Virtual Observation

Virtual Observation enables Virtual Reality (VR) simulations to be reconstructed, re-simulating user’s unique VR training simulations for Assessment or Observation.

Virtual Observation enables Virtual Reality (VR) simulations to be reconstructed, re-simulating user’s unique VR training simulations for Assessment or Observation.

Virtual Observation enables Virtual Reality (VR) simulations to be reconstructed, re-simulating user’s unique VR training simulations for Assessment or Observation.

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Virtual Observation

Virtual Observation is software I developed during my PhD. The software works for both After-Action review or Live Action review of Virtual Reality (VR) Simulations, meaning that a simulation can be monitored world-wide in real-time and/or saved for later reconstruction at a time of convience.

In After-Action review, the data of a VR client can be stored on a server or saved locally in a portable data format on the VR clients computer or device. This saved data can be used on any other compter or VR configuration to reconstruct the clients unique experience within the simulation, including all movement and actions conducted by the client within the virtual environment.

In Live Action Review, two or more people are connected to a multi-player session of a Virtual Reality simulation. The host of the session performs the role of the assessors or observer of the simulation, with all other connected VR clients as individual instances of a VR character. During the simulation, all data from VR clients is streamed in real-time to the host and stored in individual data packets. This enables real-time observation of multiple VR clients within a single virtual environment, transmitting and recording all movements and actions conducted by each connected client. During Live Action, the recieved data from VR clients is automatically converted and stored on the host computer as After-Action review data, enabiling the host to reconstruct individuals, groups or all VR clients within the simulation after the multi-player session has ended. This allows for repeatable reconstructions of the simulation beyond the inital Live Action review, enabiling the host or observer to reconstruct the milti-player session with the opportunity to move about in the virtual world and monitor other individuals or aspects of the simulation.

What does Virtual Observation do?

Virtual Observation enables Virtual Reality (VR) simulations to be accurately reconstructed. This enables user performance in VR simulations to be saved and reconstructed when required, allowing in-depth analysis of user movement and actions during a simulation.

An obvious advantage to this system is the ability for user training simulations to be saved and used for manual validation to ensure user’s are correctly completing training objectives. As these simulations are stored in a reusable and portable format, the performance of individual user’s can be compared to measure performance during repeated assessments.

In the demonstration below, a trainee completes a VR training simulation and the Virtual Observation recording data is saved. Afterwords, an observer (or instructor) uses VR equipment to observe the reconstructed virtual environment. With the VR equipment, the observer can manipulate the reconstructed simulation to play, pause and rewind the trainee user performance. The observer can also use the VR equipment to control their location in the environment, being able to move their position in the 3D virtual space.

Demonstrations of Virtual Observation

Virtual Observation has been implemented into VR applications for my PhD research and personal projects, including a commercial VR application.
You can view some of these demonstrations below:

Swagelok Oil-Rig Training – After Action Review:

A prototype of Virtual Observation was incorporated into a commercial application with Swagelok Scotland, this system was used to capture media and analyse user functionality of the system during development and publication of the Virtual Reality training application. You can see an example of this commercial usage below:


Fire Safety Training Application:

Live Action Demonstration:

The following interactive experience is a simple demonstration of Virtual Observation being used to reconstruct a VR scenario of a user repeatedly removing a sword from a stone. The observation is controllable by the observer, using the mouse and WASD keys, the camera position and rotation can be altered to allow observation from any perspective of the experience. The experience being observed was recorded live and stored for later (after-action review) observation. While simplified for demonstration purposes, the functionality of the system highlights the potential usage for an observer to observe and assess VR simulations live from anywhere in the world.
https://virtualobservationsystem.github.io/VirtualObservationSystem/

SICSA Poster:

The following poster was presented at The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance on the 4th of November, 2019.

Want to learn more about Virtual Observation?

I have published and presented my research regarding Virtual Observation at at a leading academic conference (Computer-Human Interaction, 2019). You can access my paper from HERE. The system has evolved since then, now featuring more advanced capabilities for saving and reconstructing simulations.

Get In Touch

If you would like to know more about Virtual Observation or are interested in developing a commerical application, please get in touch by filling in the contact form below or email me: contact@ScottHowie.co.uk