Browsing by Subject "virtual reality"

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  • Kukkakorpi, Mariia; Pantti, Mervi (2021)
    Virtual reality (VR) and other immersive technologies introduce new opportunities for emotionally compelling narratives and user agency. Virtually mediated environments lie at the heart of immersive journalism (IJ) experiences, foregrounding a sense of presence and bridging the connection between the user and the character. Mediated environments in VR stories provide more than a setting since the user can interact with and respond to the surroundings. Drawing on the theory of spatial narrative, documentary and cinema literature and studies on media morality, this article examines the meaning of place in VR news stories and its ability to engage the user with the story. This study contributes to the discussion of creating and communicating places in journalism studies by examining spatial storytelling in immersive news stories, which are available in the NYT VR smartphone application. This paper argues that spatial storytelling eventually affects what is experienced and how it is experienced either by demonstrating the circumstances with aesthetical elements or via the selection of spaces.
  • Suoranta, Esko Mainio (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2020)
  • Talonpoika, Ville (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In recent years, virtual reality devices have entered the mainstream with many gaming-oriented consumer devices. However, the locomotion methods utilized in virtual reality games are yet to gain a standardized form, and different types of games have different requirements for locomotion to optimize player experience. In this thesis, we compare some popular and some uncommon locomotion methods in different game scenarios. We consider their strengths and weaknesses in these scenarios from a game design perspective. We also create suggestions on which kind of locomotion methods would be optimal for different game types. We conducted an experiment with ten participants, seven locomotion methods and five virtual environments to gauge how the locomotion methods compare against each other, utilizing game scenarios requiring timing and precision. Our experiment, while small in scope, produced results we could use to construct useful guidelines for selecting locomotion methods for a virtual reality game. We found that the arm swinger was a favourite for situations where precision and timing was required. Touchpad locomotion was also considered one of the best for its intuitiveness and ease of use. Teleportation is a safe choice for games not requiring a strong feeling of presence.
  • Kukkakorpi, Mariia Päivikki (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    This study explores immersive journalism and how virtual reality (VR) stories engage the recipient in real-life events. Immersive journalism can be characterised as a first-person experience of news, emphasising interactive qualities as well as a sense of presence, thus creating a notion of ‘being there’ in the virtual world. The study aims to shed light on the new field of immersive journalism as well as to explore the characteristics and constraints of VR stories in terms of engagement in conflict news. Particular interest is given to the notion of presence and the way in which media form and media content produce engagement as well as the ways in which VR aims to connect the recipient with the news story. Due to its interdisciplinary nature, the study combines theories from VR, audio-visual media, presence and media witnessing. The qualitative study employs close reading as the primary method. The New York Times (NYT) has been chosen as the news producer of VR stories since it is the pioneer in the field and provides the largest selection of VR stories. The data is delimited to conflict news, as tragedy can often be described as engaging audiences through distant suffering. The study results in four findings: (1) VR stories employ different narrative strategies to maintain proper distance between the phenomenon and the other and to enhance the experience; (2) the positioning of the recipient spatially in the VR narratives emphasises location, creates a sense of witnessing and focuses on the recipient’s own experience; (3) VR stories aim to construct a relationship between the recipient and the other; and (4) media form and media content aim to evoke various emotions, including empathy. This study finds that NYT VR stories aim to personally engage the recipient with conflict news and to increase emotional engagement. Media content and media form contribute to engagement, for example, in creating proximity to the other and evoking the recipient’s personal interest. Presence enlivens consumption of news and underpins the recipient’s freedom to generate his or her own understanding of events.
  • Virtanen, Juho-Pekka; Hyyppä, Hannu; Kämäräinen, Ali; Hollström, Tommi; Vastaranta, Mikko; Hyyppä, Juha (2015)
    Three-dimensional (3D) maps have many potential applications, such as navigation and urban planning. In this article, we present the use of a 3D virtual world platform Meshmoon to create intelligent open data 3D maps. A processing method is developed to enable the generation of 3D virtual environments from the open data of the National Land Survey of Finland. The article combines the elements needed in contemporary smart city concepts, such as the connection between attribute information and 3D objects, and the creation of collaborative virtual worlds from open data. By using our 3D virtual world platform, it is possible to create up-to-date, collaborative 3D virtual models, which are automatically updated on all viewers. In the scenes, all users are able to interact with the model, and with each other. With the developed processing methods, the creation of virtual world scenes was partially automated for collaboration activities.
