Staffordshire University ranks as one of the top game development universities in the world. The city itself is also famous for its pottery heritage. Emma Fallows, a researcher at Staffordshire University used SenseGlove DK1 to research the new ways to communicate history, combining her passions: interactive gaming experiences and ceramics.
Transforming education and history research with haptics
The goal of the research is to explore how haptic technologies combined with VR can better engage viewers in the museum and heritage sectors. Emma’s project offers the next step in the way we communicate contextual information, particularly using the SenseGlove Haptic Gloves.
One of the main challenges in the museum industry is the limited interaction with artefacts. Most of the original ceramic artefacts are either too fragile, delicate or valuable for public access. Virtual Reality can partly solve this issue. VR is becoming common in the education sector, though it still has limitations when it comes to providing a lifelike experience. Participants can walk through digital scenes, perform tasks but the lack of sensorial perception limits the interaction. Without haptic experience, participants are not getting the full contextual information about the artefacts.
Using SenseGlove DK 1, participants can explore and handle the fragile ceramics, physically feeling their shapes and textures, experiencing the unique features of each artefact. Emma recreated the Thorhill ceramics collection in VR and enhanced it with haptic features. Enriched with the feeling of physical touch, the project allowed us to interact with digital replicas of the ceramic artefacts in a natural way.
Early tests have shown that VR with haptics may become a popular option for the preservation of ancient artefacts via a digitised archive.
“The haptics spark the potential to revive how we interact, communicate and preserve ceramic artefacts long term. This innovative way of interaction reinvents the way we communicate history, aids interpretation and increases visitor engagement”, says Emma Fallows.