Special Issue "Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality"

A special issue of Electronics (ISSN 2079-9292). This special issue belongs to the section "Artificial Intelligence".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Kiyoshi Kiyokawa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Cybernetics and Reality Engineering (CARE) Laboratory, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Ikoma, Japan
Interests: augmented reality; mixed reality; virtual reality; human augmentation; 3D user interfaces
Prof. Dr. Mark Billinghurst
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Information Technology and Mathematical Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Interests: augmented reality; empathic computing; virtual reality; interaction design; gesture based interfaces; multimodal interfaces
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, VR and AR technology have made remarkable progress. Their fundamental problems, such as tracking and registration, have been almost solved, and their applications for education, medicine, architecture, automobiles, advertising, entertainment, etc., that researchers dreamed of 20 years ago have been put to practical use today. As some basic research has come to fruition, expectations for VR and AR have increased, and opportunities for advanced studies have also expanded. What should remote communications be when real-time three-dimensional reconstruction is realized and 5G high-speed communication becomes widespread? What information should be selected and presented to the user when advanced situational awareness becomes possible? What kind of short- and long-term effects on our body and mind will be exhibited by augmented vision or body modification? VR and AR are not just high-level computing environments but are becoming the next generation of social infrastructure. Various technologies such as artificial intelligence, human augmentation, and brain science are progressing and merging with VR and AR to become a driving force that puts VR and AR to even higher levels.

This Special Issue calls for many interesting studies that will open up new horizons of VR and AR. In addition to research that has steadily improved existing issues, we welcome research papers that present new possibilities of VR and AR. Topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:

  • 360 video;
  • VR/AR applications;
  • Artificial intelligence/machine learning for VR/AR;
  • Brain science for VR/AR;
  • VR/AR collaboration;
  • Computer graphics for VR/AR; 
  • Computer vision for VR/AR;
  • Content creation and management for VR/AR;
  • Context awareness for VR/AR;
  • Education with VR/AR;
  • Multimodal VR/AR;
  • Display technologies for VR/AR;
  • Ethics/humanity in VR/AR;
  • Human augmentations with VR/AR;
  • Human–computer interactions in VR/AR; 
  • Human factors in VR/AR;
  • Perception/presence in VR/AR;
  • Physiological sensing for VR/AR;
  • User experience/usability in VR/AR;
  • Virtual humans/avatars in VR/AR;
  • Visualization/visual analytics with VR/AR;
  • Wellbeing with VR/AR.

Prof. Dr. Kiyoshi Kiyokawa
Prof. Dr. Mark Billinghurst
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Electronics is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 360 video
  • VR/AR applications
  • Artificial intelligence/machine learning for VR/AR
  • Brain science for VR/AR
  • VR/AR collaboration
  • Computer graphics for VR/AR
  • Computer vision for VR/AR
  • Content creation and management for VR/AR
  • Context awareness for VR/AR
  • Education with VR/AR
  • Multimodal VR/AR
  • Display technologies for VR/AR
  • Ethics/humanity in VR/AR
  • Human augmentations with VR/AR
  • Human–computer interactions in VR/AR
  • Human factors in VR/AR
  • Perception/presence in VR/AR
  • Physiological sensing for VR/AR
  • User experience/usability in VR/AR
  • Virtual humans/avatars in VR/AR
  • Visualization/visual analytics with VR/AR
  • Wellbeing with VR/AR.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Study on Persistence of GAN-Based Vision-Induced Gustatory Manipulation
Electronics 2021, 10(10), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10101157 - 13 May 2021
Viewed by 1288
Abstract
Vision-induced gustatory manipulation interfaces can help people with dietary restrictions feel as if they are eating what they want by modulating the appearance of the alternative foods they are eating in reality. However, it is still unclear whether vision-induced gustatory change persists beyond [...] Read more.
