Experience REY

Virtual reality simulation making experiences with low vision more tangible.

Client
personal project
Role
Student, master thesis
Focus
interaction design, virtual reality
Time
2019 (5 weeks)
Challenge
How might we create empathy for people with visual impairments among sighted? A key insight from my master thesis project REY was the lacking empathy among sighted for people with vision problems that oftten leads to misunderstandings and misconcetpions.
Outcome
The VR simulation let's players go through everyday situations with different most common eye concitions. Players do not only learn about the diversity of eye conditions, but also experience them for themselves. During the experience they will recieve conetextual text and sound information, descriptions and and 3D sounds from REY in order to make more sense of their environment, find their way and localize objects in their surrounding.
Development

To create the experience I used Unity, Visual Studio Code, Oculus and Steam VR.

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Simulation

The simulation consists of two scenarios created in Unity, showcasing an indoor and aoutdoor setting. They can that can be explored with two most common visual impairments: Glaucoma vision and Cataract. I used the simulation not only to create empathy for persons with low vision, but also to detail out the interaction design of the project REY. Therefore, I at placed interactive triggers at different points of the experienceare to simulate the interaction with the wearable companion. This was key to exploring the usage of 3D sound to locate elements.


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It is important to note that no simuation will ever depict a true person's experience, since it can never showcase their personal coping strategies, which are developed over time. From my personal research for the project REY I know how a 3 hours "dinner in the dark" experience helped to change my perception of blindness. This is why I belive that simulations still play an important role in creating empathy.


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