Use of Virtual Reality

The application of use anticipating methodologies is supported by the development of a set of design tools. Besides the development of tools for scenario generation, special focus is placed on the use of virtual reality and gaming techniques as design tools. An important, defining property of synthetic or virtual environments is that they are able to create an alternative reality in which through simulation imaginary worlds, objects and characters can be experienced that may not be possible to be realized and experienced in real reality. Virtual reality allows the creation of new objects, spaces, interactions without the need for actual construction, thereby providing the possibility to experience products even in the very early stages of the design process. By employing simulation techniques, design information is made explicit and verifiable. Furthermore, all actors in a design process (regardless background or training) can be enabled to directly influence design information and directly assess the consequences of their decisions. By allowing users to experience products in the very early stages of the design process, insight in user requirements, communication within the design team and innovation processes are enhanced. This however requires an environment that evokes natural behaviour from its users and allows each user to interact intuitively.

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Design environments facilitating active user involvement