gaze accuracy, the results showed no significant differences between R and VR in gaze at static targets (1 m distance, p > 0.05) and small significant differences at targets placed at different distances (p < 0.05), as well as large differences in tracking the moving target (p < 0.05). The precision in VR is significantly worse compared to R in all tasks with static gaze targets (p < 0.05). On the whole, this study gives a first insight into comparing foveal vision, especially gaze accuracy and precision between R and VR, and can, therefore, serve as a reference for the development of VR applications in the future.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper identifies how touch ‘connection’ is realised and conceptualised in virtual spaces in order to explore how digital remediation of touch in VR shapes the sociality of touch experiences and touch practices.
Abstract: How touch is conceptualised matters in shaping technical advancements, bringing opportunities and challenges for development and design and raising questions for how touch experience is reconfigured. This paper explores the notion of touch in virtual reality (VR). Specifically, it identifies how touch ‘connection’ is realised and conceptualised in virtual spaces in order to explore how digital remediation of touch in VR shapes the sociality of touch experiences and touch practices. Ten participants from industry and academia with an interest in touch in virtual contexts were interviewed using an in-depth semi-structured approach to elicit experiences and perspectives around the role of touch in VR. Data analysis shows the growing value and significance of touch in virtual spaces and reveals particular ways in which touch is talked about, implemented and conceptualised. It highlights changes for the sociality of touch through participants’ conceptualisations of touch as replication and illusion, and how the body is brought into this ‘touch’ space. These perspectives of touch shape who touches, what is touched and how it is touched and set an agenda for the types of touch that are facilitated by VR. The findings suggest ways in which technological techniques can be employed towards interpretive designs of touch that allow for new ways to look at touch and haptics. They also show how touch is distorted and disrupted in ways that have implications for disturbing established ‘real world’ socialities of touch as well as their renegotiation by users in the space of digitally mediated touch in VR.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results support the previous finding that IVR HMDs seem to be more suitable than the common 2D screens employed in VR-based therapy when training 3D movements and support the absence of benefit over the 2D screen is due to the visualization technology per se or to technical limitations specific to the device.
Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) is a promising tool to promote motor (re)learning in healthy users and brain-injured patients. However, in current VR-based motor training, movements of the users performed in a three-dimensional space are usually visualized on computer screens, televisions, or projection systems, which lack depth cues (2D screen), and thus, display information using only monocular depth cues. The reduced depth cues and the visuospatial transformation from the movements performed in a three-dimensional space to their two-dimensional indirect visualization on the 2D screen may add cognitive load, reducing VR usability, especially in users suffering from cognitive impairments. These 2D screens might further reduce the learning outcomes if they limit users’ motivation and embodiment, factors previously associated with better motor performance. The goal of this study was to evaluate the potential benefits of more immersive technologies using head-mounted displays (HMDs). As a first step towards potential clinical implementation, we ran an experiment with 20 healthy participants who simultaneously performed a 3D motor reaching and a cognitive counting task using: (1) (immersive) VR (IVR) HMD, (2) augmented reality (AR) HMD, and (3) computer screen (2D screen). In a previous analysis, we reported improved movement quality when movements were visualized with IVR than with a 2D screen. Here, we present results from the analysis of questionnaires to evaluate whether the visualization technology impacted users’ cognitive load, motivation, technology usability, and embodiment. Reports on cognitive load did not differ across visualization technologies. However, IVR was more motivating and usable than AR and the 2D screen. Both IVR and AR rea ched higher embodiment level than the 2D screen. Our results support our previous finding that IVR HMDs seem to be more suitable than the common 2D screens employed in VR-based therapy when training 3D movements. For AR, it is still unknown whether the absence of benefit over the 2D screen is due to the visualization technology per se or to technical limitations specific to the device.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors reviewed the literature on the impact of VRTs on children, in terms of software and hardware, and concluded that findings remain contradictory especially for the psychosocial domain.
