um's decision makers plan to invest in the development of a special presentation of the
items used as examples in this part of the museum.
The museum ordered a specialised computer workstation to accompany the design stu-
dio.The program should offer number of shapes and textures, and give verified references
to the costumes from different historical periods.To make it more enjoyable, the decision
makers agreed to order a projection display which would show how the designed models
work in natural size on a 3D model. Computers and specific edutainment software were
purchased for the learning rooms, and the staff remained confident that varied computer
experiences will attract more visitors and focus their learning on specific areas.
Scenario II Estimating health risks for immersive VE
A museum is considering the use of an immersive virtual reality system in conjunction
with head-mounted displays to demonstrate some aspects of mediaeval life. As part of the
planning process, it is necessary to address and evaluate the potential health risks involved
in such a project. Staff members who are providing visitors with instructions how to use
the device are asked to explain possible health risks and to take notes on the visitors'
feedback after using the system.Visitors are warned that people tend to remain in virtual
environments even when experiencing discomfort, and to be sensible and seek advice or
assistance at the first signs of unease.
A short questionnaire was drawn up along the following lines:
- Have you suffered from motion sickness-type symptoms? Key symptoms are nausea,
hand-eye coordination errors, and disorientation.
- Have you experienced visual fatigue (eye strain), impaired vision, headache, muscle
fatigue, particularly in your neck or back, or any other discomfort?
- Have you felt hot or sleepy due to the effort of supporting the HMD?
The museum staff hopes that collecting such data will contribute to the evaluation of
use of the equipment and better advice to museum visitors, as well as helping them to
draw up a set of guidelines on the safe use of immersive VR equipment for the future.
B e n e f i t s a n d R i s k s
The introduction of many new technologies is subject to a certain amount of public
debate on their particular pros and cons. Many innovative devices are initially perceived
as gadgets whose long-term uses are not clear or are considered applicable only to the
amusement industries.This might lead to the public perception of some new devices as
something interesting and fashionable, though expensive and with only a short lifespan.
In fact many of these devices can serve people in serious areas and reduce some of the
unpleasant effects caused by the use of existing peripherals. For example, many of these
new interfaces such as touchscreens lead to a more intuitive way of using computer
equipment.The main benefits of new keyboards are seen in their improved ergonomics
which lead to better posture, reduction of pain and resulting contentment for the user,