  • Lehtiniemi, Tuukka (2008)
    In this thesis, I examine the economic systems revolving around production and exchange of virtual property. From my viewpoint, the central forms of virtual property include e.g. virtual items in community sites, and virtual goods and characters in online games. Production of virtual property often requires significant time inputs from the users, and the users also trade it for real money. I treat these economic systems, called virtual economies, as sufficiently separate economies whose macroeconomic properties can be discussed. Particularly, I focus on the question “Can meaningful macroeconomic indicators be computed for a virtual economy?” The macroeconomic indicators that are investigated in this study are aggregate production and inflation. My approach is to identify relevant principles using which these indicators are computed for national economies, and then transfer the same principles to a virtual economy. The developed aggregate production measure, called Gross User Product (GUP), is defined based on the principles underlying the System of National Accounts (SNA). GUP measures the aggregate economic activities of the users of a virtual economy. The central feature of GUP is that it makes a distinction between production by the users and production by the service they use. The possibility to log potentially all transactions in a virtual economy allows for flexible choice of an inflation measure. Measuring inflation for a virtual economy is, in this sense, easier than for e.g. a national economy. The employed inflation measure is a chained Fischer index, which is computed based on market transaction data of virtual final goods. Both macroeconomic indicators are computed for the virtual economy of EVE Online. The economy of EVE Online consists of production and exchange activities of about 200,000 users, all of who potentially interact with each other. Transaction and production data from the logs of EVE Online is employed in the computations. The previously published research on macroeconomic indicators for a virtual economy has focused on using data collected from real-money trading markets external to the virtual economy. This study shows that virtual economies can be regarded as separate economic systems, and that comprehensive macroeconomic indicators can be computed for them. The employed tools of economics transfer well to the analysis of a virtual economy. The results can be used for e.g. tracking the state of a virtual economy and macroeconomic modeling.
  • Harjunen, Ville J.; Ahmed, Imtiaj; Jacucci, Giulio; Ravaja, Niklas; Spape, Michiel (2017)
    Earlier studies have revealed cross-modal visuo-tactile interactions in endogenous spatial attention. The current research used event-related potentials (ERPs) and virtual reality (VR) to identify how the visual cues of the perceiver’s body affect visuo-tactile interaction in endogenous spatial attention and at what point in time the effect takes place. A bimodal oddball task with lateralized tactile and visual stimuli was presented in two VR conditions, one with and one without visible hands, and one VR-free control with hands in view. Participants were required to silently count one type of stimulus and ignore all other stimuli presented in irrelevant modality or location. The presence of hands was found to modulate early and late components of somatosensory and visual evoked potentials. For sensory-perceptual stages, the presence of virtual or real hands was found to amplify attention-related negativity on the somatosensory N140 and cross-modal interaction in somatosensory and visual P200. For postperceptual stages, an amplified N200 component was obtained in somatosensory and visual evoked potentials, indicating increased response inhibition in response to non-target stimuli. The effect of somatosensory, but not visual, N200 enhanced when the virtual hands were present. The findings suggest that bodily presence affects sustained cross-modal spatial attention between vision and touch and that this effect is specifically present in ERPs related to early- and late-sensory processing, as well as response inhibition, but do not affect later attention and memory-related P3 activity. Finally, the experiments provide commeasurable scenarios for the estimation of the signal and noise ratio to quantify effects related to the use of a head mounted display (HMD). However, despite valid a-priori reasons for fearing signal interference due to a HMD, we observed no significant drop in the robustness of our ERP measurements.
