Virtual Reality Design Platform to Easily Create Virtual Reality Experiences

The interest in Virtual Reality (VR) keeps increasing among the community of designers. To develop this type of immersive experience, the understanding of new processes and methodologies is as fundamental as its complex implementation which usually implies hiring a specialized team. In this paper, we introduce a case study, a platform that allows designers to easily create complex VR experiences, present its features, and its development process. We conclude that this platform provides a complete solution for the design and development of VR experiences, no-code needed.

Exploring the Need to Study the Efficacy of VR Training Compared to Traditional Cybersecurity Training

Effective cybersecurity training is of the utmost importance, given the plethora of attacks that continue to increase in complexity and ubiquity. VR cybersecurity training remains a starkly understudied discipline. Studies that evaluated the effectiveness of VR cybersecurity training over traditional methods are required. An engaging and interactive platform can support knowledge retention of the training material. Consequently, an effective form of cybersecurity training is required to support a culture of cybersecurity awareness. Measurements of effectiveness varied throughout the studies, with surveys and observations being the two most utilized forms of evaluating effectiveness. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of VR cybersecurity training and traditional training. Additionally, research for evaluating if VR cybersecurity training is more effective than traditional methods is vital. This paper proposes a methodology to compare the two cybersecurity training methods and their effectiveness. The proposed framework includes developing both VR and traditional cybersecurity training methods and delivering them to at least 100 users. A quiz along with a survey will be administered and statistically analyzed to determine if there is a difference in knowledge retention and user satisfaction. The aim of this paper is to bring attention to the need to study VR cybersecurity training and its effectiveness compared to traditional training methods. This paper hopes to contribute to the cybersecurity training field by providing an effective way to train users for security awareness. If VR training is deemed more effective, this could create a new direction for cybersecurity training practices.

A Methodology to Virtualize Technical Engineering Laboratories: MastrLAB-VR

Due to the importance given today to innovation, the education sector is evolving thanks digital technologies. Virtual Reality (VR) can be a potential teaching tool offering many advantages in the field of training and education, as it allows to acquire theoretical knowledge and practical skills using an immersive experience in less time than the traditional educational process. These assumptions allow to lay the foundations for a new educational environment, involving and stimulating for students. Starting from the objective of strengthening the innovative teaching offer and the learning processes, the case study of the research concerns the digitalization of MastrLAB, High Quality Laboratory (HQL) belonging to the Department of Structural, Building and Geotechnical Engineering (DISEG) of the Polytechnic of Turin, a center specialized in experimental mechanical tests on traditional and innovative building materials and on the structures made with them. The MastrLAB-VR has been developed, a revolutionary innovative training tool designed with the aim of educating the class in total safety on the techniques of use of machinery, thus reducing the dangers arising from the performance of potentially dangerous activities. The virtual laboratory, dedicated to the students of the Building and Civil Engineering Courses of the Polytechnic of Turin, has been projected to simulate in an absolutely realistic way the experimental approach to the structural tests foreseen in their courses of study: from the tensile tests to the relaxation tests, from the steel qualification tests to the resilience tests on elements at environmental conditions or at characterizing temperatures. The research work proposes a methodology for the virtualization of technical laboratories through the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM), starting from the creation of a digital model. The process includes the creation of an independent application, which with Oculus Rift technology will allow the user to explore the environment and interact with objects through the use of joypads. The application has been tested in prototype way on volunteers, obtaining results related to the acquisition of the educational notions exposed in the experience through a virtual quiz with multiple answers, achieving an overall evaluation report. The results have shown that MastrLAB-VR is suitable for both beginners and experts and will be adopted experimentally for other laboratories of the University departments.

