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Virtual Reality 13

Dates:2009
Volume:13
Publisher:Springer-Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 1359-4338 (print) EISSN 1434-9957 (online)
Papers:27
Links:link.springer.com | Twitter | Table of Contents
  1. VR 2009-03 Volume 13 Issue 1
  2. VR 2009-06 Volume 13 Issue 2
  3. VR 2009-09 Volume 13 Issue 3
  4. VR 2009-12 Volume 13 Issue 4

VR 2009-03 Volume 13 Issue 1

Serious games: virtual reality's second coming? BIBFull-Text 1-2
  Robert Stone
SubSafe: a games-based training system for submarine safety and spatial awareness (Part 1) BIBAKFull-Text 3-12
  Robert Stone; Antoinette Caird-Daley; Kevin Bessell
Recent advances in hardware and software technologies for computer games have proved to be more than capable of delivering quite detailed virtual environments on PC platforms and gaming consoles for so-called "serious" applications, at a fraction of the cost than was the case 8 years ago. SubSafe is a recent example of what can be achieved in part-task naval training applications using gaming technologies, exploiting freely available, freely distributable software. SubSafe is a proof-of-concept demonstrator that presents end users with an interactive, real-time three-dimensional model of part of a Trafalgar Class submarine. This "Part 1" paper presents the background to the SubSafe project and outlines the experimental design for a pilot study being conducted between August 2008 and January 2009, in conjunction with the Royal Navy's Submarine School in Devonport. The study is investigating knowledge transfer from the classroom to a real submarine environment (during week 7 of the students' "Submarine Qualification Dry" course), together with general usability and interactivity assessments. Part 2 of the paper (to be completed in early 2009) will present the results of these trials and consider future extensions of the research into other submarine training domains, including periscope ranging and look-interval assessment skills, survival systems deployment training and the planning and rehearsal of submersible rescue operations.
Keywords: Serious games; Games-based training; Submarine safety; Virtual environments; Defence simulation
The Virtual Scylla: an exploration of "serious games", artificial life and simulation complexity BIBAKFull-Text 13-25
  Robert Stone; David White; Robert Guest; Benjamin Francis
This paper addresses the integration of artificial life simulations with interactive games-based technologies and describes how the results are being exploited not only for scientific visualisation and education, but also for fundamental research into simulation complexity, focusing on the behavioural representation of species in fragile or long-vanished landscapes and ecosystems. Earlier research is described that supported the development of a virtual recreation of a submerged Mesolithic river valley, discovered during petrochemical surveys of the Southern Basin of the North Sea. Using pollen sample records and vegetation predictions from previous studies, a new alife "engine" was developed that simulated the interaction between "artificialised" vegetation and environmental factors, thus helping researchers to postulate pre-glacial melting migratory and settlement patterns of ancient civilisations from continental Europe to the British Isles. More recently, and to take advantage of the existence of a more accessible and living ecosystem, work has been conducted in collaboration with the UK's National Marine Aquarium, this time focusing on the Scylla Artificial Reef -- a Royal Navy frigate scuttled off the coast of Cornwall in South West England. The resulting "serious games"-based test beds are now providing the foundation for scientific investigations into how models and simulations of marine ecologies behave under different measures of complexity. The exploitation of the artificial life and underwater rendering efforts in others areas, including education and naval training, are also described.
Keywords: Serious games; Virtual heritage; Artificial life; Marine biology; Climate change; Simulation complexity
Effects of perspective elevation and environmental geometry on representation of a virtual room space BIBAKFull-Text 27-35
  Zhiqiang Luo; Henry Been-Lirn Duh