Abstract: Virtual reality technologies (VRTs) are high-tech human-computer interfaces used to develop digital content and can be applied to multiple different areas, often offering innovative solutions to existing problems. A wide range of digital games is being also developed with VRTs and together with their components, the games' structural elements are appealing to children and engaging them more in virtual worlds. Our research interest is directed towards children's development and the effects of VRTs within gaming environments. Contemporary psychology studies perceive human development as a holistic and lifelong process with important interrelationships between physical, mental, social and emotional aspects. For the objectives and scope of this work, we examine children development across three domains: physical, cognitive and psychosocial. In this context, the authors review the literature on the impact of VRTs on children, in terms of software and hardware. Since research requires an wide-ranging approach, we study the evidence reported on the brain and neural structure, knowledge, behaviour, pedagogy, academic performance, and wellness. Our main concern is to outline the emerging ethical issues and worries of parents, educators, ophthalmologists, neurologists, psychologists, paediatricians and all relevant scientists, as well as the industry's views and actions. The systematic review was performed on the databases Scopus, IEEE Xplore, PubMed, and Google Scholar from 2010 to 2020 and 85 studies were selected. The review concluded that findings remain contradictory especially for the psychosocial domain. Official recommendations from organizations and well-documented researches by academics on child well-being are reassuring if health and safety specifications and particularly the time limit are met. Research is still ongoing, constantly updated and consist of a priority for the scientific community given that technology evolves.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The findings show the TS-VR training was useful for upper-extremity recovery in patients with chronic stroke and has potential to be applied in clinical settings in future.
Abstract: Task-specific training has been proven to be effective in promoting recovery of the hemiparetic upper extremities after a stroke. This study was to develop a task-specific VR (TS-VR) program using a leap motion controller device and the Unity3D game engine to promote recovery of the hemiparetic upper extremity in patients with stroke based on a hierarchy of seven functional tasks in the functional test for the hemiplegic upper extremity (FTHUE). The final version of the TS-VR was tested on 20 patients suffering from chronic stroke with upper-extremity hemiparesis over 2 weeks, 5 sessions per week, 30 min per session. Outcomes were assessed using the Fugl-Meyer assessment-upper extremity score (FMA-UE), the Wolf motor function test (WMFT), and the motor activity log (MAL) at the first (week 0), last (week 2), and follow-up sessions (week 5). Patients’ arm impairments were stratified into lower (levels 1–4) and higher (levels 5–7) functioning groups according to the FTHUE. Significant improvements were found after TS-VR training in FMA-UE total score and its subscores, and WFMT score among the three time occasions (p = 0.000), but no significant effect on grip strength was found. The higher-functioning group benefited more from the TS-VR, as indicated in outcome measures as well as amount of use score in MAL, but this was not the case for those in the lower-functioning group. Our findings show the TS-VR training was useful for upper-extremity recovery in patients with chronic stroke. It has potential to be applied in clinical settings in future.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A simulated learning environment that leverages a novel Virtual Reality (VR) system to train novice workers in wooden wall construction demonstrates that VR is a viable training tool for the construction sector and can produce benefits beyond those of traditional video training.
Abstract: There is a looming shortage of well-trained professionals in the wood construction workforce. To challenge this shortage, we developed a simulated learning environment that leverages a novel Virtual Reality (VR) system to train novice workers in wooden wall construction. A comprehensive task analysis was first used to best identify training requirements. Then, a virtual building site was modeled and a 3D video tutorial was implemented using a VR Head-Mounted Display (HMD). To evaluate the effectiveness of this tool, participants who learned via the VR training tool were compared with participants who instead only had simple 2-D instructional video training. VR training resulted in better retention, task performance, learning speed, and engagement than the video training counterpart, maintaining system usability. This demonstrates that VR is a viable training tool for the construction sector and can produce benefits beyond those of traditional video training.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Preliminary findings have shown that AHA project succeeded in delivering an AR solution within an existing online literacy programme, which integrates a set of specific technologies and supports interactive educational content, services, assessment, and feedback.
Abstract: Children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience a variety of difficulties related to three primary symptoms: hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity. The most common type of ADHD has a combination of all three symptom areas. These core symptoms may negatively impact the academic and social performance of children throughout their school life. The AHA (ADHD-Augmented) project focused specifically on the impact of digital technologies’ intervention on literacy skills of children that participated in the pilot study and were diagnosed with ADHD prior to the intervention. Existing research has shown that augmented reality (AR) can improve academic outcomes by stimulating pupils’ attention. AHA project aimed at implementing an evidence-based intervention to improve ADHD children’s reading and spelling abilities through the enhancement of an existing literacy programme with AR functionality. The present paper reports preliminary findings of the pilot study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the AHA system in promoting the acquisition of literacy skills in a sample of children diagnosed with ADHD compared to the literacy programme as usual. Background information on the main characteristics and difficulties related to the teaching and learning process associated with children diagnosed with ADHD are first introduced; the design and methodology of the AHA project intervention are also described. The preliminary findings have shown that AHA project succeeded in delivering an AR solution within an existing online literacy programme, which integrates a set of specific technologies and supports interactive educational content, services, assessment, and feedback.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Evidence is provided that commercial VR games can affect feelings of presence and the physiological and emotional state of players and the effects of playing a first-person shooter in VR were mixed.
