Alex became a research intern at the iSPACE lab in January 2013, started her Masters in Fall 2014, and articulated into the PhD program in Fall 2015. She has a BSc from the University of British Columbia in Cognitive Systems, a multidisciplinary program that combines psychology, computer science, philosophy, and linguistics. Her research interests involve using an interdisciplinary approach to understand human perception and behaviour. In particular, employing technology as a medium to explore the human psyche, create better human-computer interfaces, and provide clinical applications.
How can we use immersive VR to give people pivotal positive experiences without having to send them out into space?
“We went to the Moon as technicians, we returned as humanitarians” reflected Edgar Mitchell after his space flight. This describes the overview effect – a profound awe-inspiring experience of seeing Earth from space resulting in a cognitive shift in worldview, le...
How do we best design locomotion interfaces for VR that provide "enough" physical motion cues (vestibular/proprioceptive) while still being effective, affordable, compact, and safe?
Despite amazing progress in computer graphics and VR displays, most affordable and room-sized VR locomotion interfaces provide only little physical motion cues (e.g., vestibular & proprioceptive cues). To provide...
Flight after death: Lost Spirit is an experiential-based Virtual Reality (VR) game whereby the player is transported into the spirit world as they take flight to the afterlife.
Experience flight, weightlessness, and wonder. In Lost Spirit, you are stuck in the limbo - a world between the living and the dead. You will drift and fly through different environments, each corresponding to different...
Developing virtual interfaces for embodied tele-operation and locomotion.
How can we best design and implement an embodied telepresence system for tele-robotics, so we can safely explore remote, hard-to-reach, or potentially hazardous areas or situations?
The goal of the "TeleSpider" project is to design and implement a telepresence system where users can remotely operate a robotic spid...
Using motion seats for enhancing locomotion and immersion in VR
How can we provide a "moving experience" through VR without having to use a full-scale motion platform?
Could a compact and relatively low-cost "motion seat" provide some of the same benefits, thus reducing cost, complexity, space & safety requirements?
Despite considerable advances in Simulation and Virtual Real...
How can we use immersive Virtual Reality and embodied locomotion interfaces to to design more cost- and space-efficient solutions for effective presentation and communication of architectural designs and ideas?
Our overall goal is to iteratively design and evaluate a novel embodied VR system that enables users to quickly, intuitively, and precisely position their virtual viewpoint in 3D space...
How important are physical motions for effective spatial orientation in VR?
Most virtual reality simulators have a serious flaw: Users tend to get easily lost and disoriented as they navigate. According to the prevailing opinion, this is because physical motion cues are absolutely required for staying oriented while moving. In this study, we investigated how physical motion cues contribute ...
Sonic Cradle suspends the body is a completely dark chamber which encourages experiences comparable to mindfulness meditation. Users compose peaceful soundscapes in real-time using only their breathing.
Introduction and demo of the Sonic Cradle
Sonic Cradle is a relaxing human-computer interaction paradigm designed to foster meditative attentional patterns. The current p...
Kitson, A., Riecke, B. E., & Vidyarthi, J. (2014). Sonic Cradle: Investigating Meditative Aspects of an Interactive Technology. In NCE-GRAND 2014 Conference
(pp. 1–4). Ottawa, Canada. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/kB8qfJ1M0gg
Kitson, A., Sproll, D., & Riecke, B. E. (2014). Does Movement Experience Influence Navigation Strategy in a Virtual Point-to-Origin Task? Poster presented at the 55th Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (Psychonomics), Los Angeles, USA.
Kitson, A., Riecke, B. E., & Stepanova, E. R. (2015). Influence of Movement Expertise on a Virtual Point-to- Origin Task (pp. 100–103). Presented at the MOCO’15 – 2nd International Workshop on Movement and Computing, Vancouver, Canada: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2790994.2791014
Kitson, A., Riecke, B. E., Hashemian, A. M., & Neustaedter, C. (2015). NaviChair: Evaluating an Embodied Interface Using a Pointing Task to Navigate Virtual Reality. In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (pp. 123–126). Los Angeles, CA, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2788940.2788956
Riecke, B. E., Stepanova, E. R., & Kitson, A. (2016, May). New response patterns in point-to-origin tasks depending on stimulus type and response mode
. Talk presented at the International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Granada, Spain. Retrieved from http://www.ps2016.org/
Kitson, A., Grechkin, T. Y., Heyde, M. von der, & Riecke, B. E. (2016, May). Effect of Physical Rotations and Gender for Navigation Performance in Virtual Environments
. Poster presented at the International Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Granada, Spain. Retrieved from http://www.ps2016.org/
Kitson, A., Sproll, D., & Riecke, B. E. (2016). Influence of Ethnicity, Gender and Answering Mode on a Virtual Point- to-Origin Task. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 11(22). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00022
Tong, X., Kitson, A., Salimi, M., Fracchia, F. D., Gromala, D., & Riecke, B. E. (2016). Exploring Embodied Experience of Flying in a Virtual Reality Game with Kinect (pp. 1–2). Presented at the Mixed Reality Art (MRA) Workshop at IEEE VR conference, Greenville, SC, USA: ACM.
Prpa, M., Quesnel, D., Vidyarthi, J., Kitson, A., & Riecke, B. E. (2016, May). Sonic Cradle - Immersive interaction design combining breathing- and neurofeedback to foster focused attention meditation on breath
. Poster presented at the 2nd International Conference on Mindfulness, Rome, Italy. Retrieved from http://www.cmc-ia.org/icm2016rome/
Kruijff, E., Riecke, B. E., Trepkowski, C., & Kitson. (2015). Upper Body Leaning can affect Forward Self-Motion Perception in Virtual Environments (pp. 103–112). Presented at the SUI ’15: Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, Los Angeles, CA, USA: ACM. https://doi.org/10.1145/2788940.2788943
Stepanova, E. R., Schiphorst, T., Kitson, A., von der Heyde, M., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Gathering and Apply Guidelines for TeleSpider Design for Urban Search and Rescue Applications on a Mobile Robot. Presented at the HCI International, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Kitson, A., Hashemian, A. M., Stepanova, E. R., Kruijff, E., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Lean Into It: Exploring Leaning-Based Motion Cueing Interfaces for Virtual Reality Movement. Presented at the IEEE Virtual Reality (accepted 2-page extended abstract), Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Bayatpour, S., Bernardet, U., DiPaola, S., Kitson, A., & Riecke, B. E. (2015). Exploring Facial Expressions for Human-Computer Interaction: Combining Visual Face Tracking and EMG Data to Control a Flight Simulation Game (pp. 1–7). Presented at the ISEA 21st International Symposium on Electronic Art, Vancouver, Canada.
Freiberg, J., Kitson, A., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Development and Evaluation of a Hands-Free Motion Cueing Interface for Ground-Based Navigation. Presented at the IEEE Virtual Reality (accepted 2-page extended abstract).
Kitson, A., Hashemian, A. M., Stepanova, E. R., Kruijff, E., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Comparing Leaning-Based Motion Cueing Interfaces for Virtual Reality Locomotion (pp. 1–10). Presented at the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 3DUI (accepted), Los Angeles, CA, USA.