Topic Editors

Department of Design Engineering, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, 400114 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Prof. Dr. Dorin-Mircea Popovici
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Ovidius University of Constanta, 900527 Constanța, Romania
Department of Design Engineering, Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, 400114 Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 70101, Taiwan

Simulations and Applications of Augmented and Virtual Reality

Abstract submission deadline
closed (20 October 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (20 December 2023)
Viewed by
51579

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies have been at the center of the digital transformation. These technologies have been widely adopted within various domains, such as education, medicine, engineering, architecture, entertainment, art, and culture. With their widespread implementation and availability, the expectation of AR and VR applications have increased, thus establishing opportunities for advanced studies. The Topic Editors encourage the submission of original and mature research studies backed by data and data analytics that discuss the advances of AR, VR, and associated technologies. This Topic is an opportunity for the scientific community to present recent research works associated with augmented and virtual reality.

Topics of interest include but are not limited to:

  • AR/VR applications;
  • Collaboration through/in AR/VR;
  • Artificial intelligence/machine learning using/for/in AR/VR;
  • Natural multimodal interaction using/for AR/VR;
  • Content creation and management using/for AR/VR;
  • Human-computer interactions in AR/VR;
  • Perception/presence in AR/VR;
  • Education, gamification and entertainment using AR/VR;
  • Immersive exergames for health, rehabilitation and wellbeing using AR/VR;
  • Production planning and digital manufacturing using AR/VR;
  • Cultural heritage and digital art using AR/VR;
  • Training using AR/VR;
  • Virtual tourism through AR/VR;
  • Security issues of AR/VR applications;
  • Using AR/VR in e-Commerce;
  • Ethics in AR/VR.

Dr. Radu Comes
Prof. Dr. Dorin-Mircea Popovici
Prof. Dr. Calin Gheorghe Dan Neamtu
Prof. Dr. Jing-Jing Fang
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • virtual reality

  • augmented reality

  • multi-modal interaction

  • immersive

  • human-computer interactions

  • user interfaces

  • collaborative distributed virtual environments

  • co-located training mixed environments'

  • educational virtual environments

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Applied Sciences
applsci
2.7 4.5 2011 16.9 Days CHF 2400
Computers
computers
2.8 4.7 2012 17.7 Days CHF 1800
Electronics
electronics
2.9 4.7 2012 15.6 Days CHF 2400
Sensors
sensors
3.9 6.8 2001 17 Days CHF 2600
Virtual Worlds
virtualworlds
- - 2022 15.0 days * CHF 1000

* Median value for all MDPI journals in the second half of 2023.


Preprints.org is a multidiscipline platform providing preprint service that is dedicated to sharing your research from the start and empowering your research journey.

MDPI Topics is cooperating with Preprints.org and has built a direct connection between MDPI journals and Preprints.org. Authors are encouraged to enjoy the benefits by posting a preprint at Preprints.org prior to publication:

  1. Immediately share your ideas ahead of publication and establish your research priority;
  2. Protect your idea from being stolen with this time-stamped preprint article;
  3. Enhance the exposure and impact of your research;
  4. Receive feedback from your peers in advance;
  5. Have it indexed in Web of Science (Preprint Citation Index), Google Scholar, Crossref, SHARE, PrePubMed, Scilit and Europe PMC.

Published Papers (25 papers)

Order results
Result details
Journals
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
17 pages, 1416 KiB  
Article
Use of Augmented Reality as a Tool to Support Cargo Handling Operations at the CARGO Air Terminal
Sensors 2024, 24(4), 1099; https://doi.org/10.3390/s24041099 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 407
Abstract
(1) Background: A current trend observed in the logistics sector is the use of Industry 4.0 tools to improve and enhance the efficiency of cargo handling processes. One of the popular solutions is an augmented reality system that supports operators in everyday tasks. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: A current trend observed in the logistics sector is the use of Industry 4.0 tools to improve and enhance the efficiency of cargo handling processes. One of the popular solutions is an augmented reality system that supports operators in everyday tasks. The article aims to present design assumptions for implementing an augmented reality system to support air cargo handling at the warehouse. (2) Methods: Research was carried out based on a five-stage analytical procedure, aiming to analyze the current state and identify the potential for implementing the AR system. The following methods were used to collect data: co-participant observations, process analysis, direct interviews, analysis of internal documentation, and applicable legal regulations. (3) Results: The conducted research allowed for identifying information flows accompanying cargo flows and developing a project to automate selected information flows. The obtained results made it possible to identify operations for which the AR system’s implementation will increase their effectiveness and efficiency. (4) Conclusions: The obtained results identified the need to develop a hybrid algorithm for arranging cargo in the warehouse and to build a system supporting self-verification of markings on air cargo. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 8390 KiB  
Article
A Concept of a Plug-In Simulator for Increasing the Effectiveness of Rescue Operators When Using Hydrostatically Driven Manipulators
Sensors 2024, 24(4), 1084; https://doi.org/10.3390/s24041084 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 310
Abstract
The introduction of Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) into the field of rescue operations is an ongoing process. New tools, such as UGV platforms and dedicated manipulators, provide new opportunities but also come with a steep learning curve. The best way to familiarize operators [...] Read more.
The introduction of Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) into the field of rescue operations is an ongoing process. New tools, such as UGV platforms and dedicated manipulators, provide new opportunities but also come with a steep learning curve. The best way to familiarize operators with new solutions are hands-on courses but their deployment is limited, mostly due to high costs and limited equipment numbers. An alternative way is to use simulators, which from the software side, resemble video games. With the recent expansion of the video game engine industry, currently developed software becomes easier to produce and maintain. This paper tries to answer the question of whether it is possible to develop a highly accurate simulator of a rescue and IED manipulator using a commercially available game engine solution. Firstly, the paper describes different types of simulators for robots currently available. Next, it provides an in-depth description of a plug-in simulator concept. Afterward, an example of a hydrostatic manipulator arm and its virtual representation is described alongside validation and evaluation methodologies. Additionally, the paper provides a set of metrics for an example rescue scenario. Finally, the paper describes research conducted in order to validate the representation accuracy of the developed simulator. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

