About the Realities MediaCube

The Realities MediaCube is a research group founded by the programs MultiMediaArt, MultiMediaTechnology and Human-Computer Interaction at the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. These diverse study programs joined forces to form an interdisciplinary synergy between art and technology to work on projects at the cutting edge of interactive media with a strong focus on Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. The Realities MediaCube integrates research with education in that undergraduate and graduate students work together with senior staff on research and industry projects. Projects range from investigating new methods of storytelling and game design to applying novel interactive approaches in education, medicine and industry, but also include fundamental research on issues of visualization and human-computer interaction.

Virtual Reality

In our research projects we perform detailed analyses of potential application areas to identify processes and procedures which benefit most from using Virtual and Augmented Reality. One of the strengths of Virtual Reality is that it transports users into the simulated world. This allows us to create convincing experiences for users so that they benefit from virtual training, education or therapy applications. Virtual Reality allows users to focus purely on the simulation, because the used head-mounted displays block their real-world surroundings.

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality does not bring users into a virtual world, but enhances their real world with additional virtual content that is overlaid with the users' surroundings. For instance, using head-mounted displays with transparent displays makes Augmented Reality the ideal personal assistant to enhance existing workflows in industrial applications. Overlaid digital machine data and maintenance instructions can support workers in their daily tasks.

Human-Computer Interaction

We tackle our projects using iterative human-centered design approaches with the involved stakeholders. To create sustainable solutions for users, the process takes into account usage contexts, user requirements, human factors and ergonomics. Empirical user studies are performed to validate the developed solutions and create a measurable benefit.

Resources

The Realities MediaCube uses state-of-the-art software and hardware to realize their projects. Real-world scenes are recorded as either 360 stereo panoramas, or as detailed 3D models using advanced photogrammetry software. The Virtual Reality simulations themselves are experienced through stereo-projector walls or head-mounted displays. Using ambisonics 360 sound, haptic gloves generating active force-feedback and scent-generators multi-sensory experiences are achieved. Augmented Reality applications are deployed on modern handheld devices and the head-mounted displays with eye-tracking technology.