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 and navigate through the space while freeing up both hands for interaction with the environment and more natural communication using gestures (e.g., with stakeholders and colleagues during a design review session).
Designing the buildings we live and work in is a challenging task, and architectural designers must work quickly and intelligently to persuade clients of their design ideas and produce quality projects. To this end many architects have adopted three-dimensional (3D) digital modeling software to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their design process. However, the 3D design is often conveyed with two-dimensional (2D) visuals, which limits design communication dramatically. Although recent advances in Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR) displays offer potential solutions, movement systems through the 3D environment can be prohibitively expensive and still result in motion sickness, user disorientation, and difficulties with navigation.
In collaboration with the Vancouver offices of Perkins + Will, we conduct a project aimed at designing and evaluating a novel locomotion system that addresses these problems and enables users to more effectively and naturally navigate through and experience an architectural project prior to its construction. Our project involved qualitative research interviews and focus groups to outline system requirements and gain feedback from Perkins + Will on the system design, to inform the iterative design and improvement of the system. Finally, we will assessed the system using mixed methods based upon the requirements and stakeholder feedback. The resulting movement system will allow Perkins + Will and other architecture companies to begin using IVR for design review, permitting them improved communication of their design ideas to themselves and their clients. Ideas previously difficult to describe using non-immersive 2D visuals may be better understood and accepted, and hidden problems that arise during the construction phase may be more apparent and avoidable. Consequently, the resulting reduction in construction costs associated with on-site modifications and increased architectural quality can result in better architectural design outcomes for future occupants. Simultaneously, our research will improve our understanding of the fundamental processes involved in human perception of self-motion, resulting in improved 3D user movement interfaces for use in IVR.
Below is a first project video (thanks to a great student team from IAT344: Linda Nguyen, Danny Blackstock, Jason Chen, and Justin Poon!)
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).
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). (Download)
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. (Download)
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. (Download)
Freiberg, J. (2015). Experience Before Construction: Immersive Virtual Reality Design Tools for Architectural Practice (MSc Thesis). Simon Fraser University, Surrey, BC, Canada. Retrieved from http://summit.sfu.ca/item/16052(Download)
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 (Download)
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 (Download)