15 pages, 2012 KiB  
Article
Examining and Comparing the Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Serious Games and LEGO Serious Play for Learning Scrum
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 830; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14020830 - 18 Jan 2024
Viewed by 463
Abstract
Significant research work has been undertaken related to the game-based learning approach over the last years. However, a closer look at this work reveals that further research is needed to examine some types of game-based learning approaches such as virtual reality serious games [...] Read more.
Significant research work has been undertaken related to the game-based learning approach over the last years. However, a closer look at this work reveals that further research is needed to examine some types of game-based learning approaches such as virtual reality serious games and LEGO Serious Play. This article examines and compares the effectiveness for learning Scrum and related agile practices of a serious game based on virtual reality and a learning activity based on the LEGO Serious Play methodology. The presented study used a quasi-experimental design with two groups, pre- and post-tests, and a perceptions questionnaire. The sample was composed of 59 software engineering students, 22 of which belonged to group A, while the other 37 were part of group B. The students in group A played the virtual reality serious game, whereas the students in group B conducted the LEGO Serious Play activity. The results show that both game-based learning approaches were effective for learning Scrum and related agile practices in terms of learning performance and motivation, but they also show that the students who played the virtual reality serious game outperformed their peers from the other group in terms of learning performance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 23934 KiB  
Article
Extended Reality Telemedicine Collaboration System Using Patient Avatar Based on 3D Body Pose Estimation
Sensors 2024, 24(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/s24010027 - 20 Dec 2023
Viewed by 547
Abstract
Recent advances in extended reality (XR) technology have opened the possibility of significantly improving telemedicine systems. This is primarily achieved by transferring 3D information about patient state, which is utilized to create more immersive experiences on VR/AR headsets. In this paper, we propose [...] Read more.
Recent advances in extended reality (XR) technology have opened the possibility of significantly improving telemedicine systems. This is primarily achieved by transferring 3D information about patient state, which is utilized to create more immersive experiences on VR/AR headsets. In this paper, we propose an XR-based telemedicine collaboration system in which the patient is represented as a 3D avatar in an XR space shared by local and remote clinicians. The proposed system consists of an AR client application running on Microsoft HoloLens 2 used by a local clinician, a VR client application running on the HTC vive Pro used by a remote clinician, and a backend part running on the server. The patient is captured by a camera on the AR side, and the 3D body pose estimation is performed on frames from this camera stream to form a 3D patient avatar. Additionally, the AR and VR sides can interact with the patient avatar via virtual hands, and annotations can be performed on a 3D model. The main contribution of our work is the use of 3D body pose estimation for the creation of a 3D patient avatar. In this way, 3D body reconstruction using depth cameras is avoided, which reduces system complexity and hardware and network resources. Another contribution is the novel architecture of the proposed system, where audio and video streaming are realized using WebRTC protocol. The performance evaluation showed that the proposed system ensures high frame rates for both AR and VR client applications, while the processing latency remains at an acceptable level. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 12600 KiB  
Article
Physics-Based Watercraft Simulator in Virtual Reality
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(4), 422-438; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2040024 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 656
Abstract
In this paper, watercraft and ship simulation is summarized, and the way that it can be extended through realistic physics is explored. A hydrodynamic, data-driven, immersive watercraft simulation experience is also introduced, using the Unreal Engine to visualize a Landing Craft Utility (LCU) [...] Read more.
In this paper, watercraft and ship simulation is summarized, and the way that it can be extended through realistic physics is explored. A hydrodynamic, data-driven, immersive watercraft simulation experience is also introduced, using the Unreal Engine to visualize a Landing Craft Utility (LCU) operation and interaction with near-shore waves in virtual reality (VR). The VR application provides navigation scientists with a better understanding of how coastal waves impact landing operations and channel design. FUNWAVE data generated on the supercomputing resources at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) are employed, and using these data, a graphical representation of the domain is created, including the vessel model and a customizable VR bridge to control the vessel within the virtual environment. Several dimension reduction methods are being devised to ensure that the FUNWAVE data can inform the model but keep the application running in real time at an acceptable frame rate for the VR headset. By importing millions of data points output from the FUNWAVE version 3.4 software into Unreal Engine, virtual vessels can be affected by physics-driven data. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 7085 KiB  
Article
Estrus Detection and Dairy Cow Identification with Cascade Deep Learning for Augmented Reality-Ready Livestock Farming
Sensors 2023, 23(24), 9795; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23249795 - 13 Dec 2023
Viewed by 842
Abstract
Accurate prediction of the estrus period is crucial for optimizing insemination efficiency and reducing costs in animal husbandry, a vital sector for global food production. Precise estrus period determination is essential to avoid economic losses, such as milk production reductions, delayed calf births, [...] Read more.
Accurate prediction of the estrus period is crucial for optimizing insemination efficiency and reducing costs in animal husbandry, a vital sector for global food production. Precise estrus period determination is essential to avoid economic losses, such as milk production reductions, delayed calf births, and disqualification from government support. The proposed method integrates estrus period detection with cow identification using augmented reality (AR). It initiates deep learning-based mounting detection, followed by identifying the mounting region of interest (ROI) using YOLOv5. The ROI is then cropped with padding, and cow ID detection is executed using YOLOv5 on the cropped ROI. The system subsequently records the identified cow IDs. The proposed system accurately detects mounting behavior with 99% accuracy, identifies the ROI where mounting occurs with 98% accuracy, and detects the mounting couple with 94% accuracy. The high success of all operations with the proposed system demonstrates its potential contribution to AR and artificial intelligence applications in livestock farming. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 4085 KiB  
Article
A Physical Fatigue Evaluation Method for Automotive Manual Assembly: An Experiment of Cerebral Oxygenation with ARE Platform
Sensors 2023, 23(23), 9410; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23239410 - 26 Nov 2023
Viewed by 654
Abstract
Due to the complexity of the automobile manufacturing process, some flexible and delicate assembly work relies on manual operations. However, high-frequency and high-load repetitive operations make assembly workers prone to physical fatigue. This study proposes a method for evaluating human physical fatigue for [...] Read more.
