VR / AR Innovation Track at VRDC Fall 2017

Conference Track for VR / AR Innovation

Learn from experts breaking ground on the frontier of VR and AR development in the Innovation Track. Hear in-depth lectures and panels illustrating how virtual and augmented reality has the power to influence nearly all aspects of life as we know it.

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VRDC Fall 2017 Session Highlights

Mixed Reality for Space Exploration
Nathaniel Guy (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

At the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, developers are building a number of different applications that use mixed and virtual reality to change the way NASA explores space and sees the world. Using MR/VR applications, JPL's scientists and engineers can plan activities for the Mars Curiosity rover and analyze Martian geology while walking on a 3D reconstruction of the Martian surface. Engineers designing rovers and spacecraft can preview full-scale holographic prototypes before any parts are built. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station can use MR interfaces to receive virtual assistance from experts on the ground and work more efficiently. Other MR/VR projects support viewing Earth science data visualizations, robotic cave exploration, and more. This talk will present recent projects that leverage immersive technology to tackle unique visualization and interaction challenges, and discuss research that shows the beneficial effects of using MR to accomplish these tasks.

Why Virtual Reality and Machine Learning are Good for Science
Aldis Sipolins (IBM Research)

Presence lets researchers study how people naturally think and act outside the lab, and this is a goldmine for human research. This talk gives a first look at cutting-edge research using machine learning to enhance memory in VR. Subjects play a color memory game while sensors (brain activity, eye-tracking, heartrate) record data, and personalized machine learning models use this sensor data to predict memory. A follow-up study seeks to enhance memory in real-time and uncover the neural signature of presence. This talk covers the basics of machine learning, cognitive neuroscience, and the psychology of presence as they apply to VR.

The Science and Engineering of Redirected Walking
Mahdi Azmandian (Mixed Reality Lab, USC Institute for Creative Technologies)

Redirected walking is a perceptual illusion that tackles the challenge of exploring large virtual environments within a small tracked space. This talk will take a comprehensive look at both what this approach is in theory and how it is deployed in practice. The session will also introduce the Redirected Walking Toolkit: an open-source collection of scientifically proven redirection techniques designed to be deployed with minimal development overhead.

UX in Google Earth VR
Adam Glazier (Google Inc.)
Nadav Ashkenazi (Google Inc.)
Per Karlsson (Google Inc.)

Google Earth VR on Vive and Oculus enables people to freely navigate the entire planet by flying, dragging, rotating, teleporting and searching. To maintain usability, immersion and comfort, each navigation mode went through rounds of iteration and user testing. This talk pulls the lid off the UX insights and implementation details that helped make or break each mode of navigation.

Road to Art3mis: Women's First-Time Experiences in Social VR
Jessica Outlaw (The Extended Mind)

One way to make the VR industry more diverse is by incorporating feedback from under-represented groups. Researcher and Behavioral Scientist, Jessica Outlaw, recruited 20 women (all first-timers to VR) to use different social VR platforms. Using observation, and pre- and post-interview questions, she will report on the findings of this round of user testing. This session will discuss how the participant's expectations about VR influenced their experience, how they approached social interactions, and their perceptions about the potential of the technology. Come learn the specific findings from this study, and get tips on running your own research in the future.

A Game Designer's Overview of the Neuroscience of VR
Noah Falstein (The Inspiracy)

What are the key insights that modern neuroscience can provide for VR? This talk covers three areas that present huge opportunities and challenges to VR developers: Immersion, Motion, and Emotion. Each is discussed in terms of the basic neuroscience behind it, advance techniques to take it to new levels, and near-future opportunities. The context is a designer's view of the relevant science necessary for effective use of VR, practical rather than academic, supported by examples and references for those interested in more in-depth information.

What VR Hardware Research can teach about VR Software's Future
Kim Pallister (Intel Corporation)

This course will provide an overview of a number of hardware and software proof of concept experiments of next-gen VR solutions, and lessons we've taken from them that will be useful for developers to think about as they plan their next VR titles. Some examples include: PC HMDs with portions of the software pipeline in the HMD; wireless HMD interfaces; biometric sensors; depth cameras and computer vision systems embedded in HMDs; just to name a few.

Virtual Reality for Treatment of Phobias
Jennifer Hazel (CheckPoint Organisation)

VR and AR are becoming increasingly prominent as treatments of anxiety disorders, including phobia. This lecture will discuss the history of VR use in exposure therapy and discuss the current understanding of what makes a VR experience effective for phobia treatment from a psychological, physiological and technical point of view. We'll look at the current projects in development and future directions.

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