Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Research Program

Research Program

The scientific objective of Hybrid team is to improve 3D interaction of one or multiple users with virtual environments, by making full use of physical engagement of the body, and by incorporating the mental states by means of brain-computer interfaces. We intend to improve each component of this framework individually, but we also want to improve the subsequent combinations of these components.

The "hybrid" 3D interaction loop between one or multiple users and a virtual environment is depicted in Figure 1. Different kinds of 3D interaction situations are distinguished (red arrows, bottom): 1) body-based interaction, 2) mind-based interaction, 3) hybrid and/or 4) collaborative interaction (with at least two users). In each case, three scientific challenges arise which correspond to the three successive steps of the 3D interaction loop (blue squares, top): 1) the 3D interaction technique, 2) the modeling and simulation of the 3D scenario, and 3) the design of appropriate sensory feedback.

Figure 1. 3D hybrid interaction loop between one or multiple users and a virtual reality system. Top (in blue) three steps of 3D interaction with a virtual environment: (1-blue) interaction technique, (2-blue) simulation of the virtual environment, (3-blue) sensory feedbacks. Bottom (in red) different cases of interaction: (1-red) body-based, (2-red) mind-based, (3-red) hybrid, and (4-red) collaborative 3D interaction.

The 3D interaction loop involves various possible inputs from the user(s) and different kinds of output (or sensory feedback) from the simulated environment. Each user can involve his/her body and mind by means of corporal and/or brain-computer interfaces. A hybrid 3D interaction technique (1) mixes mental and motor inputs and translates them into a command for the virtual environment. The real-time simulation (2) of the virtual environment is taking into account these commands to change and update the state of the virtual world and virtual objects. The state changes are sent back to the user and perceived by means of different sensory feedbacks (e.g., visual, haptic and/or auditory) (3). The sensory feedbacks are closing the 3D interaction loop. Other users can also interact with the virtual environment using the same procedure, and can eventually “collaborate” by means of “collaborative interactive techniques” (4).

This description is stressing three major challenges which correspond to three mandatory steps when designing 3D interaction with virtual environments:

These three scientific challenges are addressed differently according to the context and the user inputs involved. We propose to consider three different contexts, which correspond to the three different research axes of the Hybrid research team, namely: 1) body-based interaction (motor input only), 2) mind-based interaction (cerebral input only), and then 3) hybrid and collaborative interaction (i.e., the mixing of body and brain inputs from one or multiple users).