Vision-induced gustatory manipulation interfaces can help people with dietary restrictions feel as if they are eating what they want by modulating the appearance of the alternative foods they are eating in reality. However, it is still unclear whether vision-induced gustatory change persists beyond a single bite, how the sensation changes over time, and how it varies among individuals from different cultural backgrounds. The present paper reports on a user study conducted to answer these questions using a generative adversarial network (GAN)-based real-time image-to-image translation system. In the user study, 16 participants were presented somen noodles or steamed rice through a video see-through head mounted display (HMD) both in two conditions; without or with visual modulation (somen noodles and steamed rice were translated into ramen noodles and curry and rice, respectively), and brought food to the mouth and tasted it five times with an interval of two minutes. The results of the experiments revealed that vision-induced gustatory manipulation is persistent in many participants. Their persistent gustatory changes are divided into three groups: those in which the intensity of the gustatory change gradually increased, those in which it gradually decreased, and those in which it did not fluctuate, each with about the same number of participants. Although the generalizability is limited due to the small population, it was also found that non-Japanese and male participants tended to perceive stronger gustatory manipulation compared to Japanese and female participants. We believe that our study deepens our understanding and insight into vision-induced gustatory manipulation and encourages further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Article
Controlling Teleportation-Based Locomotion in Virtual Reality with Hand Gestures: A Comparative Evaluation of Two-Handed and One-Handed Techniques
Electronics 2021, 10(6), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10060715 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 983
Abstract
Virtual Reality (VR) technology offers users the possibility to immerse and freely navigate through virtual worlds. An important component for achieving a high degree of immersion in VR is locomotion. Often discussed in the literature, a natural and effective way of controlling locomotion [...] Read more.
Virtual Reality (VR) technology offers users the possibility to immerse and freely navigate through virtual worlds. An important component for achieving a high degree of immersion in VR is locomotion. Often discussed in the literature, a natural and effective way of controlling locomotion is still a general problem which needs to be solved. Recently, VR headset manufacturers have been integrating more sensors, allowing hand or eye tracking without any additional required equipment. This enables a wide range of application scenarios with natural freehand interaction techniques where no additional hardware is required. This paper focuses on techniques to control teleportation-based locomotion with hand gestures, where users are able to move around in VR using their hands only. With the help of a comprehensive study involving 21 participants, four different techniques are evaluated. The effectiveness and efficiency as well as user preferences of the presented techniques are determined. Two two-handed and two one-handed techniques are evaluated, revealing that it is possible to move comfortable and effectively through virtual worlds with a single hand only. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Article
Effects of Augmented Reality Object and Texture Presentation on Walking Behavior
Electronics 2021, 10(6), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10060702 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 612
Abstract
Wearable devices that display visual augmented reality (AR) are now on the market, and we are becoming able to see AR displays on a daily basis. By being able to use AR displays in everyday environments, we can benefit from the ability to [...] Read more.
Wearable devices that display visual augmented reality (AR) are now on the market, and we are becoming able to see AR displays on a daily basis. By being able to use AR displays in everyday environments, we can benefit from the ability to display AR objects in places where it has been difficult to place signs, to change the content of the display according to the user or time of day, and to display video. However, there has not been sufficient research on AR displays’ effect on users in everyday environments. In this study, we investigate how users are affected by AR displays. In this paper, we report our research results on the AR displays’ effect on the user’s walking behavior. We conducted two types of experiments—one on the effects of displaying AR objects on the user’s walking path, and the other on the effects of changing the floor texture by AR on the user’s walking behavior. As a result of the experiments, we found that the AR objects/textures affected the user’s walking behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Article
The Design and Development of the Destiny-Class CyberCANOE Hybrid Reality Environment
Electronics 2021, 10(4), 513; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10040513 - 22 Feb 2021
Viewed by 646
Abstract
The Destiny-class CyberCANOE (Destiny) is a Hybrid Reality environment that provides 20/20 visual acuity in a 13-foot-wide, 320-degree cylindrical structure comprised of tiled passive stereo-capable organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays. Hybrid Reality systems combine surround-screen virtual reality environments with ultra-high-resolution digital project-rooms. [...] Read more.
