A story by tech reporter Rich DeMuro featured ICT work that was on display at the USC GLIMPSE Digital Technology Showcase. ICT’s Paul Debevec, David Nelson, David Traum and Ron Artstein all appear in the story which provides examples of ICT’s work in immersive technologies, including the New Dimensions in Testimony collaboration with the USC Shoah Foundation and the MxR Lab’s immersive viewers.
Infinite maze games in your living room. Evan Suma and Mark Bolas of the Mixed-Reality Lab (MxR) have been working on techniques which would enable a video game player to walk through virtual environments within small physical spaces. Flexible Spaces is a novel interaction technique that can be applicable to a wide range of scenarios and systems. As the user moves forward, the virtual environment generates new hallways and rooms. Using their tracked head and body movements, the “procedural layout generation” technique guides them through an infinite set of virtual spaces, when in reality they are walking around in circles. The virtual space consists of multiple rooms that are connected by corridors. To connect these rooms, randomized corridor turns are produced to re-direct users back into the physical spacethey already once were. Overall, users don’t realize the re-directions or overlapping. They feel as though they are walking through a much larger environment that wouldn’t be physically possible in the working space.
These techniques were presented in a paper titled, “Flexible Spaces: Dynamic Layout Generation for Infinite Walking in Virtual Environments,” at the IEEE Virtual Reality conference in March. Bolas and Suma were authors on the paper, along with Khrystyna Vasylevska and Hannes Kaufmann of Vienna University of Technology.
The Second Annual Conference of the Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society (ESCONS) was hosted by the USC School of Cinematic Arts on March 15-17, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. We are proud to report that CM&BHC students and alumni were omnipresent at this venue, which was attended by over 230 people from academia, industry and government. MFA candidate Xuan Li, won Best Software Demo for his thesis project, Blowing Blues, an interactive application for building player’s “immunity” against anxiety and negative emotions. The application uses breath-based interaction inspired by neuroscience, psychology and games to help players cope with their inner “enemies”.
Xuan, who also apprenticed with the MxR Lab while an Annenberg Fellow, used the open-source Socket HMD for the stereoscopy-enhanced version of his demo. MFA Candidate Yasaman Hashemian presented a sneak peak of prototypes for her thesis project Adventurous Dreaming High-Flying Dragon, a full-body interactive game experience for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and presented a peer-reviewed poster. This project is produced by MFA ’12 alumna and former CM&BHC consultant, Dai Yun. MFA ’12 alumna Erin Reynolds demoed and presented a peer-reviewed poster on Nevermind, a psychological horror puzzle game that utilizes biofeedback and challenges the player to stay calm in uncomfortable situations. MFA Candidate Jason Mathias presented Covalence, an education game for teaching organic chemistry to college student.
Blowing Blues by Xuan Li MFA Thesis Committee: Marientina Gotsis – Chair, Mark Bolas, Thai Phan Team Credits:
Nevermind by Erin Reynolds MFA Thesis Committee: Marientina Gotsis – Chair, Andreas Kratky, ? Team Credits:
Adventurous Dreaming Highflying Dragon by Yasaman Hashemian MFA Thesis Committee: Marientina Gotsis – Chair, Andreas Kratky, David Baron Team Credits:
Covalence by Jason Mathias MFA Thesis Committee: Jeremy Gibson – Chair, Marientina Gotsis, ? Team Credits:
Skyfarer by CM&BHC Principal Investigators: Marientina Gotsis, Maryalice Jordan-Marsh Team Credits: Vangelis Lympouridis, David Turpin, Fotos Frangoudes, Evan Stern, Tristan Dyer, Diane Tucker, Irina C. Poulos, Max Swider, Amanda Tasse, Noom Somboon, Sara Mulroy, Lisa Haubert, Carolee Winstein, Phil Requejo Sponsored by Department of Education, NIDRR grant number H133E080024
Interactive Media Division student, Xuan “Sean” Li’s Blowing Blues, an interactive health application, won the “top software demo” award at the Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society (ESCoNS) conference.
Developed as part of an MFA Thesis at the USC Interactive Media Division, the game helps players improve their resilience to life’s stresses and worries. Using an innovative interaction mechanic, player’s use their actual breathing to exhale and “blow away” enemies designed to represent one’s negative emotions and stressful thoughts. The program uses the lab’s open-source Socket HMD to immerse the player in an unique brain-like environment where one plays to defeat negative emotions and feel better.
At this year’s IEEE VR and 3DUI Conference in Orlando, the MxR team is presenting research and showcasing the open DIY VR tools and techniques coming out of the lab; all featured on the team’s new open DIY site found at MxRLab.com. The conference is just getting started and the team is already garnering some attention, with mentions in Road to VR, Slashdot and Engadget. Conference attendees got a taste of some of the MxR lab’s projects at the OTSVR (Off the Shelf Virtual Reality) Workshop on Saturday, with a healthy crowd lining up to try the team’s suite of immersive viewers, including the 3D printed VR2GO and Socket, a low cost wide-field of view HMD design. Starting Monday 3/18, the team will host a Research Demo booth (RD-011) providing another opportunity for folks to play with these VR tools, all while the team uses two Lulzbot 3D printers to fabricate the viewers while conference attendees wait!
A list of just a few of the things the MxR team and our friends and partners have going on at this year’s IEEE VR Conference:
Workshop: OTSVR: The Workshop on Off-The-Shelf Virtual Reality
3DUI – Paper presentation – FlexibleSpaces: Dynamic Layout Generation for Infinite Walking in Virtual Environments | Khrystyna Vasylevska, Hannes Kaufmann, Mark Bolas, Evan Suma
PANEL: 6th Workshop on Software Engineering and Architecture for Realtime Interactive Systems (SEARIS) – Evan Suma on panel.
VAAT Workshop (Virtual and Augmented Assistive Technology)
Evan Suma co-author on paper: Evaluation of the Exertion and Motivation Factors of a Virtual Reality Exercise Game for Children with Autism
Monday 3/18 – Wednesday 3/20
OPEN VIRTUAL REALITY, Research Demo Booth
Monday 3/18 – Wednesday 3/20
POSTER: Flexible Spaces: A Virtual Tep Outside of Reality, Khrystyna Vasylevska, Hannes Kaufmann, Mark Bolas, Evan Suma
Tuesday 3/19, 10AM – 12PM
PANEL: The Future of Consumer Virtual Reality
Palmer Luckey, David Smith
Tuesday 3/19, 6PM
Mark Mine Keynote: Welcome to the Future! Innovation at Disney
Session 8: Perception
PAPER: Peripheral Stimulation and its Effect on Perceived Spatial Scale in Virtual Environments J. Adam Jones, J. Edward Swan II, Mark Bolas
Wednesday 3/20, 10AM – 12PM
PANEL: VR Science Meets Fiction