Section: Research Program

Research Axes

The scientific activity of Hybrid team follows three main axes of research:

  • Body-based interaction in virtual reality. Our first research axis concerns the design of immersive and effective "body-based" 3D interactions, i.e., relying on a physical engagement of the user’s body. This trend is probably the most popular one in VR research at the moment. Most VR setups make use of tracking systems which measure specific positions or actions of the user in order to interact with a virtual environment. However, in recent years, novel options have emerged for measuring “full-body” movements or other, even less conventional, inputs (e.g. body equilibrium). In this first research axis we are thus concerned by the emergence of new kinds of “body-based interaction” with virtual environments. This implies the design of novel 3D user interfaces and novel 3D interactive techniques, novel simulation models and techniques, and novel sensory feedbacks for body-based interaction with virtual worlds. It involves real-time physical simulation of complex interactive phenomena, and the design of corresponding haptic and pseudo-haptic feedback.

  • Mind-based interaction in virtual reality. Our second research axis concerns the design of immersive and effective “mind-based” 3D interactions in Virtual Reality. Mind-based interaction with virtual environments is making use of Brain-Computer Interface technology. This technology corresponds to the direct use of brain signals to send “mental commands” to an automated system such as a robot, a prosthesis, or a virtual environment. BCI is a rapidly growing area of research and several impressive prototypes are already available. However, the emergence of such a novel user input is also calling for novel and dedicated 3D user interfaces. This implies to study the extension of the mental vocabulary available for 3D interaction with VE, then the design of specific 3D interaction techniques "driven by the mind" and, last, the design of immersive sensory feedbacks that could help improving the learning of brain control in VR.

  • Hybrid and collaborative 3D interaction. Our third research axis intends to study the combination of motor and mental inputs in VR, for one or multiple users. This concerns the design of mixed systems, with potentially collaborative scenarios involving multiple users, and thus, multiple bodies and multiple brains sharing the same VE. This research axis therefore involves two interdependent topics: 1) collaborative virtual environments, and 2) hybrid interaction. It should end up with collaborative virtual environments with multiple users, and shared systems with body and mind inputs.