I’m delighted to report that the full paper I wrote with my colleagues Eduardo Velloso and Hans Gellersen while at Lancaster University has been officially accepted for inclusion in the CHI 2015 program.
The paper provides an investigation of the concept of “Substitutional Reality” in the context of Virtual Reality. In a Substituional Virtual Environment, every physical object is substituted by a different virtual object. So that while we are looking at our desk, in such an immersive environment it could appear as a futuristic command console. Our umbrella could appear as a Lightsaber and so on. In this way we can use the passive feedback from the physical environment to substantiate more engaging Virtual Reality experiences.
The paper explores this novel design space with two user studies investigating increasing level of mismatch between the physical proxy and the virtual equivalent. The goal was to determine when this mismatch would negatively affect the suspension of disbelief and level of engament so that future designers of Substitutional Reality content could build on our findings.