Due to the complexity of the automobile manufacturing process, some flexible and delicate assembly work relies on manual operations. However, high-frequency and high-load repetitive operations make assembly workers prone to physical fatigue. This study proposes a method for evaluating human physical fatigue for the manual assembly of automobiles with methods: NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health), OWAS (Ovako Working Posture Analysis System) and RULA (Rapid Upper Limb Assessment). The cerebral oxygenation signal is selected as an objective physiological index reflecting the human fatigue level to verify the proposed physical fatigue evaluation method. Taking auto seat assembly and automobile manual assembly as an example, 18 group experiments were carried out with the ARE platform (Augmented Reality-based Ergonomic Platform). Furthermore, predictions of metabolic energy expenditure were performed for experiments in Tecnomatix Jack. Finally, it is concluded that the proposed physical fatigue evaluation method can reflect the human physical fatigue level and is more accurate than the evaluation of metabolic energy consumption in Tecnomatix Jack because of the immersion that comes with the AR devices and the precision that comes with motion capture devices. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 2582 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Coordinate Calibration Models for Augmented Reality Applications in Indoor Industrial Environments
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(23), 12548; https://doi.org/10.3390/app132312548 - 21 Nov 2023
Viewed by 577
Abstract
The calibration of three-dimensional (3D) coordinates in augmented reality systems is a complex activity. It involves the recognition of environmental characteristics and technology that models the 3D space of the device, determining its position and orientation. Single markers suffer from numerical instability, particularly [...] Read more.
The calibration of three-dimensional (3D) coordinates in augmented reality systems is a complex activity. It involves the recognition of environmental characteristics and technology that models the 3D space of the device, determining its position and orientation. Single markers suffer from numerical instability, particularly when they are small within the camera image. In the industrial environment, it is common for augmented reality applications to cover large spaces, making it difficult to maintain attributes such as precision and accuracy. To address this issue, our study proposes a two-step calibration model that leverages multiple markers for accurate localization in a larger indoor environment. We developed the calibration model using Unity3D, Mixed Reality ToolKit, and Vuforia and evaluated it in terms of precision and accuracy in a proof of concept using the MS Hololens device. Our findings reveal that employing two markers significantly reduces angular discrepancies between points in the real and augmented environments. Moreover, our results underscore that registration accuracy improves as the number of calibration points increases. The results show improvements in determining the axes that define the 3D space, with a direct influence on the position of the points observed in the experiment. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 3565 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Self-Learning in Higher Education with Virtual and Augmented Reality Role Games: Students’ Perceptions
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(4), 343-358; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2040020 - 30 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1595
Abstract
This study investigates how virtual and augmented reality role games impact self-learning in higher education settings. A qualitative research–action approach that involved creating augmented reality micro-stories to encourage creativity and critical thinking was used. Through role-playing, students collaborated and gained a deeper understanding [...] Read more.
This study investigates how virtual and augmented reality role games impact self-learning in higher education settings. A qualitative research–action approach that involved creating augmented reality micro-stories to encourage creativity and critical thinking was used. Through role-playing, students collaborated and gained a deeper understanding of the course, improving their self-learning abilities. The findings indicate that incorporating virtual and augmented reality into higher education positively affects self-learning, promoting active student engagement and meaningful learning experiences. Additionally, students perceive these immersive educational methods as bridging the gap between virtual and in-person learning environments, ultimately leading to enhanced educational results. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 12658 KiB  
Article
Field Trips and Their Effect on Student Learning: A Comparison of Knowledge Assessment for Physical versus Virtual Field Trips in a Construction Management Course
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(3), 290-302; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2030017 - 18 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1469
Abstract
Teaching through field trips has been very effective in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) disciplines as it allows students to bridge the gap between theory and practice. However, it is not always feasible to take a large class on field trips due [...] Read more.
Teaching through field trips has been very effective in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) disciplines as it allows students to bridge the gap between theory and practice. However, it is not always feasible to take a large class on field trips due to time, safety, and cost limitations. To adequately prepare future professionals in the AEC industry, it is imperative that institutions adopt innovative methods of providing the field trip experience. One such approach is using virtual reality (VR) technology. Creating 3D VR construction environments and immersing students in that virtual world could provide an engaging and meaningful experience. Although researchers in AEC schools have developed and deployed many virtual field trips (VFTs) in education, little is known about their potential to provide the same knowledge base. For that reason, a VR app was created to teach students about the design and construction of steel structures, called the Steel Sculpture App (SSA). The SSA served as a VFT, and the location of the steel frame structure served as the actual field trip (AFT). The research was conducted in structure-related courses in the spring, summer, and fall of 2021 and the spring and fall of 2022 semesters. Each semester, students were split into groups, one being the control group and the other being the experimental group. The control groups learned through AFTs, whereas the experimental groups learned through VFTs. A knowledge test was administered at the end of each treatment to collect quantitative data on the students’ performance, understanding, and knowledge retention. The results indicated that the students learning from VFTs scored higher than those learning from AFTs. The paper discusses student assessment results and student feedback about replacing AFTs with VFTs in times of need. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 3789 KiB  
Article
Readers Theater in Desktop VR: A Pilot Study with Grade Nine Students
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(3), 267-289; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2030016 - 08 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1002
Abstract
Appropriate techniques for promoting reading fluency are difficult to implement in the classroom. There is little time to provide students with individualized feedback on reading aloud or to motivate them to do so. In this context, Virtual Reality (VR) can be beneficial for [...] Read more.
Appropriate techniques for promoting reading fluency are difficult to implement in the classroom. There is little time to provide students with individualized feedback on reading aloud or to motivate them to do so. In this context, Virtual Reality (VR) can be beneficial for learning because it allows for individualized feedback and for increasing learner engagement. Studies that analyze established methods of language learning in VR at school are thus far lacking. Therefore, this pilot study is one of the first to analyze student acceptance of reading fluency training in desktop VR at a secondary school. The interview guide was developed in accordance with the Technology Acceptance Model. The desktop VR environment is web-based and provides individual and collaborative opportunities for training reading fluency, giving, and receiving feedback, and deepening content understanding of reading texts. To analyze the acceptance of the desktop VR environment, five guided interviews were conducted. The results reveal that despite various technical challenges within the VR environment, students not only accepted but also appreciated the reading fluency training in VR. The integration of established concepts of reading fluency training in foreign language classrooms has great potential as an additional value in addressing the challenges of face-to-face instruction. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

