Validation of virtual reality tools for unique aircraft interiors
Authors: Kathrin Konkol, Hannah Reusing
Abstract: A Virtual Reality (VR) application has been developed which supports engineers during product creation processes of unique aerospace interior. Ten trained engineers participated in a user study, which explored the differences in efficiency and user experience of two use cases within VR and conventional working methods. The study represented real day-to-day challenges and included two tasks: detecting the visibility of components for design reviews and cable routing for assembly processes. Five experts per task had to complete their assignment in both VR and their conventional working tools. In the visibility task participants had to decide whether the component of interest is visible or not in three different scenarios. For the cable task the experts were asked to route a specific cable for components in order to plan the amount of material that was needed in the final assembly. They had to estimate the cable length for four different cable routings and the outcome was compared to the optimal cable length for each given task. In both tasks the time until a decision has been measured. The results show that engineering processes can be supported by VR applications, which can help saving time in visibility testing and cable routing, as well as potentially saving resources by improving the accuracy of calculation for an ideal cable length. There are further potential benefits for users, as VR strains the workload less than conventional working methods. Furthermore, the study has shown that participants who were less experienced with VR technologies did significantly better with the VR application compared to conventional working methods during the visibility check.
Keywords: Virtual Reality, User Studies, HCI
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