3DMi Group: Human Factors Driven Design of 3D Multi-Sensory Interfaces

The 3DMi group focuses on the analysis, design, and validation of 3D multi-sensory interfaces. We are predominantly concerned with spatial interaction exploring the domains of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). Human factors play a key role: our research is driven by our fascination of what is truly possible through the human sensorimotor system.

Understand human perception and control
Our main goal is to create a deep understanding of the human sensorimotor system and its effects on designing novel and well-performing interfaces. We approach our research problems in both a fundamental and experimental way. We analyse human perceptual and control issues and their underlying neurological mechanisms, design interfaces in an experimental manner, and validate the created interfaces in both controlled laboratory settings and actual work environments. This process occurs in a multi-disciplinary manner, integrating disciplines like design, computer science, and psychology.

Design for performance and experience
We design interfaces for various domains and purposes. First of all, we target performance in the domain of perceptually, cognitively or physically demanding environments. We aim at creating a better understanding of factors that affect interaction in these environments, by analysing issues such as cognitive load, attention, and the processing of multi-sensory and heterogeneous information sources. This understanding is used to mitigate effects by improving current techniques or design completely novel systems. Application domains include monitoring and emergency systems, and complex mobile applications.

Furthermore, we aim at interaction for the sheer purpose of experience. We explore the potential of the human sensorimotor system to create vivid, multi-sensory and potentially full-body interfaces. The design is driven by creativity and taking unconventional approaches. Application domains include, but are not limited to entertainment and edutainment.

Research topics
Currently, we are actively pursuing the following research topics:

  • Audio-tactile interfaces: analysis and design of novel audio and (vibro)tactile interfaces for mobile devices, AR and VR
  • Perceptual and cognitive issues in Augmented Reality: exploring perceptual and cognitive issues in short and long-term AR deployments
  • Self-motion: analysis and design of novel navigation techniques and devices for immersive VR installations, exploration of self-motion by targeting vestibular, perceptual, tactile, and proprioceptive cues and subsequent multi-sensory integration.
  • Multi-sensory processing: design of multi-sensory interfaces, validating the effects of multi-sensory interfaces on perception and understanding, development of an underlying design and validation methodology for 3D user interfaces