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Virtual environments and ergonomics: needs and opportunities

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Although based on a still immature technology, virtual environments appear to have potential for applications in industry, commerce, medicine and education. The role of ergonomics will be in development of improved virtual environment interfaces and in enabling better utilization of the technology through specifying user needs and requirements and developing evaluation methodologies. By extension, ergonomists will also be involved in building virtual environments for use in areas of ergonomics activity such as workplace layout, interface design, procedures testing, education and training. This paper overviews virtual environment attributes and capabilities and proposes a framework for their specification, development and evaluation, before summarizing current ergonomics research issues. Current work on participant side effects is summarized. A strong case is made for the potential value of ergonomics for virtual environments and vice versa.
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Keywords: HEAD MOUNTED DISPLAYS; PRESENCE; SIMULATOR SICKNESS; VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS; VIRTUAL REALITY; VIRTUAL REALITY INDUCED SYMPTOMS AND EFFECTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 1997

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