Internship

Vestibular haptic feedback for virtual reality

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The aim of this research internship is to study and evaluate experimentally a set of vestibular haptic effects provided by for a new kind of haptic technology acting on balance and whole-body motion sensations, and to implement a set of use cases for virtual reality. In particular, we are interested in studying the effect of this technology on cybersickness and vection.

Description

Audiovisual technologies have gone through considerable development over last decades and their performances are constantly increasing. But no matter their quality and sophistication, they can’t help a lack of body sensations, because other modalities have to be used to efficiently produce bodily effects.
The most obvious way to produce physical sensations is of course to move the whole body (like in “4D cinemas”), but the energy needed by such devices makes them massive and expensive. Another approach is to produce the sensation of movement instead the actual movement itself, i.e. create an illusion. Although perceptual illusions are often limited to a certain context, they can sometimes be achieved with very light and elegant setups, which is an important criterion for virtual reality applications, for instance. However, this topic is still underexplored and little is known about limits and possibilities of motion perception, except that its complexity can lead, for sure, to many surprises.
The aim of this research internship is to study and evaluate experimentally a set of vestibular haptic effects provided by for a new kind of haptic technology acting on balance and whole-body motion sensations, and to implement a set of use cases for virtual reality. In particular, we are interested in studying the effect of this technology on cybersickness and vection.

Desired profile

The candidate must be interested and curious about human perception, immersive technologies and scientific experimentation. They should also be comfortable with as much following items as possible:
- Knowledge about psychophysics or cognitive sciences
- Experience with Unity
- Knowledge in programming real-time 3D (video games, VR…)
- Experience in haptics
- Technical English

Host institution

This research topic will be pursued at IRISA, the largest research center in France in the fields of computer science and Information Technology, with more than 900 researchers and 41 research teams spread between Rennes, Lannion, and Vannes. It was founded in 1975 and it is a joint effort of CNRS, University of Rennes 1, ENS Rennes, INSA Rennes and Inria.

Specifically the internship will take place in Rennes, the capital of Brittany and the tenth largest city in France, with a metropolitan area of about 720,000 inhabitants. Moreover, with more than 66,000 students, Rennes is the eighth-largest university campus in France and has the second highest concentration of digital and ICT firms in France after Paris. Rennes is also known to be one of the most festive and lively cities of France and is home of several music and culture festivals.

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