Research Network2022-09-07T22:08:39+00:00

XR Access Research Network

The XR Access Research Network fosters a diverse community of researchers pursuing academic-style research across fields and disciplines which have a shared interest in making XR technologies accessible, enabling innovative research, new collaborations, resource-sharing, and translational impact.

The XR Access Research Network aims to foster academic-style research across fields and disciplines, with a shared interest in making XR technologies accessible, enabling innovative research, new collaborations, resource-sharing, and translational impact.

The Research Network holds regular seminars and conversations, supports emerging researchers at the undergraduate and graduate levels, creates networking and collaboration opportunities among research groups and between academia and industry.

Research Network Seminars take place on the third Tuesday of each month at 12pm ET.

If you’d like to participate as a partner in the Research Network, we’d love to hear from you! You can get in touch with us via email at shiri@xraccess.org.

Past Seminars

All are welcome to register for the XR Access Research Network’s Seminar Series. Stay tuned for an announcement of the next seminar.

Accessible XR Summer Research Program | Final Presentations

August 5, 2022

Each summer, Cornell Tech and Columbia University welcome undergraduates from across the country to their campuses for a NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in accessible XR.

This year, eight students spent the summer learning research methods, building prototypes, and testing new ideas for projects that make XR more accessible to people with disabilities.

You’re invited to view final presentations from the REU project groups on Friday, August 5th at 1pm ET. Students will provide background on their projects and demonstrate the technologies they’ve created. Please join us in congratulating our hard-working students on their successes during this program!

Register for the presentations here > (more…)

Inclusion and Accessibility in XR: Exploring Experiences | Reginé Gilbert

July 19, 2022

This talk will review what inclusion and accessibility mean for extended reality and the metaverse. By examining existing heuristics and researching existing methods for accessibility, the discovery has been made that new principles need to be adopted to create more equitable experiences. We will discuss ongoing research on accessible augmented reality. Register for the talk here. (more…)

Making Virtual Reality More Accessible for Persons with Balance Impairments | Dr. John Quarles

June 21, 2022

Although consumer level virtual reality (VR) head mounted displays (HMDs) (e.g., HTC Vive) are becoming more prevalent today, these VR developers typically do not consider persons with disabilities, such as persons with balance impairments (e.g., persons with multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, or stroke). Thus, many immersive VR applications, such as education, physical fitness, rehabilitation, and entertainment, are not accessible to users with balance impairments. (more…)

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Research Network Projects

Virtual Showdown

VR games are becoming common, but people with visual impairments are frequently left out of the fun. Some prior work has explored including audio cues as an accompaniment to visual VR experiences, while developers of accessible games have created audio-only versions of popular games for people with visual impairments. However, there’s very little academic research on accessible VR games, pointing to an opportunity to explore how to convey information about moving objects, and how to teach players who may never have played a non-virtual version of a game how to interact with virtual objects. Dr. Kyle Rector and her [...]

AR Navigation

Navigating stairs can be a dangerous mobility challenge for people with low vision. Inadequate handrails, poorly marked steps, and other obstacles can reduce mobility and lead to accidents. While past research has proposed audio stair-navigation aids for blind people, no research on people with low vision has yet addressed this challenge. Cornell Tech PhD student Yuhang Zhao, along with Cx faculty member Shiri Azenkot and other researchers from Cornell Tech and Columbia University, built on this research to design several AR navigation systems for people with low vision. They tested both projection-based and optical see-through smart glasses systems [...]

Interactive 3D Models

Cornell Tech PhD student Lei Shi, faculty member Shiri Azenkot, and their collaborators are studying how to design educational 3D models for students with visual impairments. The researchers interviewed teachers of the visually impaired about the needs of their students, and demonstrated previously designed 3D-printed interactive models and computer vision-based educational tools. Based on interview results, they designed an augmented reality (AR) app that pairs with a 3D printed model. The model’s tactile features help students learn the physical features of a concept, while visual and audio cues from the AR app provide additional information. The study’s results [...]