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Sensory Virtual Reality

Learn about the concept of sensory experiences designed for virtual reality in this free online course.

Publisher: NPTEL
This free online course will explore the concept of sensory experiences in virtual reality (VR). You will learn about the manipulation of audio signals so they mimic acoustic behavior in the real world, the engagement of the sense of touch and other senses to enhance the experience of interacting with onscreen interfaces. Also, you will be introduced to interfaces for VR, the evaluation of VR systems and experimental design to achieve realism.
Sensory Virtual Reality
  • Duration

    6-10 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation






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A display generates stimuli for a targeted sense organ. Vision is our dominant sense and any display constructed for the eye must cause the desired image to be formed on the retina. Because of this importance, this course will teach you about displays and their connection to the human visual system.  Also, haptics or the sense of touch, helps humans intuitively assess the characteristics of their immediate environment, enhancing the stability and dexterity of object/tool manipulation, which is considered crucial in human evolution. Learners will gain an understanding of touch or more generally, the somatosensory system. This includes physiology, perception and engineering technology that stimulates the somatosensory system. You will be taught the basic principle behind haptic rendering, tactile receptor types, the sensitivity threshold of mechanoreceptors and the kinesthetic system. Furthermore, you will be shown various haptic devices that enable manual interaction with virtual environments and how the haptic feedback technology works.

Also, In the next part of this course, you will be taught sound sources and attenuation. Developers of VR systems tend to focus mainly on the vision part because it is our strongest sense; however, the audio component of VR is powerful and the technology exists to bring high fidelity audio experiences into VR. However, in the real world, audio is crucial to art, entertainment and oral communication. This course will teach you the physics of sound in terms of waves, propagation and frequency analysis. Moreover, hearing is an important sense for VR and while there is a lot that goes into delivering a high-quality, immersive VR experience. You will be shown the physiology of human hearing and parts of the human ear and their function. After this, learners will gain an understanding of the concept of auditory perception and auditory rendering, which can produce sounds synthetically from models or reproduce captured sounds.

This free online course will provide an in-depth understanding of interfaces for VR and the evaluation of VR systems. This course will also explore questions such as 'Which headset is better?' 'Which VR experience is more comfortable over a long period of time?' 'How many fields of view is enough?' and 'What is the most appropriate interaction mechanism?'. Engineers and developers want to know the answers to these kinds of questions; however, it should be clear at this point that these are difficult to answer because of the way that human physiology and perception operate and interact with engineered systems. However, answers to these questions will be debated. Also, based on these questions, you will be shown examples of perceptual training and how you can carry out an experimental design to achieve realism. You will be further introduced to general motor learning and control concepts. You will be taught manipulation and locomotion and ways in which users may interact with other objects in the virtual world. This course would be a great opportunity for those interested in creating their own VR system or learning how it all works to create the experience you know. A background in computer science, electrical/mechanical engineering, neuroscience and psychology would be useful coming into this course since "this knowledge" is required beforehand'.

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