ViAjeRo (https://viajero-project.org/)is Stephen Brewster’s ERC Horizon 2020 Fellowship, with Mark McGill (R-CoI), Julie Williamson (CoI) and Frank Pollick (CoI). The aim is to radically improve all passenger journeys by facilitating the use of immersive Virtual and Augmented Reality (together called XR) to support entertainment, work and collaboration when on the move.
In Europe, people travel an average of 12,000km per year on private and public transport, in cars, buses, planes and trains. These journeys are often repetitive and wasted time. This total will rise with the arrival of fully autonomous cars, which free drivers to become passengers. The potential to recover this lost time is impeded by 3 significant challenges:
- Confined spaces: These limit interactivity, and force us to rely on small displays such as phones or seatback screens
- Social acceptability:We may share the space with others, inducing a pressure to conform, inhibiting tech-nology use
- Motion sickness: Many people get sick when they read or play games in vehicles. Once experienced, it can take hours for symptoms to resolve.
VR/AR headsets could allow passengers to use their travel time in new, productive, exciting ways, but only if bold research is undertaken to overcome these fundamental challenges. ViAjeRo will use VR/AR to do adventurous multidisciplinary work, unlocking the untapped potential of passengers. They will be able to use large virtual displays for productivity; escape the physical confines of the vehicle and become immersed in virtual experiences; and communicate with distant others through new embodied forms of communication – all whilst travelling. Our vision requires ground-breaking contributions at the intersection of HCI, neuroscience and sensing to:
- Develop novel interaction techniques for confined, seated spaces
- Support safe, socially acceptable use of VR/AR, providing awareness of others and the travel en-vironment
- Overcome motion sickness through novel multimodal countermeasures and neurostimulation
- Tailor the virtual and physical passenger environment to support new, immersive experiences