Absent Theaters: A Virtual Reconstruction from Memories

Absent Theaters is a project that virtually reconstructs three theaters that existed in the twentieth century, demolished in the city of Medellin, Colombia: Circo España, Bolívar, and Junín. Virtual reconstruction is used as an excuse to talk with those who lived in their childhood and youth cultural spaces that formed a whole generation. Around 100 people who witnessed these theaters were interviewed. The means used to perform the oral history work was the virtual reconstruction of the interior of the theaters that were presented to the interviewees through the Virtual Reality glasses. The voices of people between 60 and 103 years old were used to generate a transmission of knowledge to the new generations about the importance of theaters as essential places for the city, as spaces generating social relations and knowledge of other cultures. Oral stories about events, the historical and social context of the city, were mixed with archive images and animations of the architectural transformations of these places. Oral stories about events, the historical and social context of the city, were mixed with archive images and animations of the architectural transformations of these places, with the purpose of compiling a collective discourse around cultural activities, heritage, and memory of Medellin.

Virtual Reality Learning Environment in Embryology Education

Educational technology is changing the way how students engage and interact with learning materials. This improved the learning process amongst various subjects. Virtual Reality (VR) applications are considered one of the evolving methods that have contributed to enhancing medical education. This paper utilizes VR to provide a solution to improve the delivery of the subject of Embryology to medical students, and facilitate the teaching process by providing a useful aid to lecturers, whilst proving the effectiveness of this new technology in this particular area. After evaluating the current teaching methods and identifying students ‘needs, a VR system was designed that demonstrates in an interactive fashion the development of the human embryo from fertilization to week ten of intrauterine development. This system aims to overcome some of the problems faced by the students’ in the current educational methods, and to increase the efficacy of the learning process.

Investigating the Effect of VR, Time Study and Ergonomics on the Design of Industrial Workstations

This paper presents the review of the studies on the ergonomics, virtual reality, and work measurement (time study) at the industrial workstations because each of these three individual techniques can be used to improve the design of workstations and task position. The objective of this paper is to give an overall literature review that if there is any relation between these three different techniques. Therefore, it is so important to review the scientific studies to find a better and effective way for improving design of workstations. On the other hand, manufacturers found that instead of using one of the approaches, utilizing the combination of these individual techniques are more effective to reduce the cost and production time.

Vr-GIS and Ar-GIS In Education: A Case Study

ICT tools and platforms endorse more and more educational process. Many models and techniques for people to be educated and trained about specific topics and skills do exist, as classroom lectures with textbooks, computers, handheld devices and others. The choice to what extent ICT is applied within learning contexts is related to personal access to technologies as well as to the infrastructure surrounding environment. Among recent techniques, the adoption of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) provides significant impulse in fully engaging users senses. In this paper, an application of AR/VR within Geographic Information Systems (GIS) context is presented. It aims to provide immersive environment experiences for educational and training purposes (e.g. for civil protection personnel), useful especially for situations where real scenarios are not easily accessible by humans. First acknowledgments are promising for building an effective tool that helps civil protection personnel training with risk reduction.

The Democratization of 3D Capturing: An Application Investigating Google Tango Potentials

The appearance of 3D scanners and then, more recently, of image-based systems that generate point clouds directly from common digital images have deeply affected the survey process in terms of both capturing and 2D/3D modelling. In this context, low cost and mobile systems are increasingly playing a key role and actually paving the way to the democratization of what in the past was the realm of few specialized technicians and expensive equipment. The application of Google Tango on the ancient church of Santa Maria delle Vigne in Pratica di Mare – Rome presented in this paper is one of these examples.