The present study investigated how perspective elevation and room geometry influenced mental representation of spatial layout in virtual rooms. One virtual rectangular and one virtual cylindrical room were constructed. Subjects observed the spatial layout on the floor from five perspectives along the vertical dimension of each virtual room. Then they judged the direction of objects with respect to egocentric and canonical coordinates. The analysis of spatial judgment indicated that judgment accuracy of vertical direction decreased as the perspective elevated, while global situation awareness was best maintained at the 45° elevation angle. The effect of perspective elevation on judgment of horizontal direction was only found in the rectangular room. Moreover, subjects judged the relative direction between objects more quickly in the cylindrical room than in the rectangular room. Applications of these findings to virtual environment design were discussed.
Keywords: Spatial representation; Virtual environment; Perspective elevation
On money, taxes, and property in virtual reality BIBFull-Text 37-39
  Woodrow Barfield
User experimentation: an evaluation of velocity control techniques in immersive virtual environments BIBAKFull-Text 41-50
  Dong Hyun Jeong; Chang G. Song; Remco Chang; Larry Hodges
While many of the existing velocity control techniques are well designed, the techniques are often application-specific, making it difficult to compare their effectiveness. In this paper, we evaluate five known velocity control techniques using the same experimental settings. We compare the techniques based on the assumption that a good travel technique should be easy to learn and easy to use, should cause the user to have few collisions with the VE, should allow the user to complete tasks faster, and should promote better recollection of the environment afterwards. In our experiments, we ask twenty users to use each velocity control technique to navigate through virtual corridors while performing information-gathering tasks. In all cases, the users use pointing to indicate the direction of travel. We then measure the users' ability to recollect the information they see in the VE, as well as how much time they spend in the VE and how often they collide with the virtual walls. After each test, we use questionnaires to evaluate the ease of learning and ease of use of the velocity control technique, and the users' sense of presence in the environment. Each of the travel techniques is then evaluated based on the users' performances in the VE and the results of their questionnaires.
Keywords: Virtual reality; 3D interaction; Velocity control techniques
GLSV: Graphics library stereo vision for OpenGL BIBAKFull-Text 51-57
  S. Martín; J. Suárez; R. Orea; R. Rubio; R. Gallego
This work proposes the development of an auxiliary library for use with OpenGL, to facilitate the creation of graphic applications incorporating stereoscopic representation. This library, christened graphics library stereo vision (GLSV), is designed to remove all calculations involving knowledge of stereo vision theory from the task performed by the programmer without the latter having to change the way he/she has been working with the OpenGL library. The GLSV is distributed under the terms of the GNU Library General Public License agreement.
Keywords: Software libraries; Display algorithms; Stereoscopic; Virtual reality
Beyond the visuals: tactile augmentation and sensory enhancement in an arthroscopy simulator BIBAKFull-Text 59-68
  Louise Moody; Alan Waterworth; John G. Arthur; Avril D. McCarthy
This paper considers tactile augmentation, the addition of a physical object within a virtual environment (VE) to provide haptic feedback. The resulting mixed reality environment is limited in terms of the ease with which changes can be made to the haptic properties of objects within it. Therefore sensory enhancements or illusions that make use of visual cues to alter the perceived hardness of a physical object allowing variation in haptic properties are considered. Experimental work demonstrates that a single physical surface can be made to 'feel' both softer and harder than it is in reality by the accompanying visual information presented. The strong impact visual cues have on the overall perception of object hardness, indicates haptic accuracy may not be essential for a realistic virtual experience. The experimental results are related specifically to the development of a VE for surgical training; however, the conclusions drawn are broadly applicable to the simulation of touch and the understanding of haptic perception within VEs.
Keywords: Tactile augmentation; Sensory enhancement; Sensory illusion; Surgical simulator; Mixed reality

VR 2009-06 Volume 13 Issue 2

Haptics-based virtual reality periodontal training simulator BIBAKFull-Text 69-85
  Cristian Luciano; Pat Banerjee; Thomas DeFanti
This paper focuses upon the research and development of a prototype dental simulator for training of periodontal procedures. By the use of virtual reality and haptics technology, the periodontal simulator allows trainees to learn performing diagnosis and treatment of periodontal diseases by visualizing a three-dimensional virtual human mouth and feeling real tactile sensations while touching the surface of teeth, gingiva, and calculi with virtual dental instruments. Since periodontics requires dentists to depend primarily on tactile sensations to perform diagnostic and surgical procedures, the use of haptics is unquestionably crucial for a realistic periodontal simulator. The haptics-based virtual reality periodontal training simulator has been validated by a experiment conducted by the College of Dentistry at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) with faculty members and dental students, which demonstrates the scientific contribution and usefulness of the simulator as a vital part of the curriculum of the Department of Periodontics at UIC.
Keywords: Virtual reality; Simulation; Training; Haptics; Dentistry; Periodontics
Using immersive game-based virtual reality to teach fire-safety skills to children BIBAKFull-Text 87-99
  Shana Smith; Emily Ericson
Virtual reality (VR) has been used both to simulate situations that are too dangerous to practice in real life and as a tool to help children learn. This study was conducted as part of a larger more comprehensive long-term research project which aims to combine the two techniques and demonstrate a novel application of the result, using immersive VR to help children learn about fire hazards and practice escape techniques. In the current study, a CAVE was used to immerse participants in a fire scene. To improve the children's motivation for learning over prior VR fire-safety training methods, game-like interface interaction techniques were used and students were encouraged to explore the virtual world. Rather than being passive viewers, as in prior related studies, the children were given full control to navigate through the virtual environment and to interact with virtual objects using a game pad and a 6DOF wand. Students identified home fire hazards with a partner and then practiced escaping from a simulated fire in the virtual environment. To test for improved motivation, a user study was completed. Results indicate that students were more engaged by the new game-like learning environment and that they reported that they found the experience fun and intriguing. Their enhanced enthusiasm for what is relatively standard fire-safety information demonstrates the promise of using game-based virtual environments for vital but otherwise tedious fire-safety skills training for children.
Keywords: Virtual reality (VR); Immersive; CAVE; Game based; Fire safety; Children
Multiscale traveling: crossing the boundary between space and scale BIBAKFull-Text 101-115
  Xiaolong (Luke) Zhang
Adding multiscale interaction capabilities to 3D virtual environments may permit work with huge virtual worlds that might otherwise be too large to manage. Multiscale technology has shown potential to support user interactions. This paper reports an experimental study of two multiscale traveling techniques. Our results show that while allowing a flexible control on travel speed and accuracy is beneficial, directly traversing the space-scale could be a challenge for users, probably due to difficulties in perceiving scalable virtual space and executing scaling operations. The results suggest that more research is needed to improve the understanding of the coupling of space and scale in multiscale user interface and to harness the full potentials of multiscale traveling techniques.
Keywords: Navigation; Multiscale; Virtual environments
On study of design and implementation of virtual fixtures BIBAKFull-Text 117-129
  Rodolfo Prada; Shahram Payandeh
Virtual fixtures (VFs) can be defined as guiding constraints designed to enhance or assist human performance in a computer-controlled system by providing cues of haptic or audiovisual nature. In this paper we present a new characterization of VFs based on mechanics, and provide a set practical guidelines for the designers of such fixtures from a software architecture point of view. We propose an event-driven approach that facilitates the integration of these guiding constraints in a scene graphed-based environment. In this context some novel implementation of VFs are presented, where users may interact with a single or an assembled set of fixtures. We present two types of force attributes for VF and present their implications in a trajectory-following problem.
Keywords: Multimodal cues; Haptic interaction; Automatic constraints; Human-computer interaction; Scene graph environments; User performance
Optimisation-based proximity queries and penetration depth computation BIBAKFull-Text 131-136
  Charbel Fares; Yskandar Hamam
The virtual reality (VR) was found to be a perfect technique that could be used as a training approach, since it shows many advantages despite its weakness. In the VR some major bottlenecks arises namely the proximity queries (PQ) and penetration depth computation. This paper shows a novel algorithm used to solve those problems. Problems of PQ are ubiquitous within many tasks in computer graphics, virtual environments, robotics, manufacturing, and mechanical design. Interactions in any virtual scene usually involve contact or close proximity between its objects. Determining which pairs of objects are in contact or at close proximity is a complex task in most of the virtual environments. The PQ is the shortest vector over which one object needs to be translated in order to bring the pair in contact.
Keywords: Virtual reality (VR); Proximity queries (PQ); Penetration depth (PD); Linear programming

VR 2009-09 Volume 13 Issue 3

Mediated Presence: Virtual Reality, Mixed Environments and Social Networks

Mediated presence: virtual reality, mixed environments and social networks BIBFull-Text 137-139
  Anna Spagnolli; Matthew Lombard; Luciano Gamberini
Afforded actions as a behavioral assessment of physical presence in virtual environments BIBAKFull-Text 141-151
  Jean-Claude Lepecq; Lionel Bringoux; Jean-Marie Pergandi; Thelma Coyle
A particular affordance was used as a potential candidate for behavioral assessment of physical presence in virtual environments. The subjects' task was to walk through a virtual aperture of variable widths. In the case of presence, the subjects' body orientation, while walking, was hypothesized to be adapted to the width of the aperture and to their own shoulder width. Results show that most subjects adapted their behavior to both their body architecture and the virtual width constraints. These subjects exhibited a behavioral transition from frontal walking to body rotation while walking through broad to narrow apertures. The same behavioral transition has already been documented in real environments (Warren and Whang in J Exp Psychol Human Percept Perform 13(3):371-383, 1987). This behavioral adjustment is thus assumed to be an objective indication of presence. Beyond these results, the present study suggests that every afforded action could be a potential tool for sensorimotor assessment of physical presence.
Keywords: Presence; Behavior; Affordance; Virtual reality
Social cooperation and competition in the mixed reality space eXperience Induction Machine XIM BIBAKFull-Text 153-158
  Martin Inderbitzin; Sytse Wierenga; Aleksander Väljamäe
Although the architecture of mixed reality spaces is becoming increasingly more complex, our understanding of human behavior in such spaces is still limited. Despite the sophisticated methods deployed in ethology and behavioral biology to track and analyze the actions and movements of animals, we rarely find studies that focus on the understanding of human behavior using such instruments. Here, we address this issue by analyzing social behavior and physical actions of multiple humans who are engaging in a game. As a paradigm of social interaction, we constructed a mixed reality football game in which two teams of two players have to cooperate and compete in order to win. This paradigm was deployed in the, so-called, eXperience Induction Machine (XIM), a human accessible, fully instrumented space that supports full body interaction in mixed reality without the need for body-mounted sensors. Our results show that winning and losing strategies can be discerned by specific behavioral patterns and proxemics. This demonstrates that mixed reality systems such as XIM provide new paradigms for the investigation of human social behavior.
Keywords: Human behavior; Social behavior; Cooperation; Competition; Proxemics; Mixed reality; XIM; Game play
Is presence a technology issue? Some insights from cognitive sciences BIBAKFull-Text 159-169
  Giuseppe Riva
The International Society of Presence Research, defines "presence" (a shortened version of the term "telepresence") as a "psychological state in which even though part or all of an individual's current experience is generated by and/or filtered through human-made technology, part or all of the individual's perception fails to accurately acknowledge the role of the technology in the experience" (ISPR 2000, The concept of presence: explication statement. http://ispr.info/ Accessed 15 Jan 2009). In this article, we will draw on the recent outcomes of cognitive sciences to offer a broader definition of presence, not related to technology only. Specifically, presence is described here as a core neuropsychological phenomenon whose goal is to produce a sense of agency and control: subjects are "present" if they are able to enact in an external world their intentions. This framework suggests that any environment, virtual or real, does not provide undifferentiated information, ready-made objects equal for everyone. It offers different opportunities and produces presence according to its ability in supporting the users and their intentions. The possible consequences of this approach for the development of presence-inducing virtual environments are also discussed.
Keywords: Presence; Cognitive sciences; Cognition; Action; Activity; Intentions; Space
Triangulation in practice BIBAKFull-Text 171-181
  Phil Turner; Susan Turner
Triangulation is the means by which an alternate perspective is used to validate, challenge or extend existing findings. It is frequently used when the field of study is difficult, demanding or contentious and presence research meets all of these criteria. We distinguish between the use of hard and soft triangulation -- the former emphasising the challenging of findings, the latter being more confirmatory in character. Having reviewed a substantial number of presence papers, we conclude that strong triangulation is not widely used while soft triangulation is routinely employed. We demonstrate the usefulness of hard triangulation by contrasting an ontological analysis of in-ness with an empirical study of (computer) game playing. We conclude that presence research would be well served by the wider use of hard triangulation and for the reporting of anomalous and ill-fitting results.
Keywords: Triangulation; Involvement; Heidegger; Game playing
Presence in the age of social networks: augmenting mediated environments with feedback on group activity BIBAKFull-Text 183-194
  Francesco Martino; Roberto Baù; Anna Spagnolli; Luciano Gamberini
The present study aimed at increasing behavioral engagement in groups of networked people by providing feedback on the group activity. Each participant logged into an on-line virtual environment for four subsequent treasure-hunting sessions along with other nine players. During the game, all players communicated dyadically through textual chats, and searched for the treasures in the virtual environment. In two conditions, the participants received a visual feedback depicting the communication activity with the group based on social network analysis indices (i.e. 'centrality' or 'reciprocity'). Feedback was not provided in the third condition. The underlying assumption was that if the group activity becomes more visible to the individual user through the feedback, then the behavioral engagement with the group increases. The resulting behavioral engagement was measured with two techniques, one based on the amount of messages exchanged and one based on self-reported measures. The results show that feedback improved the exchange of messages with respect to the control condition and that this effect was only partially captured by self-reported measures.
Keywords: Social network analysis; Feedback; Social presence; Behavioral engagement; Multiplayer game; Augmented communication
Co-presence, collaboration, and control in environmental studies BIBAKFull-Text 195-204
  Songpol Attasiriluk; Arturo Nakasone; Wisut Hantanong; Rui Prada
In this paper, we describe a framework for synchronous collaborative visualization and remote control in the agricultural domain. The framework builds on "Second Life" (SL), a popular networked online 3D virtual world, where users are represented as avatars (graphical self-representations). Co-presence in SL takes the form of instant (real-time) two-way interaction among two or more avatars. The aim of our work is to facilitate co-presence for sharing knowledge and exchanging wisdom about environmental practices. In order to establish a realistic simulated context for communication in SL, virtual counterparts of real devices are created in the virtual world. Specifically, we aim to represent field servers that sense and monitor fields such as rice paddies and vineyards. The Twin-World Mediator (TWM) is developed in order to replicate the behavior of real devices in virtual counterparts, and to facilitate seamless communication between real and virtual world. The TWM is an easy-to-use, extensible, and flexible communication framework. A small study demonstrated how the TWM can support collaboration and experience sharing in the agricultural domain.
Keywords: Presence in shared virtual environments and online communities; Avatars; Presence applications (communications and collaboration; teleoperation)
Attachment and sense of presence in a virtual environment BIBAKFull-Text 205-217
  Helene S. Wallach; Marilyn P. Safir; Idan Almog
This study is the first to investigate the connection between attachment categories and presence in Virtual Reality (VR) environments. Participants (99) completed an attachment questionnaire, experienced Virtual Reality Exposure (VRE) in a virtual airplane, and completed a presence questionnaire. Twenty-seven participants neglected to look at the virtual window, and reported lower levels of presence. A significant negative correlation between presence and avoidance was found. The correlation between presence and anxiety was not significant. Ethnicity (Jewish/non-Jewish) was found to be an intervening variable. A significant difference between levels of presence of attachment categories was found for participants who viewed the window: those in the Safe category reported the highest levels of presence, followed by the Anxious-Ambivalent group, the Dismissive-Avoidant group, and finally the Fearful-Avoidant group. Our results suggest there is a connection between one's avoidance level and his/her attachment type and ability to experience the VRE as real and vivid.
Keywords: Presence; Attachment; Avoidance; Anxiety; Virtual reality; Culture

VR 2009-12 Volume 13 Issue 4

Themed Issue on Virtual Reality in Scientific Application

Guest editors' foreword to the special issue on Virtual Reality in Scientific Application BIBFull-Text 219-220
  Osvaldo Gervasi; Roberto Ranon
Visual immersive haptic mathematics BIBAKFull-Text 221-234
  Alexei Sourin; Lei Wei
In the modern urban society, human brain is not being sufficiently trained to deal with problems which require 3D perception. As a result, when teaching subjects richly infused with mathematics it is usually a challenge for the learners to follow the instructor and visualize how mathematical concepts reflect in 3D geometry and colors. We have proposed an approach that would allow for defining complex geometry, visual appearance and tangible physical properties of the virtual objects using language of mathematical functions. It allows the learners to get immersed within the 3D scene and explore the shapes which are being modeled visually and haptically. We illustrate this concept using our function-based extension of X3D and VRML. Besides definition of objects with mathematical functions straight in the scene file, standard X3D and VRML objects can be converted to tangible ones as well as augmented with function-defined visual appearances. Since the function-defined models are small in size, it is possible to perform their collaborative interactive modifications with concurrent synchronous visualization at each client computer with any required level of detail.
Keywords: Shape and surface modeling; Virtual reality; Physically based modeling; Shape modeling; Haptic collaboration; Shared virtual spaces; Electronic education
Tangible props for scientific visualization: concept, requirements, application BIBAKFull-Text 235-244
  Krzysztof Jakub Kruszynski; Robert van Liere
In this paper, we explore the use of printed tangible props as input devices for scientific visualization. Three-dimensional printing technology is used to create a physical representation of data. The object is then used as a tangible input prop, which exactly matches the data. In addition, two-handed interaction with a stylus is performed on the prop without the use of buttons, instead relying on the detection of contact between the stylus and the prop through precise calibration and tracking. This allows the sense of touch to be harnessed to create a more efficient and natural interaction method for scientific visualizations in virtual and augmented reality. We explain the concept of tangible props and where it can be applied. We also consider the technical requirements of systems using such props. Finally, we present our example application, which uses printed tangible props for interactive measurement of marine coral data. The use of tangible props is found to improve the usability of the application.
Keywords: Tangible user interfaces; Haptics; Augmented reality; Rapid prototyping
Immersive structural biology: a new approach to hybrid modeling of macromolecular assemblies BIBAKFull-Text 245-255
  Jochen Heyd; Stefan Birmanns
Advanced biophysical imaging techniques, such as cryo-electron microscopy or tomography, enable 3D volumetric reconstructions of large macromolecular complexes in a near-native environment. However, pure volumetric data is insufficient for a detailed understanding of the underlying protein-protein interactions. This obstacle can be overcome by assembling an atomic model of the whole protein complex from known atomic structures, which are available from either X-ray crystallography or homology modeling. Due to many factors such as noise, conformational variability, experimental artifacts, and inexact model structures, existing automatic docking procedures are known to report false positives for a significant number of cases. The present paper focuses on a new technique to combine an offline exhaustive search algorithm with interactive visualization, collision detection, and haptic rendering. The resulting software system is highly immersive and allows the user to efficiently solve even difficult multi-resolution docking problems. Stereoscopic viewing, combined with head tracking and force feedback, generates an ideal virtual environment for true interaction with and solution of hybrid biomolecular modeling problems.
Keywords: Structural biology; Docking; Multi-resolution modeling; Electron microscopy; Haptic rendering; Virtual reality
Multisensory VR exploration for computer fluid dynamics in the CoRSAIRe project BIBAKFull-Text 257-271
  J. M. Vézien; B. Ménélas; J. Nelson; L. Picinali; P. Bourdot; M. Ammi
In the last 30 years, the evolution of digital data processing in terms of processing power, storage capacity, and algorithmic efficiency in the simulation of physical phenomena has allowed the emergence of the discipline known as computational fluid dynamics or CFD. More recently, virtual reality (VR) systems have proven an interesting alternative to conventional user interfaces, in particular, when exploring complex and massive datasets, such as those encountered in scientific visualization applications. Unfortunately, all too often, VR technologies have proven unsatisfactory in providing a true added value compared to standard interfaces, mostly because insufficient attention was given to the activity and needs of the intended user audience. The present work focuses on the design of a multimodal VR environment dedicated to the analysis of non-stationary flows in CFD. Specifically, we report on the identification of relevant strategies of CFD exploration coupled to adapted VR data representation and interaction techniques. Three different contributions will be highlighted. First, we show how placing the CFD expert user at the heart of the system is accomplished through a formalized analysis of work activity and through system evaluation. Second, auditory outputs providing analysis of time-varying phenomena in a spatialized virtual environment are introduced and evaluated. Finally, specific haptic feedbacks are designed and evaluated to enhance classical visual data exploration of CFD simulations.
Keywords: Virtual reality; Computer fluid dynamics; Sonification; Haptics; Multimodal virtual environment
Multisensory VR interaction for protein-docking in the CoRSAIRe project BIBAKFull-Text 273-293
  N. Férey; J. Nelson; C. Martin; L. Picinali; G. Bouyer; A. Tek
Proteins take on their function in the cell by interacting with other proteins or biomolecular complexes. To study this process, computational methods, collectively named protein docking, are used to predict the position and orientation of a protein ligand when it is bound to a protein receptor or enzyme, taking into account chemical or physical criteria. This process is intensively studied to discover new biological functions for proteins and to better understand how these macromolecules take on these functions at the molecular scale. Pharmaceutical research also employs docking techniques for a variety of purposes, most notably in the virtual screening of large databases of available chemicals to select likely molecular candidates for drug design. The basic hypothesis of our work is that Virtual Reality (VR) and multimodal interaction can increase efficiency in reaching and analysing docking solutions, in addition to fully a computational docking approach. To this end, we conducted an ergonomic analysis of the protein-protein current docking task as it is carried out today. Using these results, we designed an immersive and multimodal application where VR devices, such as the three-dimensional mouse and haptic devices, are used to interactively manipulate two proteins to explore possible docking solutions. During this exploration, visual, audio, and haptic feedbacks are combined to render and evaluate chemical or physical properties of the current docking configuration.
Keywords: Protein docking; User-centered design; Virtual reality; Multimodal rendering