Abstract: Compared to traditional screen-based media, virtual reality (VR) generally leads to stronger feelings of presence. The current study aimed to investigate whether playing games in VR resulted in a stronger sense of presence than playing on a TV, and whether these feelings of presence affected players’ emotional and physiological responses to the games. Two experiments were conducted among 128 students, comparing the effects of playing either a survival horror game (N = 59) or a first-person shooter (N = 69) on a TV or in VR on physiological and subjective fear, hostility and enjoyment. Results showed that playing games in VR resulted in a stronger sense of presence, lower heart rate variability and a stronger subjective sense of fear. The feeling of presence thereby mediated the effects of VR on fear. The effects of playing a first-person shooter in VR on hostility were mixed, and gaming in VR was not more enjoyable than on TV. Regardless of the type of game or display medium, hostility increased significantly post-play. This study provides evidence that commercial VR games can affect feelings of presence and the physiological and emotional state of players.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The goal is to explore interaction techniques to efficiently support social viewing and to improve social movie experiences in CVR through communication, field-of-view (FoV) awareness, togetherness, accessibility, interaction techniques, synchronization, and multiuser environments.
Abstract: Since watching movies is a social experience for most people, it is important to know how an application should be designed for enabling shared cinematic virtual reality (CVR) experiences via head-mounted displays (HMDs). Viewers can feel isolated when watching omnidirectional movies with HMDs. Even if they are watching the movie simultaneously, they do not automatically see the same field of view, since they can freely choose their viewing direction. Our goal is to explore interaction techniques to efficiently support social viewing and to improve social movie experiences in CVR. Based on the literature review and insights from earlier work, we identify seven challenges that need to be addressed: communication, field-of-view (FoV) awareness, togetherness, accessibility, interaction techniques, synchronization, and multiuser environments. We investigate four aspects (voice chat, sending emotion states, FoV indication, and video chat) to address some of the challenges and report the results of four user studies. Finally, we present and discuss a design space for CVR social movie applications and highlight directions for future work.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results show that the brief VR-based breathing training increased perceived breath awareness, improved diaphragmatic breathing, increased relaxation, decreased perceived stress, reduced symptoms of burnout and boosted relaxation-related self-efficacy.
Abstract: Virtual reality (VR) has become popular in mental health research. Several studies have explored the use of VR in the context of biofeedback protocols. In the present paper, we report on the development and evaluation of a VR-based respiratory biofeedback game to foster diaphragmatic breathing. The game integrates respiratory biofeedback, restorative VR and gamification. The game is designed to run on a mobile, all-in-one VR headset. Notably, an integrated VR hand controller is utilized as a sensor to detect respiration-induced movements of the diaphragm. In a longitudinal within-subjects study, we explored the feasibility of the game and tested the effectiveness of six training sessions. Participants reported a pleasant user experience. Moreover, the results show that the brief VR-based breathing training increased perceived breath awareness, improved diaphragmatic breathing, increased relaxation, decreased perceived stress, reduced symptoms of burnout and boosted relaxation-related self-efficacy. Future studies need to address the generalizability and long-term stability of the results, compare the approach with existing treatments and fine-tune the training components.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The results indicated that the simulation exhibited an acceptable degree of construct validity and psychological fidelity, however, some differences between the real and virtual tasks emerged, suggesting further validation work is required.
Abstract: In light of recent advances in technology, there has been growing interest in virtual reality (VR) simulations for training purposes in a range of high-performance environments, from sport to nuclear decommissioning. For a VR simulation to elicit effective transfer of training to the real-world, it must provide a sufficient level of validity, that is, it must be representative of the real-world skill. In order to develop the most effective simulations, assessments of validity should be carried out prior to implementing simulations in training. The aim of this work was to test elements of the physical fidelity, psychological fidelity and construct validity of a VR golf putting simulation. Self-report measures of task load and presence in the simulation were taken following real and simulated golf putting to assess psychological and physical fidelity. The performance of novice and expert golfers in the simulation was also compared as an initial test of construct validity. Participants reported a high degree of presence in the simulation, and there was little difference between real and virtual putting in terms of task demands. Experts performed significantly better in the simulation than novices (p = .001, d = 1.23), and there was a significant relationship between performance on the real and virtual tasks (r = .46, p = .004). The results indicated that the simulation exhibited an acceptable degree of construct validity and psychological fidelity. However, some differences between the real and virtual tasks emerged, suggesting further validation work is required.