12 pages, 1388 KiB  
Article
Adding a Web-Based Virtual Reality Classroom Experience to a Hybrid, Blended Course Modality
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(3), 231-242; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2030014 - 01 Aug 2023
Viewed by 937
Abstract
The blended classroom is a unique space for face-to-face (F2F) interaction and online learning. The blended classroom has three distinct interaction types: in-person synchronous, virtual synchronous, and virtual asynchronous; each of these modalities lends itself to different forms of extended reality. This case [...] Read more.
The blended classroom is a unique space for face-to-face (F2F) interaction and online learning. The blended classroom has three distinct interaction types: in-person synchronous, virtual synchronous, and virtual asynchronous; each of these modalities lends itself to different forms of extended reality. This case study looks at using a virtual reality (VR) classroom for an online synchronous weekly meetings for three upper-division or advanced (junior and senior level) higher education design classes at a university. The use of social web VR for a classroom can offer a collaborative, real-time environment that bridges the gap between virtual video conferences and gaming platforms. This paper examines how to use social web VR in a virtual classroom. Mixed methods were used to collect usability data at the end of the semester survey. The system usability scale (SUS) and several qualitative questions gathered student feedback. Overall, the students enjoyed using the VR classroom, but audio issues seemed to be the most significant pain point. While the overall response was positive, this study will address several areas for improvement from both the student and instructor perspectives. Social, web-based VR offers promising potential. Designing a human-centered virtual environment and considering all participants’ total user experience is critical to a successful learning tool. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 2407 KiB  
Article
Research on the Perceived Quality of Virtual Reality Headsets in Human–Computer Interaction
Sensors 2023, 23(15), 6824; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23156824 - 31 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1307
Abstract
The progress of commercial VR headsets largely depends on the progress of sensor technology, the iteration of which often means longer research and development cycles, and also higher costs. With the continuous maturity and increasing competition of VR headsets, designers need to create [...] Read more.
The progress of commercial VR headsets largely depends on the progress of sensor technology, the iteration of which often means longer research and development cycles, and also higher costs. With the continuous maturity and increasing competition of VR headsets, designers need to create a balance among user needs, technologies, and costs to achieve commercial competition advantages. To make accurate judgments, consumer feedback and opinions are particularly important. Due to the increasing maturity in the technology of commercial VR headsets in recent years, the cost has been continuously decreasing, and potential consumers have gradually increased. With the increase in consumer demand for virtual reality headsets, it is particularly important to establish a perceptual quality evaluation system. The relationship between consumer perception and product quality determined by evaluations of experience is improving. Using the research method implemented in this work, through semi-structured interviews and big data analysis of VR headset consumption, the perceptual quality elements of VR headsets are proposed, and the order of importance of perceptual quality attributes is determined by questionnaire surveys, quantitative analysis, and verification. In this study, the perceptual quality elements, including technical perceptual quality (TPQ) and value perceptual quality (VPQ), of 14 types of VR headsets were obtained, and the importance ranking of the VR headsets’ perceptual quality attributes was constructed. In theory, this study enriches the research on VR headsets. In practice, this study provides better guidance and suggestions for designing and producing VR headsets so that producers can better understand which sensor technology has met the needs of consumers, and which sensor technology still has room for improvement. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 1592 KiB  
Concept Paper
Enhancing Nursing Simulation Education: A Case for Extended Reality Innovation
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(3), 218-230; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2030013 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2271
Abstract
This concept paper explores the use of extended reality (XR) technology in nursing education, with a focus on three case studies developed at one regional university in Australia. Tertiary education institutions that deliver nursing curricula are facing challenges around the provision of simulated [...] Read more.
This concept paper explores the use of extended reality (XR) technology in nursing education, with a focus on three case studies developed at one regional university in Australia. Tertiary education institutions that deliver nursing curricula are facing challenges around the provision of simulated learning experiences that prepare students for the demands of real-world professional practice. To overcome these barriers, XR technology, which includes augmented, mixed, and virtual reality (AR, MR, VR), offers a diverse media platform for the creation of immersive, hands-on learning experiences, situated within virtual environments that can reflect some of the dynamic aspects of real-world healthcare environments. This document analysis explores the use of XR technology in nursing education, through the narrative and discussion of three applied-use cases. The collaboration and co-design between nursing educators and XR technology experts allows for the creation of synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences beyond traditional nursing simulation media, better preparing students for the demands of real-world professional practice. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 10128 KiB  
Article
Integration of Virtual Reality in the Control System of an Innovative Medical Robot for Single-Incision Laparoscopic Surgery