Collaborative and Experimental Cultures in Virtual Reality Journalism: From the Perspective of Content Creators

Virtual Reality (VR) content creation is a complex and an expensive process, which requires multi-disciplinary teams of content creators. Grant schemes from technology companies help media organisations to explore the VR potential in journalism and factual storytelling. Media organisations try to do as much as they can in-house, but they may outsource due to time constraints and skill availability. Journalists, game developers, sound designers and creative artists work together and bring in new cultures of work. This study explores the collaborative experimental nature of VR content creation, through tracing every actor involved in the process and examining their perceptions of the VR work. The study builds on Actor Network Theory (ANT), which decomposes phenomena into their basic elements and traces the interrelations among them. Therefore, the researcher conducted 22 semi-structured interviews with VR content creators between November 2017 and April 2018. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques allowed the researcher to recruit fact-based VR content creators from production studios and media organisations, as well as freelancers. Interviews lasted up to three hours, and they were a mix of Skype calls and in-person interviews. Participants consented for their interviews to be recorded, and for their names to be revealed in the study. The researcher coded interviews’ transcripts in Nvivo software, looking for key themes that correspond with the research questions. The study revealed that VR content creators must be adaptive to change, open to learn and comfortable with mistakes. The VR content creation process is very iterative because VR has no established work flow or visual grammar. Multi-disciplinary VR team members often speak different languages making it hard to communicate. However, adaptive content creators perceive VR work as a fun experience and an opportunity to learn. The traditional sense of competition and the strive for information exclusivity are now replaced by a strong drive for knowledge sharing. VR content creators are open to share their methods of work and their experiences. They target to build a collaborative network that aims to harness VR technology for journalism and factual storytelling. Indeed, VR is instilling collaborative and experimental cultures in journalism.

Implicit Responses for Assessment of Autism Based on Natural Behaviors Obtained Inside Immersive Virtual Environment

The late detection and subjectivity of the assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) imposed a difficulty for the children’s clinical and familiar environment. The results showed in this paper, are part of a research project about the assessment and training of social skills in children with ASD, whose overall goal is the use of virtual environments together with physiological measures in order to find a new model of objective ASD assessment based on implicit brain processes measures. In particular, this work tries to contribute by studying the differences and changes in the Skin Conductance Response (SCR) and Eye Tracking (ET) between a typical development group (TD group) and an ASD group (ASD group) after several combined stimuli using a low cost Immersive Virtual Environment (IVE). Subjects were exposed to a virtual environment that showed natural scenes that stimulated visual, auditory and olfactory perceptual system. By exposing them to the IVE, subjects showed natural behaviors while measuring SCR and ET. This study compared measures of subjects diagnosed with ASD (N = 18) with a control group of subjects with typical development (N=10) when exposed to three different conditions: only visual (V), visual and auditory (VA) and visual, auditory and olfactory (VAO) stimulation. Correlations between SCR and ET measures were also correlated with the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) test. SCR measures showed significant differences among the experimental condition between groups. The ASD group presented higher level of SCR while we did not find significant differences between groups regarding DF. We found high significant correlations among all the experimental conditions in SCR measures and the subscale of ADOS test of imagination and symbolic thinking. Regarding the correlation between ET measures and ADOS test, the results showed significant relationship between VA condition and communication scores.

Development of an Indoor Drone Designed for the Needs of the Creative Industries

With this contribution, we want to show how the AiRT system could change the future way of working of a part of the creative industry and what new economic opportunities could arise for them. Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), also more commonly known as drones, are now essential tools used by many different companies for their creative outdoor work. However, using this very flexible applicable tool indoor is almost impossible, since safe navigation cannot be guaranteed by the operator due to the lack of a reliable and affordable indoor positioning system which ensures a stable flight, among other issues. Here we present our first results of a European project, which consists of developing an indoor drone for professional footage especially designed for the creative industries. One of the main achievements of this project is the successful implication of the end-users in the overall design process from the very beginning. To ensure safe flight in confined spaces, our drone incorporates a positioning system based on ultra-wide band technology, an RGB-D (depth) camera for 3D environment reconstruction and the possibility to fully pre-program automatic flights. Since we also want to offer this tool for inexperienced pilots, we have always focused on user-friendly handling of the whole system throughout the entire process.

