IEEE VR 2020: Designing and Refining VR/AR Tech for Optimal User Experience
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Innovations in virtual reality and 3D user interfaces center largely on user experience. Gamers often encounter problems with mismatched objects in the real and virtual worlds, lag, motion sickness, and collision with objects and other players. As researchers work to resolve these issues, numerous other fields are adopting VR tech including education, architecture, and medicine.
Since 1993, IEEE VR has presented groundbreaking research and accomplishments by virtual reality pioneers—scientists, engineers, designers, and artists who are paving the way for the future. A globally recognized event for introducing the next big advancements in VR, IEEE VR 2020 will feature an extensive technical program.
Exclusive Interview with IEEE VR 2020 General Chair, Kyle Johnsen
What are the biggest challenges driving innovation in VR and 3D user interfaces?
The field is highly user-centered, and so is most interested in addressing the challenges that users face with current technology, often by developing techniques that get around the issues or by developing new technologies that directly address that. For example, there are mismatches between physical and virtual space (e.g. boundaries, floors, objects) and limited haptic (touch) feedback when colliding with virtual objects, alongside general fatigue and sickness after long term use.
Often, the issues are highly application dependent, and with new applications emerging at a much higher velocity than before, there are new issues to address. For example, there was little research activity in the area of multi-user VR prior to the arrival of consumer headsets, but now applications are struggling with issues such as collocated people who run into each other and the impact of our own avatars and others in social situations.
What important VR challenges will attendees see addressed at this year’s conference?
Major technical innovations will be presented at IEEE VR 2020. These include the optimization and design of new interaction devices, new means of telepresence, and new display technologies (AR and VR).
There will probably be much more work on addressing limited physical space, interacting with other people in VR, and adding novel interaction devices and techniques. I also expect a great deal more work on augmented reality interfaces this year.
How have VR innovations, especially the kind presented in VR conference proceedings, been applied or adopted by different industries in recent years?
Training & Educational Technology – VR provides a way to access visually realistic environments and objects within them from anywhere, by anyone. These virtual environments provide perfect standardization and near-infinite customization at low cost. High-quality performance metrics are much easier to obtain than in the real world.
Computer-aided design (CAD), especially architecture/building/vehicle design – Anything designed to hold people that is evaluated from within, as virtual reality enables a first-person, stereoscopic perspective, taken with others who are potentially remote. AR is also having an impact in this space, mostly for design review among multiple collocated users.
Medicine – Both in the aforementioned training, but also in the use of VR to assist with pain management, doctor-patient interaction (also AR), and the actual diagnosis of certain diseases particularly motion disorders.
What’s been the pace of adoption?
Software techniques get adopted very quickly. For example, the idea of reducing simulator sickness through reducing field of view while moving was almost immediately adopted by industry practitioners. Practically speaking, hardware usually takes much longer to be adopted, but the original Google Cardboard trailed the introduction of the concept at IEEE VR by just a few months.