Sensors 2023, 23(12), 5400; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23125400 - 07 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1466
Abstract
In recent years, there has been an expansion in the development of simulators that use virtual reality (VR) as a learning tool. In surgery where robots are used, VR serves as a revolutionary technology to help medical doctors train in using these robotic [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been an expansion in the development of simulators that use virtual reality (VR) as a learning tool. In surgery where robots are used, VR serves as a revolutionary technology to help medical doctors train in using these robotic systems and accumulate knowledge without risk. This article presents a study in which VR is used to create a simulator designed for robotically assisted single-uniport surgery. The control of the surgical robotic system is achieved using voice commands for laparoscopic camera positioning and via a user interface developed using the Visual Studio program that connects a wristband equipped with sensors attached to the user’s hand for the manipulation of the active instruments. The software consists of the user interface and the VR application via the TCP/IP communication protocol. To study the evolution of the performance of this virtual system, 15 people were involved in the experimental evaluation of the VR simulator built for the robotic surgical system, having to complete a medically relevant task. The experimental data validated the initial solution, which will be further developed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2632 KiB  
Article
Piecewise: A Non-Isomorphic 3D Manipulation Technique That Factors Upper-Limb Ergonomics
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(2), 144-161; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2020009 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 949
Abstract
Virtual reality (VR) is gaining popularity as an educational, training, and healthcare tool due to its decreasing cost. Because of the high user variability in terms of ergonomics, 3D manipulation techniques (3DMTs) for 3D user interfaces (3DUIs) must be adjustable for comfort and [...] Read more.
Virtual reality (VR) is gaining popularity as an educational, training, and healthcare tool due to its decreasing cost. Because of the high user variability in terms of ergonomics, 3D manipulation techniques (3DMTs) for 3D user interfaces (3DUIs) must be adjustable for comfort and usability, hence avoiding interactions that only function for the typical user. Given the role of the upper limb (i.e., arm, forearm, and hands) in interacting with virtual objects, research has led to the development of 3DMTs for facilitating isomorphic (i.e., an equal translation of controller movement) and non-isomorphic (i.e., adjusted controller visuals in VR) interactions. Although advances in 3DMTs have been proven to facilitate VR interactions, user variability has not been addressed in terms of ergonomics. This work introduces Piecewise, an upper-limb-customized non-isomorphic 3DMT for 3DUIs that accounts for user variability by incorporating upper-limb ergonomics and comfort range of motion. Our research investigates the effects of upper-limb ergonomics on time completion, skipped objects, percentage of reach, upper-body lean, engagement, and presence levels in comparison to common 3DMTs, such as normal (physical reach), object translation, and reach-bounded non-linear input amplification (RBNLIA). A 20-person within-subjects study revealed that upper-limb ergonomics influence the execution and perception of tasks in virtual reality. The proposed Piecewise approach ranked second behind the RBNLIA method, although all 3DMTs were evaluated as usable, engaging, and favorable in general. The implications of our research are significant because upper-limb ergonomics can affect VR performance for a broader range of users as the technology becomes widely available and adopted for accessibility and inclusive design, providing opportunities to provide additional customizations that can affect the VR user experience. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 3393 KiB  
Article
Creating an Interactive Urban Traffic System for the Simulation of Different Traffic Scenarios
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 6020; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13106020 - 13 May 2023
Viewed by 1904
Abstract
The social and political efforts to fight climate change have contributed to a re-thinking of traffic systems, especially in urban areas under constant transformation. To simulate and visualize planning scenarios of urban traffic systems in a realistic way, the possibilities of virtual 3D [...] Read more.
The social and political efforts to fight climate change have contributed to a re-thinking of traffic systems, especially in urban areas under constant transformation. To simulate and visualize planning scenarios of urban traffic systems in a realistic way, the possibilities of virtual 3D environments have regularly been used. The modern potentials of (immersive) virtual reality, however, still require exploration, evaluation, and further development. Using the game engine Unity, an immersive virtual environment was developed to visualize and experience dynamic traffic conditions of a highly dense urban area. The case study is based on the characteristic model of a Central European city (not a representation of a real city), which brings together the specific considerations of urban traffic, such as mirroring the complex interplay of pedestrians as well as individual and public transport. This contribution has an applied methodological focus and considers possibilities as well as difficulties in the design of a reliably running (open-end) traffic system. The applied tool for the creation of a modular and customizable traffic system in Unity resulted in a traffic system that is capable of reacting to the individual behavior of the user (including the individualized motion of the avatar), without leading to accidents or uncorrectable traffic jams. Therefore, the tool used could be a valuable option for any developer of immersive virtual environments in Unity to equip these immersive virtual environments with a traffic system, without the use of additional third-party software. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

