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Virtual Reality


Virtual Reality is a powerful tool for investigating a person’s perception, comfort, and feelings towards a space or environment – allowing for empirical data to be collected while products and buildings are still in the design phase.  In addition to rendering new computer-assisted designs, existing spaces can be photographed at high resolution to create a virtual environment.  These can then be altered to create new scenarios, or used to test perception from a large number of study participants off-site.  The surfaces of our climate chamber can be modified to different materials, allowing for both in situ and virtual testing.  In one ongoing project, we are testing how different surface materials in a small space can affect a person’s thermal comfort, even when the viewer is using a virtual-reality experience while sitting in a room 100 miles away, all while that person is under different ambient temperatures (too cool, too warm, etc.).