Viz professor researches how to improve virtual reality experience

Faculty researchers at the Texas A&M Department of Visualization are investigating how virtual reality-based experiences can become more comfortable, safe and effective, said Ann McNamara, associate professor of visualization, in an article she penned for Irish broadcasting website RTÉ.

In the article, McNamara explores the challenges that developers face when guiding headset-clad users, who proceed through the fully immersive world of VR gaming, education, and a myriad of other applications, without a set path or script.

The growth of VR use has been blunted in part by some users reporting confusion, disorientation or even sickness.

Researchers at Texas A&M are learning how to improve the VR experience for everyone with eye tracking, motion cues, and image enhancement techniques to steer users to critical information without reducing their freedom to move about, said McNamara.

“If we need the user to focus on a particular area of the virtual environment, we can use subtle ways to attract attention to these regions,” she said. “We are looking at techniques that succeed at not only drawing the eye but also boost learning and recall.”

McNamara spoke on the subject in May 2018 at the 5th ARVR Innovate virtual and augmented reality conference.


Sarah Wilson

posted July 5, 2018