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. To address this need, our research aims to use multimodal feedback techniques to improve balance in VR. In this talk, we will specifically discuss auditory cues to improve standing balance and gait in VR for persons with balance impairments. Results suggest that the proposed auditory techniques can improve balance and gait while in VR for all users, inclusive of users with or without balance impairments, and thus can improve the accessibility of VR overall.

About the Speaker

Dr. John Quarles is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at University of Texas at San Antonio.

Watch the Talk