The Destiny-class CyberCANOE (Destiny) is a Hybrid Reality environment that provides 20/20 visual acuity in a 13-foot-wide, 320-degree cylindrical structure comprised of tiled passive stereo-capable organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays. Hybrid Reality systems combine surround-screen virtual reality environments with ultra-high-resolution digital project-rooms. They are intended as collaborative environments that enable multiple users to work minimally encumbered for long periods of time in rooms surrounded by data in the form of visualizations that benefit from being displayed at resolutions matching visual acuity and/or in stereoscopic 3D. Destiny is unique in that it is the first Hybrid Reality system to use OLED displays and it uses a real-time GPU-based approach for minimizing stereoscopic crosstalk. This paper chronicles the non-trivial engineering research and attention-to-detail that is required to develop a production quality hybrid-reality environment by providing details about Destiny’s design and construction process. This detailed account of how a Hybrid Reality system is designed and constructed from the ground up will help VR researchers and developers understand the engineering complexity of developing such systems. This paper also discusses a GPU-based crosstalk mitigation technique and evaluation, and the use of Microsoft’s augmented reality headset, the HoloLens, as a design and training aid during construction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Article
Detection of Removed Objects in 3D Meshes Using Up-to-Date Images for Mixed-Reality Applications
Electronics 2021, 10(4), 377; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10040377 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Precise knowledge of the real environment is a prerequisite for the integration of the real and virtual worlds in mixed-reality applications. However, real-time updating of a real environment model is a costly and difficult process; therefore, hybrid approaches have been developed: An updated [...] Read more.
Precise knowledge of the real environment is a prerequisite for the integration of the real and virtual worlds in mixed-reality applications. However, real-time updating of a real environment model is a costly and difficult process; therefore, hybrid approaches have been developed: An updated world model can be inferred from an offline acquisition of the 3D world, which is then updated online using live image sequences under the condition of developing fast and robust change detection algorithms. Current algorithms are biased toward object insertion and often fail in object removal detection; in an environment where there is uniformity in the background—in color and intensity—the disappearances of foreground objects between the 3D scan of a scene and the capture of several new pictures of said scene are difficult to detect. The novelty of our approach is that we circumvent this issue by focusing on areas of least change in parts of the scene that should be occluded by the foreground. Through experimentation on realistic datasets, we show that this approach results in better detection and localization of removed objects. This technique can be paired with an insertion detection algorithm to provide a complete change detection framework. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Article
Automatic Interior Design in Augmented Reality Based on Hierarchical Tree of Procedural Rules
Electronics 2021, 10(3), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10030245 - 21 Jan 2021
Viewed by 975
Abstract
Augmented reality has a high potential in interior design due to its capability of visualizing numerous prospective designs directly in a target room. In this paper, we present our research on utilization of augmented reality for interactive and personalized furnishing. We propose a [...] Read more.
Augmented reality has a high potential in interior design due to its capability of visualizing numerous prospective designs directly in a target room. In this paper, we present our research on utilization of augmented reality for interactive and personalized furnishing. We propose a new algorithm for automated interior design which generates sensible and personalized furniture configurations. This algorithm is combined with mobile augmented reality system to provide a user with an interactive interior design try-out tool. Personalized design is achieved via a recommender system which uses user preferences and room data as input. We conducted three user studies to explore different aspects of our research. The first study investigated the user preference between augmented reality and on-screen visualization for interactive interior design. In the second user study, we studied the user preference between our algorithm for automated interior design and optimization-based algorithm. Finally, the third study evaluated the probability of sensible design generation by the compared algorithms. The main outcome of our research suggests that augmented reality is viable technology for interactive home furnishing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Article
How Augmented Reality Could Improve the Student’s Attraction to Learn Mechanisms
Electronics 2021, 10(2), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics10020175 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 999
Abstract
Mechanics, along with electronics, is a basic field for the development of high technologies. However, learning mechanics is not an easy task. To meet and adapt to the requirements of students in the digital age, teachers must provide them significant ways to incorporate [...] Read more.
