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VR for a better society

Published: 27 February 2017

When Hampus Hugoson visited his parents' home where he lived for 19 years, he noticed something he had never thought of before. None of the houses in the area had the entrance door at ground level, it was stairs up to each house. This realization changed direction of Hampus thesis on VR technology.

In his thesis "VR for a better society" within the Master Programme in Architectural Engineering, Hampus Hugoson investigated how those who design our houses and residential environments manage accessibility for the disabled and particularly wheelchair users.

Rullstol - Examensarbete Hampus Hugoson

"Generally, we can say that the outdoor environments have more to be desired in availability, than indoors," says Hampus Hugoson.

Prior to the interviews conducted with three architects and three construction consults Hampus created a VR environment that simulates the user sitting in a wheelchair and moving with their own force. Despite limited programming experience Hampus succeeded, in consultation with an expert from the construction company WSP, to develop a working VR environment for the purpose.

"The most surprising thing that emerged from my interviews was that they completely focus on fulfilling the laws and regulations regarding availability. But no one has studied how it really is to get around in the environment they are going to create in a wheelchair," says Hampus Hugoson.

Source: Hampus Hugoson

You can divide the VR technology into two groups; immersive VR and desktop VR. Immersive VR includes the helmets or glasses to experience the virtual world. With desktop VR You look at the virtual world on a screen. The major areas of use are counted entertainment, communication, medical, military, education, construction and architecture.

Supervisor / examiner of this thesis was Gustav Jansson and Jennie Sjöholm. External supervisor Anders Lisspers and Kristian Svensson from the WSP. Opponent was Anders Jonsson.

Gustav Jansson

Jansson, Gustav - Associate Professor

Organisation: Construction Management and Building Technology , Industrialized and sustainable construction, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491835
Room: F934 - Luleå»
Jennie Sjöholm

Sjöholm, Jennie - Senior Lecturer

Organisation: Architecture, Architecture and Water, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)920 491849
Room: T3059 - Luleå»