jan Gugenheimer

I am a PhD student at Ulm University in the field of Human-Computer Interaction, focusing on the field of Mobile/Nomadic Virtual Reality (scholar | dblp).

During my studies I had the opportunity to visit and work within a variety of exciting research labs at universities (ETH Zurich, MIT Media Lab) and research institutions (Daimler AG, IBM, Mercedes Benz Research and Development North America, Microsoft Research). For more details please have a look at my CV.

In my research, I try to identify the specific interaction challenges in nomadic VR and address those by proposing possible solutions through research prototypes. These are being evaluated in user-studies comparing them to the state-of-the-art in terms of immersion, engagement, enjoyment and simulator sickness. The focus of my thesis lies on interaction and end-users/consumers using VR for leisure, rather then on professional applications.

One of the big upcoming challenges for VR and in general Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) I identified in my thesis is asymmetric co-located interaction. Since current mobile VR HMDs are designed exclusively for the wearing user (HMD user), every other person in this environment (Non-HMD user) is excluded and reduced to be a sole bystander. This further leads to a complete isolation of the HMD user and could potentially lead to less social acceptance of the technology. Within my thesis, I identified two main challenges for this specific problem:

  1. Exclusion of Non-HMD user: How can we visualize parts of the virtual environment to Non-HMD users
  2. Isolation of HMD user: How can we enable a form of interaction between HMD and Non-HMD user