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D5.4 First report: Use Case Applications

This document serves as a first report about the 4 use cases in WP5 of the GuestXR project.

Hearing Impaired: This use case revolves around research aimed at converting auditory information into haptic feedback to assist individuals with hearing impairments. The research is lead by the Amdi team at the Reichman University. The approach involves two key hypotheses. The first is integrating haptic feedback with auditory signals to improve speech comprehension in virtual environments. This is particularly beneficial for conversation participation and enhancing specific speakers in complex auditory environments. The second hypothesis explores conveying other auditory features, like sound location, through haptic feedback, enhancing music and gaming experiences. The research includes various studies showing significant improvements in auditory comprehension and spatial awareness when auditory information is supplemented with haptic feedback.

Conflict Resolution: This aspect focuses on using Virtual Reality (VR) for immersive perspective-taking to reduce conflict-related behaviors. This is use case is focused on by the team at the University of Barcelona. Participants engage in discussions on controversial topics, like climate change, using realistic avatars and embody opposing viewpoints. The experiment includes swapping avatars to help participants experience and understand opposing perspectives, which is hypothesized to reduce conflict behaviors and promote understanding. The study aims to integrate these findings into a reinforcement learning framework for advanced conflict resolution strategies.

 

Climate Change Awareness: This use case involves a collaborative project with Warsaw University and Virtual Bodyworks, focusing on a VR game that raises awareness about climate change. The game simulates cryptocurrency mining, where participants' actions affect the environment, represented through changes in pollution and background sounds. The game incorporates mathematical models to simulate environmental impact based on participants' behavior, aiming to highlight the consequences of resource exploitation and encourage collaborative efforts to mitigate environmental damage.

The Open Call Winner’s Virtual Recreation of Protests: The project includes recreating significant protests in virtual or augmented reality, such as the Women's Strikes in Poland, Be Water protests in Hong Kong, and FridaysForFuture Climate Protests. The GuestXR system and the Guest Python client developed at Virtual Bodyworks will be harnessed. The protest recreations aim to explore the political and artistic dimensions, offering users a chance to engage in discussions and understand various perspectives. The project seeks to use these virtual environments to study the impact of such protests and foster social awareness and engagement.