AmbioTherm: Simulating Ambient Temperatures and Wind Conditions in VR Environments
As Virtual Reality (VR) experiences become increasingly popular, simulating sensory perceptions of environmental conditions is essential for providing an immersive user experience. In this paper, we present Ambiotherm, a wearable accessory for existing Head Mounted Displays (HMD), which simulates real-world environmental conditions such as ambient temperatures and wind conditions. The system consists of a wearable accessory for the HMD and a mobile application, which generates interactive VR environments and controls the thermal and wind stimuli. The thermal stimulation module is attached to the user’s neck while two fans are focused on the user’s face to simulate wind conditions. We demonstrate the Ambiotherm system with two VR environments, a desert and a snowy mountain, to showcase the different types of ambient temperatures and wind conditions that can be simulated. Results from initial user experiments show that the participants perceive VR environments to be more immersive when external thermal and wind stimuli are presented as part of the VR experience.
Nimesha Ranasinghe, Pravar Jain, David Tolley, Shienny Karwita, Shi Yilei, and Ellen Yi-Luen Do. 2016. AmbioTherm: Simulating Ambient Temperatures and Wind Conditions in VR Environments. In Proceedings of the 29th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology(UIST ’16 Adjunct). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 85-86. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2984751.2985712