All posts by jackhoefnagel

Projectpage VR Project “Loose Coupling”

Weight in VR

In Virtual Reality, it is seemingly accepted that objects appear weightless when interacted with.

Weightless objects in VR

Designers will develop the VR experience around this, like Job Simulator only providing small, light objects to pick up, or Fantastic Contraption making the entire world out of air-balloons to give an ‘explanation’ for the lack of mass in the objects.

Fantastic Contraption for HTC Vive; weightless air-balloon world

We think that weight is an enormously important factor to get a sense of physicality, establishing a true ‘virtual reality’.

We also think that haptic feedback isn’t absolutely necessary to provide this feeling, as visual stimulus is a big factor in establishing physicality.

Projects like the rubber hand illusion prove this fact as well.

This project draws inspiration from Koert Van Mensvoort‘s work on “What You See Is What You Feel“: ‘Exploiting the dominance of the visual over the haptic domain to simulate force-feedback with cursor displacements’, and its practical application “PowerCursor“, where the graphical representation of the cursor is decoupled from the actual position of the cursor, where on-screen objects influence the behaviour of the cursor’s movement, simulating friction, mass, pressure and other physical influences.

That’s why we propose a project where we simulate weight in Virtual Reality by disconnecting the avatar from the direct control of the VR motion controllers.


Example of “Loose Coupling”

Research topics

Feedback of decoupling, user experience of physical influence, etc. [w.i.p.]

Potential use-cases

Simulating Parkinson’s disease by using disconnect between real and virtual body




Student Modular VR Unity Project

As a final project, the students participating in this interface research have made a system for Unity that allows multiple interface devices to be connected to control a character in first-person perspective.

It also features a gesture-system in which programmers can link together ‘acts’ (like move arm, turn hand, open/close fingers etc.) to create a gesture to interact with the virtual world.

They have made a first level in which the player can perform some interactions to showcase the system, and to show the differences between the various input devices.

Visiting the Fontys C.A.V.E.

Students went to visit the C.A.V.E. at Fontys to test out some of its capabilities in relationship to immersion and virtual control.

Three applications were tested there: The Physics Simulator, Arachnophobia and Acrophobia. While Arachnophobia and Acrophobia were good showcases of therapeutic virtual reality simulations, The Physics Simulator proved to be the most relevant application to our research.

CAVE physics simulator
CAVE physics simulator

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Natural User Interface – Definition & Design Principles

An interesting aspect of interface design is Natural User Interface:

In computing, a natural user interface, or NUI, or Natural Interface is the common parlance used by designers and developers of human-machine interfaces to refer to a user interface that is effectively invisible, and remains invisible as the user continuously learns increasingly complex interactions. The word natural is used because most computer interfaces use artificial control devices whose operation has to be learned.1

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  1. Source: Wikipedia