While exploring my MFA thesis, there were a couple of VR explorations I did from trying out different capabilities of VR to exploring a speculative future of VR with ethical concerns.
One of the challenges of Virtual Reality is the challenge of hardware, people outside of VR will never be able have same experience as someone in VR. This makes presentation of VR projects and collaboration within the medium difficult. However, though not perfect, there are ways to hack and put together commonly available hardware such as smart phone and a computer to allow for some form of VR experience
Here is a "cardboard" head display connected to a smartphone and paired with a leapmotion that allowed testing of VR applications made in unity.
What happens in the future when Virtual Reality becomes part of our daily lives. With the advancement in hardware, cloud computing and mobile internet speeds such as 5G and beyond. The world is going to be a very different place soon, just as how smartphone and the internet has shaped the current era, VR will shape the next generation.
The challenge: Design and plan an exhibition without being able to do any test or mock set up in the space.
This was a collaborative studio project where I suggested the use of VR to visualize and prototype in the space since we were limited by visits to the space and being able to do any physical test set up there. Spatial and audio consideration and interaction with the exhibit was also a challenge unless we had the ability to create a full scale physical test set up.
Multiple prototypes explored different arrangements, audio placement, design. This were important considerations needed before we proceeded to purchase the materials and prepare for the physical exhibition. This aided in unifying the vision and making changes before anything was committed.
Comparison of the final VR concept and the actual physical space set up.
Final VR space - Walkthrough
An important part of Co-design is the ability to enable participants to creatively express their input and experiences. The utilization of simple tools such as images, models, markers for drawing are an essential part of the process. I set up to create an application in VR specifically for the lightweight all-in-one Oculus Quest. This collaborative sandbox will allow the researcher and participants to be in a virtual world where a Co-design research session can be carried out.
I managed to get some features to work such as connecting to a multiplayer server, getting teleportation and physics to work. I was also able to port in unityXR interface that allowed resizing models, drawing with 3D markers and had a search feature to port in models from the Google poly database.
Unfortunately, the whole project met with many hiccups and with the limited resources and programming knowledge. I eventually got stuck when two players connected causing conflicts.
A Co-design studio gave me the opportunity to put my research to practical use when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and changed the way research would be conducted from in-person to remote. My group of 5 members with different background designed and tested a new Co-design research method we call it Co-Immersive-Creation where we bridge VR and video tele-conferencing and allow participants to co-create in VR without needing any additional hardware or expertise. Our focus was to explore prototypes that would help reduce delirium and sleep deprivation in patients at the ICU.
Here are the before and after creations of participants presented in 360, you can drag around the window to view the whole 360 view of the ICU prototype room.
Check out my other projects
PAUSEture A healthier work setupDesign Research & Industrial Design
Co-Design of future driving consoleCo-Design & Extended Reality
The UX of interaction in Virtual RealityUX Design Research
PolyStroid Virtual Reality DevelopmentVR & Interaction Design
5 Levels of Autonomous Driving Augmented Reality AppAR & Interaction Design
Ohio Living Westminster-Thurber Community WellbeingCo-Design Research
Virtual Reality MuseumVR & Interaction Design Collaboration