UWA Student Projects for 2016

Simplifying 3D Audio using Virtual Reality

Jonathan Knispel co-supervised Honours Computer Science student James Udiljak’s project to develop more convenient 3D audio. The new perceptual calibration process takes only five minutes, a dramatic improvement over previous methods, which took hours and required specialised equipment. A user is placed in a virtual reality environment and simply points to the perceived locations of some test sounds. Processing the locations creates a set of personalised filters, which mimic the effects of sound bouncing off the user’s head, ears, and torso in real time, producing more immersive, realistic 3D audio.

Supervisors: Tim French, Jonathan Knispel

Using Hand Gestures to Explore Ore Bodies in Virtual Reality

Jonathan Knispel co-supervised Master of Professional Engineering student Neil Jia’s project to demonstrate the effectiveness of gestural interfaces and VR.  Experienced mining exploration professionals were shown 3D models of ore bodies and asked to interpret their spatial relationships.  Overall, the experts preferred the gestural VR interface to a standard 2D display and mouse.

Supervisors: Richard Durham, Tim French, Melinda Hodkiewicz, Jonathan Knispel

Virtual Reality Medical Ultrasound Training

Jonathan Knispel was technical consultant for Honours anatomy student Rachel Catterson’s project to develop an interactive virtual 3D model of an ultrasound machine. The virtual machine can be accessed by students in their own time to gain a basic understanding of how the real ultrasound machine operates. Students interact with the virtual machine through the virtual world of Second Life, where UWA already has an extensive presence. The function of the twenty four control buttons/knobs on the machine is represented by ultrasound images and text descriptions and each control can be clicked on individually.

Supervisors: Stuart Bunt, Christina Bojarski

Augmented Reality Medical Ultrasound Training

Jonathan Knispel was technical consultant for Honours physiology student Rachael Gerginis’ project to evaluate Augmented Reality (AR) in training medical students to use Doppler ultrasound. Ross Farrell developed an AR app for a tablet computer that guided students with both using Doppler imaging equipment and interpreting the images. Using AR significantly increased efficiency and engagement compared to a control group using a mobile app.

Supervisors: Dr Vanessa Hayes, Dr Robert White and Dr Archa Fox

Multi-user Painting with Virtual Reality in Web Browsers

Jonathan Knispel collaborated with MakeUWA‘s Fraser Bullock to extend the Mozilla VR team‘s A-Painter web app to allow multiple VR users to create 3D art in the same VR space. Painting in 3D and being able to walk around or through one’s work is already a very special experience (watch any first-time Tilt Brush user). Using that art to collaborate with others sharing the same virtual space is even more interesting. While it was tempting to add voice communication, observing participants organically develop visual modes of conversation was intriguing enough by itself.