Human-Machine Interaction and Virtual Reality
Permanents – 2,75 ETPR : Dominique Bechmann, Antonio Capobianco, Jérôme Grosjean, Arash Habibi, Flavien Lecuyer
Engineers : Thierry Blandet, Thomas Duhamel (GAIA platform), Miguel Gervilla, Romaric Mathis
PhD students : Benjamin Freeling (2022-2025), Kevin Béranger (2022-2025), Martin Heitz (2022-2025), Thomas Lehoux (2021-2024)
For the next years, one of the objectives in IGG team for the HMI-VR theme is to reinforce existing collaborations to keep studying the perceptual aspects linked to HMI and VR. During the last few years, our team launched some projects more oriented on the users' perception of HMI and VR applications. Those projects are a good opportunity for the team to link the previously existing research works done locally and separately on both HMI and VR themes. They also allowed for diverse partnerships, with works done in collaboration with the Laboratoire de Psychologie des Cognitions (LPC) in Strasbourg, the Centre d’Animation Sociale et Familiale (CASF) in Bischwiller, and the Institute of Psychology de la Universität Mainz.
On top of those projects, the team starts working on the human aspects for collaboration in VR, for instance through the EquipEx+ CONTINUUM. This includes works on the link between an avatar in VR, and the user's feeling. With these works, the team aims at developing a task force to work on avatars for the next years.
The PiCOC project, started in 2022 as a follow-up of the RVCOC project, focuses on the use of VR to induce craving, to provide environments for exposure therapies. In particular, we study the possibility to use virtual environments as a means to induce cocaine craving to help patients with addiction problems.
This project includes a collaboration with, Luisa Weiner from LPC. It gave birth to a first publication in 2022 [4-GLLA22] demonstrating that virtual environments can be used to induce cocaine craving. It also implies the CHU de Martinique and CH de St Esprit, with the goal of bringing this exposure therapy to patients in Martinique.
The USUEL project works on the causes of social fracture linked to computer usage, and is done with the CASF in Bischwiller
Research done in the framework of the chaire Gutenberg focus on the sound perception in different rooms in VR. Of note, we try to demonstrate the influence of visual and sound perception towards the estimation of a room dimensions, as evaluated by VR users.
Avatar animation for collaboration
Martin Heitz's CIFRE thesis studies avatar animation – more precisely lower-body animation – for collaborative virtual environments. In his theis, one of the main objectives is to propose animation methods for lower-body parts, based on the tracking possibilities offered by off-the-shelf virtual reality headsets. It is realized and financed in a partnership with the company INETUM.
Embodiment and emotion
Benjamin Freeling's thesis explores the link between the avatar representation and the emotions felt in VR. We study how emotions induced by a virtual environment modify the user perception of their body, as well as how different embodiment aspects (body representation, movement control, ...) impact emotional intensity. A first work done in 2022 showed that embodiment can be reinforced when an emotion is felt in virtual reality [4-FLC22].