Never Blind in VR

By David

In this video, we share our findings in building real-time 3D experiences with consumer headsets so as to go beyond the FPS gaming usage for which they are designed. The issue is that such experiences tend to isolate the user from his own body, have him lose contact with other people in the room and with the real world.

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Analyzing the usage of large cubic immersive rooms (CAVEs) in industries such as Automotive or Aerospace, we propose an experience that brings some elements of reality to the eyes of the user of an Oculus Rift, allowing him to see his own body, perceive the real surrounding world and interact with it, as well as have social interactions with other people in the room.

To achieve these results we use a fixed Kinect for Windows that generate a 3D point cloud of the user’s body and of his surroundings. Although not very dense, the point cloud is surprisingly present to the user when seen from his eyes through the headset.

The three features presented in this video are known to bring the following benefits:

  1. Seeing one’s own body
    • Reinforces the presence of virtuality and eliminates the odd feeling of not actually being there
    • Enables to perceive virtuality at a proper scale
    • Gives visual feedback when interacting with real objects
  2. Perceiving the real world
    • Removes the feeling of blindness
    • Provides a safer experience: prevents from dangers like hitting something, or falling
    • Enables interaction with real objects in the world
  3. Having social interactions
    • Reduces the claustrophobic effect of wearing an occluding headset
    • Brings non-verbal communication
    • Maintains equity amongst people thanks to a symmetrical relation.

Never blind in VR - Findings

About the iV Lab: at the heart of the Passion for Innovation Institute, the iV Lab explores the usage of emerging UX technologies by building and sharing original prototypes; it connects Dassault Systèmes with scientific and technology players in the Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and other domains where the body is highly coupled with the virtual.

David Nahon David Nahon is iV Lab Director, Passion for Innovation Institute at Dassault Systèmes. You can connect with David on Twitter @iVEvangelist or through LinkedIn.

Virtual Unreality Takes the Stage at #SXSW

By Aurelien

Benoît Marini, Experiential Lab Director at Dassault Systèmes, gave SXSW2014 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at how 3D was used to create a virtual set for “Mr. and Mrs. Dream”, a performance that Dassault Systèmes helped bring to stage in partnership with the Pietragalla-Derouault Dance Company.

Mr and Mrs Dream Magic box

Immersive Virtual Reality and Visual Handicap

By Richard

Last week, I attended an event at Telecom ParisTech, one of France’s top engineering schools. The event gathered about 30 experts in medicine and engineering for a set of conferences and debates dealing with Smart and  Communicating Devices for Health and Handicap.

Smart Devices can help in several health domains, from remote diagnosis to re-education. Being able to perform remote medecine can be useful in secluded spots such as high-mountain while re-education can take benefit from serious gaming applications.

On another hand, smart devices can help revive classic objects such as a white stick for visually impaired people. Just add an Infra Red scanner or a laser scanner and you get a Smart Electronic White Stick. Usually, you must touch the obstacle with the stick to be able to avoid it, and that way you’re unable to detect obstacles above the ground such as low tree branches. With such scanners and the help of a suitable sound or vibrating alert, visually impaired people can detect and avoid obstacles much sooner and in a much more fluent way. Demo videos are amazing, with people able to detect narrow corridors, the infamous low tree branches or a set of closed columns and avoid them peacefully, nearly as well as a person with unimpaired vision.

Talking about visual handicap and serious games lead me to an application shown on the Arts & Métiers ParisTech booth, another French top school of Engineers. The application, called Sensivise, has been produced thanks in part to our Passion for Innovation Program (hey! what else? ;-))  with 3DVIA Virtools. The goal is very simple: help valid people to understand the drag of visual impairment.

Tubular Vision simulation in the Sensivise application (urban environment)

Tubular Vision simulation in the Sensivise application (urban environment)

People get immersed in an urban or a familiar domestic 3D interactive environment. At first, you navigate with your regular, usual valid sight. Then, a visual impairment is simulated and you must adjust your behavior accordingly.

Today, two simulations are available: the central scotoma and the tubular vision (or tunnel vision, or gun barrel vision), but other ones could be added later.  The names and pictures say enough about each of those visual impairments. You have to make your way in the city with them, cross a street, avoid a car getting out of a car park etc. Back home, you have to go to the kitchen pick up a milk bottle while avoiding the low table in the living room or to have a shower without hitting the bath tub.

Central Scotoma simulation in Sensivise

Central Scotoma simulation in the Sensivise application (domestic environment)

The application shown on Arts & Métiers ParisTech was on a laptop and presents the user with several challenges such as the ones described above. Serious games to help valid people to get in visually impaired people’s shoes, understand their burden and ease life together. When you have gone through this application, maybe you won’t arrange your flat the same way if you happen to live with a visually impaired person.

Though effective on a laptop, Sensivise shows its full power only in its immersive version, as shown in our LIVES (Lifelike Immersive Virtual Experience Space) where you are really immersed in interactive 3D with suitable glasses.

I had several opportunities to show this application in that context, once to a person affected with central scotoma. She told me it was quite realistic, the only glitch being that valid people tend to try and look aside the central macula, which visually impaired people can’t do (the macula “turns” with the eyes). Since then, I always tell people not to do that, but this feedback accounts for the power and relevance of immersive virtual reality.

Sensivise immersive version as shown in DS Campus LIVES

Sensivise immersive version as shown in DS Campus LIVES

A last word: most applications presented at Télécom Paris Tech claimed they used “Virtual Reality”.  Nope.  A plain graphic serious game is not VR, even with nice computer art. Only 3D immersion can do the trick. There’s still a long road ahead, but applications such as Sensivise are showing the way.

Keep 3D-ing!

Regards,

Richard BreitnerRichard Breitner, Passion for Innovation Program Manager



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