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Inclusive augmented and virtual reality experiences for disabled users

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Inclusive Augmented and Virtual Reality
Experiences for Disabled Users
Dr Chris Creed
Birmingham City University
16th Marc...

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Associate Professor in Human-Computer
Interaction (HCI)
HCI Research Group Lead
Digital Media Technology (DMT) Lab

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Accessibility and Assistive
Technology Research

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Inclusive augmented and virtual reality experiences for disabled users

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A lightning talk presentation from Jisc's Focus on the future: new developments in accessible and assistive technologies event held on 16 March 2022 as part of Digifest community fringe.

A lightning talk presentation from Jisc's Focus on the future: new developments in accessible and assistive technologies event held on 16 March 2022 as part of Digifest community fringe.

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Inclusive augmented and virtual reality experiences for disabled users

  1. 1. Inclusive Augmented and Virtual Reality Experiences for Disabled Users Dr Chris Creed Birmingham City University 16th March 2022
  2. 2. Associate Professor in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) HCI Research Group Lead Digital Media Technology (DMT) Lab
  3. 3. Accessibility and Assistive Technology Research
  4. 4. Inclusive AR/VR Experiences
  5. 5. Growing interest and use of AR/VR technologies
  6. 6. Lack of research around developing inclusive AR/VR experiences
  7. 7. Project funded by Facebook/Meta Reality Labs (until July 2022)
  8. 8. Understand current barriers, explore potential solutions, and identify key research areas
  9. 9. Core Project Goals/Outcomes Research agenda for short-medium term to accelerate impact Share findings/outputs with the wider community Collaborative network/community – funding bids, research projects
  10. 10. What do we mean by AR/VR?
  11. 11. Consumer Hardware (Head Mounted Displays and Smart Glasses)
  12. 12. 4 Multidisciplinary Sandpits (two conducted so far)
  13. 13. Considering a spectrum of impairments (physical, visual, hearing, cognitive)
  14. 14. Participants in split into different groups (mix of disabled people, academics, technologists, charity representatives)
  15. 15. Different discussion points (e.g. barriers in different contexts)
  16. 16. £250Voucher
  17. 17. Summary of key barriers highlighted to date
  18. 18. Around 65 barriers in total (across impairments)
  19. 19. 6 key (high-level) barriers
  20. 20. 1. Entry Level Barriers
  21. 21. Lack of Accessibility Features (don’t know how to get up and running)
  22. 22. Low AR/VR Literacy (limited awareness of AR/VR capabilities haven’t been able to use it)
  23. 23. Always have to request accessibility features (should be there by default)
  24. 24. Financial Affordability
  25. 25. 2. Legislation and user protection
  26. 26. Lack of measures to protect vulnerable user groups (could lead to exclusion, cyberbullying, abuse, harassment)
  27. 27. Particularly concerned with social and collaborative interactions
  28. 28. Challenges around multi-tasking in shared environments
  29. 29. Lack of understanding from others about impact for disabled people (which could contribute to wider exclusion)
  30. 30. 3. Usability Challenges (During Use)
  31. 31. Unique barriers for different forms of impairment
  32. 32. Common Side Effects (cyber-sickness, mental and physical
  33. 33. Particularly critical for disabled people (could exacerbate existing physical or cognitive challenges)
  34. 34. Challenges in customisation (hardware & software)
  35. 35. No dynamic mapping of environments based on impairments
  36. 36. Physical Involuntary and/or limited physical (including eye movements)
  37. 37. Physical Dexterous interactions with current controllers lacking flexibility (one size fits all – no customisation)
  38. 38. Visual “If you cannot see the environment, then can you start using it and collaborate
  39. 39. Visual Inaccessible menus for people with visual impairments
  40. 40. Hearing Challenges around lip reading (avatar fidelity insufficient)
  41. 41. Hearing Difficulty pinpointing locations and navigation
  42. 42. “Increasing the volume does not solve the clarity of audio problem”
  43. 43. Cognitive Sensory and information overload (changes in brightness, frame rate, approaching, sudden/unexpected
  44. 44. Cognitive Lack of support during use (setting up systems and mitigating stress associated with being detached from
  45. 45. People providing support cannot see what others are experiencing
  46. 46. 4. Compatibility of existing accessibility aids
  47. 47. Current AR/VR devices not easily compatible with physical accessibility aids
  48. 48. Headsets over hearing aids causing feedback
  49. 49. Losing balance (due to crutches, wheelchairs, etc.) (anxiety around hurting oneself or others)
  50. 50. Equality of cost (additional accessibility features should be an expense)
  51. 51. 5. Avatar Representation
  52. 52. Choice of avatar representation is important
  53. 53. Mapping between the virtual and real body then becomes important
  54. 54. Concerns around if disabled identities/avatars are shared with online communities
  55. 55. Choice around where disability is disclosed (via an avatar) (dependant on context)
  56. 56. 6. Lack of inclusion and integration in design/development stages
  57. 57. Collaborating with disabled people across all stages of design, development and research
  58. 58. Next Steps
  59. 59. Third Sandpit/Workshop (25th March)
  60. 60. Potential solutions to address barriers identified (produce draft research agenda)
  61. 61. 4th Sandpit (April/May 2022)
  62. 62. Supplementary workshops (exploring specific areas)
  63. 63. Please get in touch if you’re interested chris.creed@bcu.ac.uk https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris- 390203168/

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