Teaching College Classes with Virtual Reality

Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) technologies have made it possible for students to experience a virtual on-the-scene or virtual in-person observation of an educational event. In an experimental class, the author uses VR, particularly 360° videos, to virtually engage students in an event, through a wide spectrum of educational resources, such s a virtual “bystander.” Students were able to observe the event as if they were physically on site, although they could not intervene with the scene. The author will describe the adopted equipment, specification, and cost of building them as well as the quality of VR. The author will discuss (a) feasibility, effectiveness, and efficiency of using VR as a supplemental technology to teach college students and criteria and methodologies used by the authors to evaluate them; (b) barriers and issues of technological implementation; and (c) pedagogical practices learned through this experiment. The author also attempts to explore (a) how VR could provide an interactive virtual in-person learning experience; (b) how VR can possibly change traditional college education and online education; (c) how educators and balance six critical factors: cost, time, technology, quality, result, and content.

A Psychophysiological Evaluation of an Effective Recognition Technique Using Interactive Dynamic Virtual Environments

Recording psychological and physiological correlates of human performance within virtual environments and interpreting their impacts on human engagement, ‘immersion’ and related emotional or ‘effective’ states is both academically and technologically challenging. By exposing participants to an effective, real-time (game-like) virtual environment, designed and evaluated in an earlier study, a psychophysiological database containing the EEG, GSR and Heart Rate of 30 male and female gamers, exposed to 10 games, was constructed. Some 174 features were subsequently identified and extracted from a number of windows, with 28 different timing lengths (e.g. 2, 3, 5, etc. seconds). After reducing the number of features to 30, using a feature selection technique, K-Nearest Neighbour (KNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) methods were subsequently employed for the classification process. The classifiers categorised the psychophysiological database into four effective clusters (defined based on a 3-dimensional space – valence, arousal and dominance) and eight emotion labels (relaxed, content, happy, excited, angry, afraid, sad, and bored). The KNN and SVM classifiers achieved average cross-validation accuracies of 97.01% (±1.3%) and 92.84% (±3.67%), respectively. However, no significant differences were found in the classification process based on effective clusters or emotion labels.

Perceptions toward Adopting Virtual Reality as a Learning Aid in Information Technology

The field of education is an ever-evolving area constantly enriched by newly discovered techniques provided by active research in all areas of technologies. The recent years have witnessed the introduction of a number of promising technologies and applications to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Virtual Reality (VR) applications are considered one of the evolving methods that have contributed to enhancing education in many fields. VR creates an artificial environment, using computer hardware and software, which is similar to the real world. This simulation provides a solution to improve the delivery of materials, which facilitates the teaching process by providing a useful aid to instructors, and enhances the learning experience by providing a beneficial learning aid. In order to assure future utilization of such systems, students’ perceptions were examined toward utilizing VR as an educational tool in the Faculty of Information Technology (IT) in The University of Jordan. A questionnaire was administered to IT undergraduates investigating students’ opinions about the potential opportunities that VR technology could offer and its implications as learning and teaching aid. The results confirmed the end users’ willingness to adopt VR systems as a learning aid. The result of this research forms a solid base for investing in a VR system for IT education.

Creating a Virtual Perception for Upper Limb Rehabilitation

This paper describes the development of a virtual-reality system ARWED, which will be used in physical rehabilitation of patients with reduced upper extremity mobility to increase limb Active Range of Motion (AROM). The ARWED system performs a symmetric reflection and real-time mapping of the patient’s healthy limb on to their most affected limb, tapping into the mirror neuron system and facilitating the initial learning phase. Using the ARWED, future experiments will test the extension of the action-observation priming effect linked to the mirror-neuron system on healthy subjects and then stroke patients.

