Prompted by the theme of the 3DUI Contest 2020, “Embodiment for the Difference”, we designed an immersive experience that simulates sensory issues related to conditions such as autism spectrum disorders, PTSD and schizophrenia. These issues are composed of hypersensitivities, such as perceiving lights brighter than they are, and hyposensitivities, such as not being able to make a distinction over sounds.
We placed the user in an environment where they need to solve a mundane task, namely, go to an interview to get a job. While a person that does not suffer from this condition would be expecting to focus their energy on the job interview, our simulation subverts expectations and focuses on the task of actually getting there. The user needs to leave the house and get to a taxi that will take them to the interview. When they step outside, however, they are flooded by sensory overload, with too much brightness from the sun, and multiple sounds competing for user attention.
Instead of only showing the issues, we also provide coping mechanisms. People with these conditions don’t stop living because of it, but rather learn and develop strategies to overcome the struggles. We provide users with objects that can be employed to reduce the effects of sensory overload.
Get the job! An immersive simulation of sensory overload Inproceedings
In: 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces Abstracts and Workshops (VRW), IEEE, 2020.