27 pages, 2541 KiB  
Systematic Review
Considering the Consequences of Cybersickness in Immersive Virtual Reality Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(8), 5159; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13085159 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1854
Abstract
VR rehabilitation is a rapidly evolving field, with increasing research and development aimed at improving its effectiveness, accessibility, and integration into mainstream healthcare systems. While there are some commercially available VR rehabilitation programs, their adoption and use in clinical practice are still limited. [...] Read more.
VR rehabilitation is a rapidly evolving field, with increasing research and development aimed at improving its effectiveness, accessibility, and integration into mainstream healthcare systems. While there are some commercially available VR rehabilitation programs, their adoption and use in clinical practice are still limited. One of the limitations is defined as cybersickness, which is dependent on human contact with virtual reality products. The purpose of this essay is to raise awareness of the associated elements that contribute to cybersickness in rehabilitation using immersive VR. The common factors that influence the amount of cybersickness are user characteristics and device software and hardware. The Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) was used as one of the formal models for determining the variables related to virtual reality sickness. The systematic review of the literature and the meta-analysis were chosen by whether the Simulator Sickness Questionnaire in the articles matched the research criteria. Based on PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review of the literature was conducted. Twenty-six publications from the recent past were totaled, comprising 862 individuals with ages ranging from 19 to 95, and 49% were female. The highest overall SSQ mean score for different kinds of symptoms was determined to be 21.058 for brain injuries, with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 15.357 to 26.760. Time, content, locomotion, control, and display types were other elements that contributed to cybersickness and had significant p-values in the SNK Q-test. The future direction of immersive VR rehabilitation involves the development of immersive and interactive environments that simulate real-world situations, providing patients with a safe and controlled environment in which to practice new skills and movements. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3767 KiB  
Communication
Current Perspective of Metaverse Application in Medical Education, Research and Patient Care
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(2), 115-128; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2020007 - 18 Apr 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 5029
Abstract
As virtual and augmented reality simulation technologies advance, the use of such technologies in medicine is widespread. The advanced virtual and augmented systems coupled with a complex interactive, immersive environment create a metaverse. The metaverse enables us to connect with others in a [...] Read more.
As virtual and augmented reality simulation technologies advance, the use of such technologies in medicine is widespread. The advanced virtual and augmented systems coupled with a complex interactive, immersive environment create a metaverse. The metaverse enables us to connect with others in a virtual world free of spatial restrictions and time constraints. In the educational aspect, it allows collaboration among peers and educators in an immersive 3D environment that can imitate the actual classroom setting with learning tools. Metaverse technology enables visualization of virtual 3D structures, facilitates collaboration and small group activities, improves mentor–mentee interactions, provides opportunities for self-directed learning experiences, and helps develop teamwork skills. The metaverse will be adapted rapidly in healthcare, boost digitalization, and grow in use in surgical procedures and medical education. The potential advantages of using the metaverse in diagnosing and treating patients are tremendous. This perspective paper provides the current state of technology in the medical field and proposes potential research directions to harness the benefits of the metaverse in medical education, research, and patient care. It aims to spark interest and discussion in the application of metaverse technology in healthcare and inspire further research in this area. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 3935 KiB  
Article
Cybersickness in Virtual Reality Questionnaire (CSQ-VR): A Validation and Comparison against SSQ and VRSQ
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(1), 16-35; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2010002 - 29 Jan 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6151
Abstract
Cybersickness is a drawback of virtual reality (VR), which also affects the cognitive and motor skills of users. The Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) and its variant, the Virtual Reality Sickness Questionnaire (VRSQ), are two tools that measure cybersickness. However, both tools suffer from [...] Read more.
Cybersickness is a drawback of virtual reality (VR), which also affects the cognitive and motor skills of users. The Simulator Sickness Questionnaire (SSQ) and its variant, the Virtual Reality Sickness Questionnaire (VRSQ), are two tools that measure cybersickness. However, both tools suffer from important limitations which raise concerns about their suitability. Two versions of the Cybersickness in VR Questionnaire (CSQ-VR), a paper-and-pencil and a 3D–VR version, were developed. The validation of the CSQ-VR and a comparison against the SSQ and the VRSQ were performed. Thirty-nine participants were exposed to three rides with linear and angular accelerations in VR. Assessments of cognitive and psychomotor skills were performed at baseline and after each ride. The validity of both versions of the CSQ-VR was confirmed. Notably, CSQ-VR demonstrated substantially better internal consistency than both SSQ and VRSQ. Additionally, CSQ-VR scores had significantly better psychometric properties in detecting a temporary decline in performance due to cybersickness. Pupil size was a significant predictor of cybersickness intensity. In conclusion, the CSQ-VR is a valid assessment of cybersickness with superior psychometric properties to SSQ and VRSQ. The CSQ-VR enables the assessment of cybersickness during VR exposure, and it benefits from examining pupil size, a biomarker of cybersickness. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1889 KiB  
Article
Characterization of Functional Connectivity in Chronic Stroke Subjects after Augmented Reality Training
Virtual Worlds 2023, 2(1), 1-15; https://doi.org/10.3390/virtualworlds2010001 - 16 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1498
Abstract
