Technologies and concepts in VR-HYPERSPACE
VR-HYPERSPACE aims to utilize current state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) technology to prototype future possibilities, and especially to explore the specific idea that the exploitation of recent research on body representation can significantly improve passengers’ perception of comfort. VR can also be used to systematically investigate the relative contributions of several design aspects of interior spaces, such as physical shape of the cabin, lighting and the relationship between passengers and the services provided. In the next sections we first briefly discuss the technology, and then its applications within this project proposal.
The exciting potential of VR comes from the fact that it is possible to create worlds with particular characteristics that can be systematically manipulated and customized for design requirements and experimental studies. Rich, realistic visual details can be included or the visual scene can be intentionally limited to particular visual cues of interest such as the optic flow provided through a cloud of dots, the relative positioning of selected landmarks or instant teleportation from one position in space to another. This type of control and flexibility is not something that can be achieved in a real-world environment.
For a term so widely used in everyday language there is a surprising lack of clarity and considerable debate on the exact definition and understanding of comfort and its components; therefore some researchers view comfort as an emerging concept. There are many different definitions of comfort which vary according to the different contexts in which it is being discussed (e.g. in nursing, ergonomics etc.); however it is always viewed as a desirable outcome.