Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

IKD applications and results of demonstration trials

Two prototype Educational/Entertainment 3D applications for schoolchildren of varying ages - focusing on the fields of physics and mechanics (gears), designed, developed and evaluated by the University of Patras especially for the multi-sensory environment of the MUVII IKD. The one application is about "Newtonian Physics, trajectories & the Solar System" were the user navigates through the solar system, collects information about it and interacts with the various elements of which it consists such as the planets, satellites, comets and asteroids. The user experiences the effect of the forces when accelerating objects as well as the strength of the gravitational forces applied to objects at different distances. The second application is about "Model Assembly & Gears" were users learn about toothed wheels, gears and their applications and they can exercise with the assembly of a clock and a watermill.

To enhance the haptic experience of IKD applications, special visual, audio and haptic interaction metaphors have been specified in order to give emphasis on events that provide users with haptic and tactile feedback. These metaphors facilitate the users to better immerse in the virtual world and perceive the concepts of the Educational Applications.

The IKD applications were used and verified by more than 200 school children (aged between 10-17 years old) in Patras and demonstrated to users of various ages, (kids, teenagers and adults) at Laval Virtual in May 2004. Despite the fact that the device was aimed at children of ages above 10 years old, it occurred that even younger children (e.g. 7-10 years old) could use it effectively.

The trials were based on questionnaires and the results are analysed in a special report and show that IKD could offer great improvements to the existing teaching methods, thus enhancing the quality of educational procedures. All teachers and esp. pupils were very enthusiastic and attracted by the IKD and its applications. The applications helped users to concentrate on their aim. Currently there are no applications similar to the ones we have specified and implemented in the framework of the MUVII project, incorporating characteristics like independent force-feedback on two fingers, the combination of force-feedback and tactile feedback, efficient 3D-sound sub-system, targeting children of varied school age, efficient haptic interaction metaphors etc.

Reported by

University of Patras
Rion PatrasPO Box 26110
26500 Patras
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