Augmented reality (AR) tools have been investigated with promising outcomes in rehabilitation. Recently, some studies have addressed the neuroplasticity effects induced by this type of therapy using functional connectivity obtained from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). This work aims to perform an [...] Read more.
Augmented reality (AR) tools have been investigated with promising outcomes in rehabilitation. Recently, some studies have addressed the neuroplasticity effects induced by this type of therapy using functional connectivity obtained from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). This work aims to perform an initial assessment of possible changes in brain functional connectivity associated with the use of NeuroR, an AR system for upper limb motor rehabilitation of poststroke participants. An experimental study with a case series is presented. Three chronic stroke participants with left hemiparesis were enrolled in the study. They received eight sessions with NeuroR to provide shoulder rehabilitation exercises. Measurements of range of motion (ROM) were obtained at the beginning and end of each session, and rs-fMRI data were acquired at baseline (pretest) and after the last training session (post-test). Functional connectivity analyses of the rs-fMRI data were performed using a seed placed at the noninjured motor cortex. ROM increased in two patients who presented spastic hemiparesis in the left upper limb, with a change in muscle tone, and stayed the same (at zero angles) in one of the patients, who had the highest degree of impairment, showing flaccid hemiplegia. All participants had higher mean connectivity values in the ipsilesional brain regions associated with motor function at post-test than at pretest. Our findings show the potential of the NeuroR system to promote neuroplasticity related to AR-based therapy for motor rehabilitation in stroke participants. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1600 KiB  
Article
Understanding VR-Based Construction Safety Training Effectiveness: The Role of Telepresence, Risk Perception, and Training Satisfaction
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(2), 1135; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13021135 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2515
Abstract
The use of virtual reality as a safety training technology is gaining attention in the construction industry. While current studies focus mainly on the development of VR-based safety training programs, studies focusing on improving its effectiveness is still lacking. Thus, this study aims [...] Read more.
The use of virtual reality as a safety training technology is gaining attention in the construction industry. While current studies focus mainly on the development of VR-based safety training programs, studies focusing on improving its effectiveness is still lacking. Thus, this study aims to understand the psychological process of training transfer and determine the factors that affect VR safety training effectiveness. The study analysed survey data from 248 construction workers who finished construction safety training using VR using PLS-SEM. The results show that the telepresence experienced through the VR and the risk perception of the trainees regarding occupational accidents significantly affect their satisfaction with VR safety training, which affected its effectiveness. Considering that the use of VR in the construction safety training context is still in its early stages, the results of our study, which comprehensively analyses both the technological and psychological aspects of VR safety training, could provide meaningful implications to VR training content developers. Furthermore, the theoretical approach of our study could be implemented in future studies focusing on the topic of training effectiveness. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 2061 KiB  
Article
The Readiness of Lasem Batik Small and Medium Enterprises to Join the Metaverse
Computers 2023, 12(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/computers12010005 - 26 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
Today’s business competitiveness necessitates the capacity of all company players, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to enter a broader market through information technology. However, the Lasem Batik SMEs have endured a great deal of turmoil during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marketing has been [...] Read more.
Today’s business competitiveness necessitates the capacity of all company players, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to enter a broader market through information technology. However, the Lasem Batik SMEs have endured a great deal of turmoil during the COVID-19 pandemic. Marketing has been conducted through physical and internet channels, but the results have not been maximized. The purpose of this research was to consider the possibilities of Lasem Batik SMEs adopting metaverse technology as a marketing medium to enhance sales. The investigation was conducted on 40 Lasem Batik SMEs who met the requirements of using online media to sell their products, having a medium-sized firm, and displaying marketing that has reached the provincial level. The findings of this study are as follows: (1) The majority of participants stated that the metaverse is a virtual 3D space. This understanding is deepened by discussions about virtual 3D spaces that combine VR and AR, which today is often referred to as the metaverse. (2) Batik business owners hope that by using the metaverse, they will be able to obtain many benefits, especially related to market expansion. (3) Lasem Batik SMEs show great interest in expanding their marketing channels to a wider area; Lasem Batik entrepreneurs also accept the challenge of studying the metaverse with new knowledge and techniques they have never considered. (4) Overall, 75% of participants were ready to use the metaverse, and 25% still required guidance. (5) Local communities, universities, and large corporations provide great support for the use of the metaverse. (6) The commercial success of Lasem Batik SMEs is defined by product quality; ongoing online and offline advertising; originality and innovation; and the capacity to capitalize on possibilities, retain local wisdom, and preserve strong customer connections. The main conclusion is that the readiness of batik entrepreneurs to use the metaverse is highly dependent on the support of various parties. A strong desire to progress and develop one’s business is the main factor determining one’s intention to use the metaverse. As a result of the research, a prototype of a metaverse platform for Lasem Batik exhibitions has been developed. SMEs can use the room template provided by the platform and join other SMEs to hold a metaverse exhibition to attract global customers. These results can be connected to create a metaverse exhibition to attract global customers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