Mechanics, along with electronics, is a basic field for the development of high technologies. However, learning mechanics is not an easy task. To meet and adapt to the requirements of students in the digital age, teachers must provide them significant ways to incorporate the latest technologies and applications for their studies. In this study, we explored the application of augmented reality (AR) to improve the learning of the science of Mechanisms. An AR application was implemented and developed for Android-based devices, followed by a qualitative experiment conducted with a sample of 116 students. The study was based on the technology acceptance model and the students’ attitudes towards learning in AR environments were assessed using the structural equation modeling. The results showed that the didactic potential of this application is promising, which is highlighted by the positive attitude about using the application, as well as by the high values obtained for intention to use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Article
Method to Grasp a Feeling of Being There by Turning a Head Forcibly while Watching a Tourism Video using a VR Headset
Electronics 2020, 9(9), 1470; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9091470 - 09 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1104
Abstract
In virtual reality (VR) tourism, when watching a video of a tourist location, the feeling of presence improves the experience. Furthermore, it is desirable to be able to give a feeling of having been there before to the users visiting the site afterward. [...] Read more.
In virtual reality (VR) tourism, when watching a video of a tourist location, the feeling of presence improves the experience. Furthermore, it is desirable to be able to give a feeling of having been there before to the users visiting the site afterward. In this study, we aimed to reveal the factors that provide these feelings. We hypothesized that one of the factors is the perception of self-motion. Therefore, we proposed a method wherein the users were induced to turn their heads to the left and right when watching the video of a tourist site via a VR head-mounted display. We conducted two experiments and found that the proposed method conveyed the greatest sense of presence. On the other hand, there was no significant difference in giving the feeling of having been there between the proposed method and watching the video of the site on a PC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Article
Wearable Augmented Reality Application for Shoulder Rehabilitation
Electronics 2019, 8(10), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8101178 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1874
Abstract
Augmented reality (AR) technology is gaining popularity and scholarly interest in the rehabilitation sector because of the possibility to generate controlled, user-specific environmental and perceptual stimuli which motivate the patient, while still preserving the possibility to interact with the real environment and other [...] Read more.
Augmented reality (AR) technology is gaining popularity and scholarly interest in the rehabilitation sector because of the possibility to generate controlled, user-specific environmental and perceptual stimuli which motivate the patient, while still preserving the possibility to interact with the real environment and other subjects, including the rehabilitation specialist. The paper presents the first wearable AR application for shoulder rehabilitation, based on Microsoft HoloLens, with real-time markerless tracking of the user’s hand. Potentialities and current limits of commercial head-mounted displays (HMDs) are described for the target medical field, and details of the proposed application are reported. A serious game was designed starting from the analysis of a traditional rehabilitation exercise, taking into account HoloLens specifications to maximize user comfort during the AR rehabilitation session. The AR application implemented consistently meets the recommended target frame rate for immersive applications with HoloLens device: 60 fps. Moreover, the ergonomics and the motivational value of the proposed application were positively evaluated by a group of five rehabilitation specialists and 20 healthy subjects. Even if a larger study, including real patients, is necessary for a clinical validation of the proposed application, the results obtained encourage further investigations and the integration of additional technical features for the proposed AR application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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Review

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Review
Applications of Virtual Reality in Engineering and Product Design: Why, What, How, When and Where
Electronics 2020, 9(7), 1064; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics9071064 - 29 Jun 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
The research on the use of virtual reality (VR) in the design domain has been conducted in a fragmentary way so far, and some misalignments have emerged among scholars. In particular, the actual support of VR in early design phases and the diffusion [...] Read more.
The research on the use of virtual reality (VR) in the design domain has been conducted in a fragmentary way so far, and some misalignments have emerged among scholars. In particular, the actual support of VR in early design phases and the diffusion of practices involving VR in creative design stages are argued. In the present paper, we reviewed VR applications in design and categorized each of the collected 86 sources into multiple classes. These range from supported design functions to employed VR technologies and the use of systems complementing VR. The identified design functions include not only design activities traditionally supported by VR, such as 3D modelling, virtual prototyping, and product evaluation, but also co-design and design education beyond the early design phases. The possibility to support early design phases by means of VR is mirrored by the attention on products that involve an emotional dimension beyond functional aspects, which are particularly focused on in virtual assemblies and prototypes. Relevant matches between VR technologies and specific design functions have been individuated, although a clear separation between VR devices and supported design tasks cannot be claimed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)
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