  • Kullström, Niklas (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    My thesis is about photography and its aesthetics in a world of digitized culture. The main hypothesis is that there is an ongoing and fundamental change in the way photographs and images are being produced, distributed and consumed in society, resulting in a new kind of aesthetics, that did not previously exist in photography. I argue that digital photography should be seen as part of a wider range of digital imaging, as a separate field from traditional analogue photography. My observation is on all different aspects of photographic practice: artistic, technical and social; on the different aspects of photographic expression in different artistic, social and scientific practices (both analogue and digital). Fundamental issues are how the digital divide changes our perception, the way we work and how we process and understand images. I complement academic thought with empirical observations derived from my background as a practicing media-artist and film- and photography professional with almost two decades experience from the field. I start by introducing a basic history of photography, in order to place the practice in a historicaly and technologically determined context, followed by defining what a photograph is in an analogue and digital sense. The main discussion looks at aesthetic concepts related to photography and imaging. This is mainly done by deconstructing formal aspects of the image/photograph and examining the photographs function as a representation of reality and truth. To support my thoughts and to argue against conflicting theories, I mainly rely on writings and thoughts by authors like Bruce Wands, Vilém Flusser, Jerry L. Thompson, Martin Hand and Charlie Gere. From more classic writers on photographic theory I use Susan Sontag, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Roger Scruton. The aim is to create a comprehensive image of the field of thought, both on a contemporary and historical axis, and through this build a solid base for understanding and argumentation. I conclude that we are already living in the future, and that the reality we know will change with an ever-increasing pace, soon taking the step over to augmented and virtual reality. Current and future image makers should consider in depth what it really means to create images in a digital universe. A new way of seeing digitally is crucial for future understanding of the changing digital landscape of images.
  • Goriachev, Vladimir (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In the case of remote inspection and maintenance operations, the quality and amount of information available to the operator on demand plays a significant role. In knowledge-intensive tasks performed remotely or in a hazardous environment, augmented and virtual reality technologies are often seen as a solution capable of providing the required level of information support. Application of these technologies faced many obstacles over the years, mostly due to the insufficient maturity level of their technical implementations. This thesis contains a description of the research work related to the usage of augmented and virtual reality in remote inspection and maintenance operations, and is aimed at solving some of the most common problems associated with the application of these technologies. During the project, an optical see-through augmented reality glasses calibration method was developed, as well as a virtual reality application for robotic teleoperation. The implemented teleoperation system was tested in two different simulated scenarios, and the additional questions of the immersive environment reconstruction, spatial user interface, connection between virtual and real worlds are addressed in this thesis report.
  • Laine, Joakim (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The purpose of this study is to implement immersive virtual reality (VR) technology as part of an environmental studies project in the actual complex school reality and analyze both the students’ and their teachers’ experiences and observations on the use of VR in learning and teaching. This study focuses on the user experiences and affordances that the appliance of VR technology brings forth in education. There are but few earlier studies on similar topics, most of which have been conducted in clinical settings. Three teachers and 59 students, 5-6th graders, from two different Finnish elementary schools participated in this study. The participants were all volunteers and took part in a nationwide VISIOT-project, coordinated by a nationwide Innokas Network. Its main purpose was to provide opportunities for trying out and developing virtual reality, augmented reality and Internet of things -technologies in education. The three teachers in this study applied a VR system that consisted of HTC Vive -device and Google Earth VR -program. The different ways in which the teachers ended up implementing the VR system turned out to be an important research topic in this study. The project went on for over three months, spanning from December 2017 to April 2018. The students assessed the use of the VR system during and after the project. Their experiences became another key research area in this study. Data was gathered with online questionnaires, pre and post-surveys for students, a test of the students’ spatial reasoning abilities, and with a pre-survey and innovative post interviews for the teachers. This mostly qualitative data was analyzed with clustering content analysis, where I would find similarities and differences in the participants’ answers and place them in schematized categories. The teacher’s encountered technical, spatial and temporal challenges, as well as challenges in orchestrating the implementation of the VR system. It appeared that VR’s implementation in education demanded more innovative scripts and different spatial, temporal and pedagogical arrangements than the two studied schools were used to. Albeit, the students adapted to the use of VR technology rather quickly and had a very positive emotional experience with it. The VR system was mostly used as a motivational addition to learning. Besides the visually enhanced exploration of the Earth and tourist role-play, the VR system’s actualized affordances included enjoyment and interest, realism and mental immersion, and mastery experiences. Students found the device as very comfortable and the program as user-friendly. Their conception of virtual reality was evidently affected by the applied VR system and its uses during the virtual field trip project. Despite of this, the students were able to imagine diverse learning worlds for VR. In addition to typical categories, they imagined high fantasy worlds and time travelling to the future. By and large, the students appeared willing to use VR technology again in the future. Their post-survey measures for self-efficacy and interest to engage with the technology were relatively high. The self-reported self-efficacy of boys was statistically significantly higher than the girls corresponding. The students found the VR program to be a credible source mostly due to the virtual world’s realism or resemblance with their experiences of the real world. Altogether, VR technology appears to be something that these 11-12-year-old students would gladly include in their learning environment, on the other hand, the teachers rightfully felt that the implemented VR system was too complex and demanding for permanent inclusion.