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2020, Vol. 2 No. 5 Publish Date:2020-10

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Editorial

VR/AR research and commercial applications in Singapore

DOI:10.3724/SP.J.2096-5796.2020.02.05

2020, 2(5) : 1-2

PDF (26) | HTML (103)

Review

VR and AR in human performance researchAn NUS experience

DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2020.07.009

2020, 2(5) : 381-393

Abstract (115) | PDF (5) | HTML (128)
With the mindset of constant improvement in efficiency and safety in the workspace and training in Singapore, there is a need to explore varying technologies and their capabilities to fulfil this need. The ability of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) to create an immersive experience of tying the virtual and physical environments coupled with information filtering capabilities brings a possibility of introducing this technology into the training process and workspace. This paper surveys current research trends, findings and limitation of VR and AR in its effect on human performance, specifically in Singapore, and our experience in the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Virtual reality research and development in NTU

DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2020.06.002

2020, 2(5) : 394-408

Abstract (110) | PDF (3) | HTML (105)
In 1981, Nanyang Technological Institute was established in Singapore to train engineers and accountants to keep up with the fast-growing economy of the country. In 1991, the institute was upgraded to Nanyang Technological University (NTU). NTU holds the rank for world’s top young university for six consecutive years according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) world university ranking. Virtual Reality (VR) research began in NTU in the late 1990s. NTU’s colleges, schools, institutes, and centers have contributed toward the excellence of VR research. This article briefly describes the VR research directions and activities in NTU.
VR industrial applicationsA singapore perspective

DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2020.06.001

2020, 2(5) : 409-420

Abstract (141) | PDF (4) | HTML (165)
Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for a long time but has come into the spotlight only recently. From an industrial perspective, this article serves as a proverbial scalpel to dissect the different use cases and commercial applications of VR in Singapore. Before researching the Singapore market, we examine how VR has evolved. At the moment, the global annual budget for VR (and augmented reality) is at an upward trend with a leading growth in market value for the training sector. VR in Singapore has also seen a rapid development in recent years. We discuss some of the Singapore government’s initiatives to promote the commercial adoption of VR for the digital economy of the nation. To address the mass adoption of VR, we present VRcollab’s business solutions for the construction and building industry. 2020 is one of the most important years for VR in history.
Multimodal teaching, learning and training in virtual reality: a review and case study

DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2020.07.008

2020, 2(5) : 421-442

Abstract (164) | PDF (9) | HTML (123)
It is becoming increasingly prevalent in digital learning research to encompass an array of different meanings, spaces, processes, and teaching strategies for discerning a global perspective on constructing the student learning experience. Multimodality is an emergent phenomenon that may influence how digital learning is designed, especially when employed in highly interactive and immersive learning environments such as Virtual Reality (VR). VR environments may aid students’ efforts to be active learners through consciously attending to, and reflecting on, critique leveraging reflexivity and novel meaning-making most likely to lead to a conceptual change. This paper employs eleven industrial case-studies to highlight the application of multimodal VR-based teaching and training as a pedagogically rich strategy that may be designed, mapped and visualized through distinct VR-design elements and features. The outcomes of the use cases contribute to discern in-VR multimodal teaching as an emerging discourse that couples system design-based paradigms with embodied, situated and reflective praxis in spatial, emotional and temporal VR learning environments.

Article

VEGO: A novel design towards customizable and adjustable head-mounted display for VR

DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2020.09.001

2020, 2(5) : 443-453

Abstract (101) | PDF (0) | HTML (88)
Background
Virtual Reality (VR) technologies have advanced fast and have been applied to a wide spectrum of sectors in the past few years. VR can provide an immersive experience to users by generating virtual images and displaying the virtual images to the user with a head-mounted display (HMD) which is a primary component of VR. Normally, an HMD contains a list of hardware components, e.g., housing pack, micro LCD display, microcontroller, optical lens, etc. Settings of VR HMD to accommodate the user’s inter-pupil distance (IPD) and the user’s eye focus power are important for the user’s experience with VR.
Methods
Although various methods have been developed towards IPD and focus adjustments for VR HMD, the increased cost and complexity impede the possibility for users who wish to assemble their own VR HMD for various purposes, e.g., DIY teaching, etc. In our paper, we present a novel design towards building a customizable and adjustable HMD for VR in a cost-effective manner. Modular design methodology is adopted, and the VR HMD can be easily printed with 3D printers. The design also features adjustable IPD and variable distance between the optical lens and the display. It can help to mitigate the vergence and accommodation conflict issue.
Results
A prototype of the customizable and adjustable VR HMD has been successfully built up with off-the-shelf components. A VR software program running on Raspberry Pi board has been developed and can be utilized to show the VR effects. A user study with 20 participants is conducted with positive feedback on our novel design.
Conclusions
Modular design can be successfully applied for building up VR HMD with 3D printing. It helps to promote the wide application of VR at affordable costs while featuring flexibility and adjustability.
Development of augmented reality serious games with a vibrotactile feedback jacket

DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2020.05.005

2020, 2(5) : 454-470

Abstract (118) | PDF (4) | HTML (88)
Background
In the past few years, augmented reality (AR) has rapidly advanced and has been applied in different fields. One of the successful AR applications is the immersive and interactive serious games, which can be used for education and learning purposes.
Methods
In this project, a prototype of an AR serious game is developed and demonstrated. Gamers utilize a head-mounted device and a vibrotactile feedback jacket to explore and interact with the AR serious game. Fourteen vibration actuators are embedded in the vibrotactile feedback jacket to generate immersive AR experience. These vibration actuators are triggered in accordance with the designed game scripts. Various vibration patterns and intensity levels are synthesized in different game scenes. This article presents the details of the entire software development of the AR serious game, including game scripts, game scenes with AR effects design, signal processing flow, behavior design, and communication configuration. Graphics computations are processed using the graphics processing unit in the system.
Results /Conclusions
The performance of the AR serious game prototype is evaluated and analyzed. The computation loads and resource utilization of normal game scenes and heavy computation scenes are compared. With 14 vibration actuators placed at different body positions, various vibration patterns and intensity levels can be generated by the vibrotactile feedback jacket, providing different real-world feedback. The prototype of this AR serious game can be valuable in building large-scale AR or virtual reality educational and entertainment games. Possible future improvements of the proposed prototype are also discussed in this article.