Behavioral Experiments of Small Societies in Social Media: Facebook Expressions of Anchored Relationships

Communities and societies have been changing towards computer mediated communication. This paper explores online and offline identities and how relationships are formed and negotiated within internet environments which offer opportunities for people who know each other offline and move into relationships online. The expectations and norms of behavior within everyday life cause people to be embodied self. According to the age categories of Turkish Cypriots, their measurements of attitudes in Facebook will be investigated. Face-to-face field research and semi-structured interview methods are used in the study. Face-to-face interview has been done with Turkish Cypriots who are using Facebook already. According to the study, in constructing a linkage between real and virtual identities mostly affected from societal relations serves as a societal grooming tool for Turkish Cypriots.

The Role of Planning and Memory in the Navigational Ability

Navigational ability requires spatial representation, planning, and memory. It covers three interdependent domains, i.e. cognitive and perceptual factors, neural information processing, and variability in brain microstructure. Many attempts have been made to see the role of spatial representation in the navigational ability, and the individual differences have been identified in the neural substrate. But, there is also a need to address the influence of planning, memory on navigational ability. The present study aims to evaluate relations of aforementioned factors in the navigational ability. Total 30 participants volunteered in the study of a virtual shopping complex and subsequently were classified into good and bad navigators based on their performances. The result showed that planning ability was the most correlated factor for the navigational ability and also the discriminating factor between the good and bad navigators. There was also found the correlations between spatial memory recall and navigational ability. However, non-verbal episodic memory and spatial memory recall were also found to be correlated with the learning variable. This study attempts to identify differences between people with more and less navigational ability on the basis of planning and memory.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation Exercises of Upper Extremities Assessment Using Microsoft Kinect Sensor and Color Marker in a Virtual Reality Environment

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation exercises are a series of stretching techniques that are commonly used in rehabilitation and exercise therapy. Assessment of these exercises for true maneuvering requires extensive experience in this field and could not be down with patients themselves. In this paper, we developed software that uses Microsoft Kinect sensor, a spherical color marker, and real-time image processing methods to evaluate patient’s performance in generating true patterns of movements. The software also provides the patient with a visual feedback by showing his/her avatar in a Virtual Reality environment along with the correct path of moving hand, wrist and marker. Primary results during PNF exercise therapy of a patient in a room environment shows the ability of the system to identify any deviation of maneuvering path and direction of the hand from the one that has been performed by an expert physician.

Risk Based Building Information Modeling (BIM) for Urban Infrastructure Transportation Project

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a holistic documentation process for operational visualization, design coordination, estimation and project scheduling. BIM software defines objects parametrically and it is a tool for virtual reality. Primary advantage of implementing BIM is the visual coordination of the building structure and systems such as Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) and it also identifies the possible conflicts between the building systems. This paper is an attempt to develop a risk based BIM model which would highlight the primary advantages of application of BIM pertaining to urban infrastructure transportation project. It has been observed that about 40% of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) companies use BIM but primarily for their outsourced projects. Also, 65% of the respondents agree that BIM would be used quiet strongly for future construction projects in India. The 3D models developed with Revit 2015 software would reduce co-ordination problems amongst the architects, structural engineers, contractors and building service providers (MEP). Integration of risk management along with BIM would provide enhanced co-ordination, collaboration and high probability of successful completion of the complex infrastructure transportation project within stipulated time and cost frame.

Applications of Mobile Aluminum Light Structure Housing System in Sustainable Building Process

Problems exist in the present construction industry in China. Conflicts hinder the development of the whole society, such as contradictions between resource reservation and a huge population, living space needs and low building production efficiency, as well as environment protection and high pollution production pattern. In order to solve the problems and find a solution, research is needed to explore a building system. By investigating the whole architectural process and contrasting analysis of light structures and heavy structures, the paper raised the concepts to cope with the existing challenges, such as design conception based on product and real construction processes, design methods focusing on components, and maximum utilization of the temporary building by optimizing the construction speed and building performance. The project was not only designed in virtual reality, but was also physically constructed in the real world. A series of aluminum light structure housing systems were dictated at last, with the characteristics of high performance, extremely rapid construction speed and also flexible function. It can be used in lots of aspects ranging from a single building in a remote area to a large residential community.