Tuesday January 28, 2020
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Artificial Skin Made of Silicon Helps In Enhanced VR Experience

Scientists have developed a soft, flexible artificial skin made of silicone and electrodes that can help in rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality

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AI Skin, silicon, Virtual Reality, VR
This is ideal for wearable applications, such as for testing a patient's proprioception in medical applications. VOA

Scientists have developed a soft, flexible artificial skin made of silicone and electrodes that can help in rehabilitation and enhance virtual reality (VR).

Just like our senses of hearing and vision, our sense of touch plays an important role in how we perceive and interact with the world around us.

The skin’s system of soft sensors and actuators enable the artificial skin to conform to the exact shape of a wearer’s wrist, for example, and provide haptic feedback in the form of pressure and vibration.

Strain sensors continuously measure the skin’s deformation so that the haptic feedback can be adjusted in real time to produce a sense of touch that’s as realistic as possible, said the team from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

“This is the first time we have developed an entirely soft artificial skin where both sensors and actuators are integrated,” said Harshal Sonar, the study’s lead author.

“This is ideal for wearable applications, such as for testing a patient’s proprioception in medical applications,” said Sonar, in the journal Soft Robotics.

AI Skin, silicon, Virtual Reality, VR
To develop the device that can quickly determine a skin lesion’s depth and potential malignancy without using a scalpel. Pixabay

The artificial skin can be stretched up to four times its original length for up to a million cycles. That makes it particularly attractive for a number of real-world applications.

For now, the scientists have tested it on users’ fingers and are still making improvements to the technology.

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“The next step will be to develop a fully wearable prototype for applications in rehabilitation and virtual and Augmented Reality (AR),” said Sonar. (IANS)

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Virtual Reality Head-Gear Can Hamper Visual Memory: Study

The nature of VR can become known through scientific verification based on experiments like the work undertaken in this research

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Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality moves the displayed images to match the movement of the user, creating a high sense of realism and enhanced immersion. Pixabay

Virtual Reality (VR) is gaining popularity in fields like healthcare, multimedia, entertainment and education but too much use of the technology may hamper your visual memory, Japanese researchers have warned.

During experiments with two sets of human participants, they discovered that people who wore head-mounted displays (HMDs) performed worse on memory tests later.

“From this, it became clear for the first time in the world that VR may interfere with visual memory due to the way it moves images in conjunction with user movement,” the authors wrote in a paper published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

To reach this conclusion, Kyoko Hine, assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology and a research team at Tokyo Denki University conducted an experiment using HMDs and examined the effects of VR on memory.

In the experiment, the participants visited a museum virtually and looked at paintings. After that, a memory test was conducted about the paintings.

With regard to the VR experience, the research team set up conditions such that one group viewed images linked to their movements on an HMD (active VR) and a second group watched another person’s VR video on a display (passive VR).

“In other words, under active VR, the participants could look around at the surroundings themselves, but under passive VR, the participants could not look around,” the researchers said. Comparing the results of the memory test for these two groups, the results were worse for the active VR group.

“The reason may be that the enhanced sense of realism and immersion created by the ability to look around freely, that is characteristic of VR, tires the brain and consequently prevents the formation of visual memory,” the authors wrote.

While there are high hopes for VR technology as an educational tool that attracts users, and children in particular, it is important to create teaching materials that take into account these characteristics of VR.

Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) is gaining popularity in fields like healthcare, multimedia, entertainment and education but too much use of the technology may hamper your visual memory, Japanese researchers have warned. Pixabay

“In order to benefit society, IT needs to take human characteristics into consideration. The nature of VR can become known through scientific verification based on experiments like the work undertaken in this research,” the researchers noted.

VR moves the displayed images to match the movement of the user, creating a high sense of realism and enhanced immersion. The team now aims wants to find out why visual memory is hindered when the participants can look around freely in VR.

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“Moving forward, the team hopes to offer suggestions on how to use VR as a better learning tool by removing the causes of this phenomenon,” the study said. (IANS)