54 pages, 14639 KiB  
Review
In-Depth Review of Augmented Reality: Tracking Technologies, Development Tools, AR Displays, Collaborative AR, and Security Concerns
Sensors 2023, 23(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23010146 - 23 Dec 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 10480
Abstract
Augmented reality (AR) has gained enormous popularity and acceptance in the past few years. AR is indeed a combination of different immersive experiences and solutions that serve as integrated components to assemble and accelerate the augmented reality phenomena as a workable and marvelous [...] Read more.
Augmented reality (AR) has gained enormous popularity and acceptance in the past few years. AR is indeed a combination of different immersive experiences and solutions that serve as integrated components to assemble and accelerate the augmented reality phenomena as a workable and marvelous adaptive solution for many realms. These solutions of AR include tracking as a means for keeping track of the point of reference to make virtual objects visible in a real scene. Similarly, display technologies combine the virtual and real world with the user’s eye. Authoring tools provide platforms to develop AR applications by providing access to low-level libraries. The libraries can thereafter interact with the hardware of tracking sensors, cameras, and other technologies. In addition to this, advances in distributed computing and collaborative augmented reality also need stable solutions. The various participants can collaborate in an AR setting. The authors of this research have explored many solutions in this regard and present a comprehensive review to aid in doing research and improving different business transformations. However, during the course of this study, we identified that there is a lack of security solutions in various areas of collaborative AR (CAR), specifically in the area of distributed trust management in CAR. This research study also proposed a trusted CAR architecture with a use-case of tourism that can be used as a model for researchers with an interest in making secure AR-based remote communication sessions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 3904 KiB  
Article
Prefetching Method for Low-Latency Web AR in the WMN Edge Server
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(1), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13010133 - 22 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1091
Abstract
Recently, low-latency services for large-capacity data have been studied given the development of edge servers and wireless mesh networks. The 3D data provided for augmented reality (AR) services have a larger capacity than general 2D data. In the conventional WebAR method, a variety [...] Read more.
Recently, low-latency services for large-capacity data have been studied given the development of edge servers and wireless mesh networks. The 3D data provided for augmented reality (AR) services have a larger capacity than general 2D data. In the conventional WebAR method, a variety of data such as HTML, JavaScript, and service data are downloaded when they are first connected. The method employed to fetch all AR data when the client connects for the first time causes initial latency. In this study, we proposed a prefetching method for low-latency AR services. Markov model-based prediction via the partial matching (PPM) algorithm was applied for the proposed method. Prefetched AR data were predicted during AR services. An experiment was conducted at the Nowon Career Center for Youth and Future in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 1 June 2022 to 31 August 2022, and a total of 350 access data points were collected over three months; the prefetching method reduced the average total latency of the client by 81.5% compared to the conventional method. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop