VR-SuperPowers Workshop with the HIVE-Lab of the University of Siegen
On June 28, 2022, the team of the interaktionsKRAFT project participated in a workshop about VR-SuperPowers in cooperation with the HIVE-Lab of the University of Siegen.
The HIVE-Lab, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is a research association with the aim of making innovative technologies usable for a healthy life. In cooperation with other research partners, it develops mixed reality applications, offers technical support and equipment and promotes an effective and sustainable transfer of know-how, by for example conducting workshops such as the one for the interactionsKRAFT team.
VR-SuperPowers – What is it About?
It is about a virtual reality in the following “VR” in which the physical, cognitive and perceptual abilities of the user are expanded beyond reality. For example, a surgeon can receive additional information about the surgery performed with the help of glasses and thus augment his cognitive abilities. In an “augmented world”, users can actively design the virtual environment themselves in order to adapt it to their own preferences and requirements. Or users can enhance their perception beyond reality, for example by obtaining a supernaturally large field of vision with the help of VR glasses.
The workshop was about opening up your mind in order to develop different, new or even odd concepts for a VR application for the interaktionsKRAFT project with the help of the SuperPowers approach. A VR application that creates positive and unique experiences and thus encourages users to dive into this virtual reality on a regular basis.
The concept development started straight away. In five-minute, quick brainstorm sessions, as many concepts and ideas as possible were to be developed – feasibility was irrelevant – so there were no limits to creativity. The only requirement: everything revolves around the scenario “exercise squat”.
Many ideas came together. How about, for example, if I, as the user, can turn back time after performing my squat, look at my execution from all sides in order to optimize the movement execution for the next repetition? Or if I am a jellyfish in an underwater world and use the squat to move evenly in the water? Or if I receive further information during the exercise that helps me to improve my movement execution, e.g. about knee angle, posture, pressure load in side comparison?
The enactment phase was more about the details. Roles and props were distributed and a selected concept was put into practice. It was about experiencing how the application can be used, what feeling the use evokes and how one would act in the application. What needs to be changed, adjusted or expanded to create a positive experience?
The last step was “Back to Reality”. For example, the question was how the concepts fit into the development of the application for the interaktionsKRAFT project, but also what obstacles there might be.
The participants agreed – it was a workshop full of creativity, detached from technological limitations that the development of a VR application entails and some ideas that can be taken in the further development of the application for the interaktionsKRAFT project.