Department of Computer Science

MARVEL

Mixed & Augmented Reality & Virtual Environments Lab

Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) have emerged as game changing technologies with a huge number of applications and potential impacts across many disciplines. VR/AR technology has the potential to facilitate and support many existing activities, as well as enabling new ones, in science, health, engineering, art, and entertainment.

We are an interdisciplinary group with researchers from Computer Science, Psychology and Health working with VR/AR technology. We look at how virtual content can be created, how its design affects its users and how it can be used to address challenges and create innovative and engaging experiences. The main aim of MARVEL is to provide a forum for researchers interested in VR/AR and facilitate research through collaboration and sharing of resources.

Projects

Perception in VR

Perception in VR is subject to certain biases, such as distance compression. In this project we are measuring such biases in the perception of visual objects and sounds, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of how these biases affect users and how they can be mitigated.

VR Exergaming

Most people do not get the minimum amount of recommended exercise. We are developing VR exergames that support people of various abilities in getting the exercise they need, in an effective and motivating way. By combining VR with traditional exercise equipment, users can immerse themselves in VR gaming while working out at a high intensity.

Interactive Narrative

dyrham-parkMARVEL is working with the National Trust on an interactive exhibit at their Dyrham Park property. The exhibit aims at bringing the rich history of this 17th century mansion to life by immersing visitors into a narrative. We are combining different modalities to augment this historic setting and engage visitors with its stories.

Affective States in VR

We are working on technology that is able to measure affective states such as enjoyment and stress in VR systems, based on physiological and psychological measurements. The aim is to measure affective responses to VR content in real time. This technology is relevant for many different scenarios, including for the use of VR in training and medical treatment.

Co-Presence in AR for Training and Support

We explore ways teleoperators can train and support users by being present through AR. Through the use of AR, users can share real workspaces with remote operators, and vice versa. This enables collaboration and instruction over distances in a much more direct manner compared to traditional telepresence technology.

VisAR: DIY AR Headset and Saliency in AR

We are working on VisAR, a DIY Augmented Reality (AR) headset with low purchase and maintenance costs. The headset uses a smartphone to provide virtual content. The smartphone is placed on the top of the headset and images are projected from the device’s screen on a transparent surface in front of the visitor’s eyes using the Pepper’s Ghost illusion. We have already tested the visibility of AR display and we are currently studying saliency and transfer of attention between AR display and the physical exhibition.