Virtual Rest Room: Designing In-air Hygiene Experience for Flying-V | Meng Li
Imagine a design of future aeroplane, the question arises as to what elements allow for a comfortable journey. We envision that automation will be introduced to flying within the next 30 years. AR and VR technology will be widely used in airplanes, and the cabin crew will be a combination of people and robots. The development of a new aircraft –Flying V provides an opportunity to discover the design elements to increase the comfort during long-haul flight. Virtual Reality as a design tool helps to involve users during conceptualization and design decision-making at low costs.
“If the concepts felt differently when viewed in immersive virtual reality and on desktop?” This question was explored during a concept selection session. Five elements with every two alternatives were shown and user’s comfort were asked both in Head-Mounted Display (HMD) and desktop walk-throughs. A with-in subject experiment design was used with a sample of twenty-eight design students. Simulation sickness symptoms were examined both before and after each walk-through. Participants wearing HMD showed significant different preferences on basin height, storage style and the amount of facilities, while they only identified differences on storage style using desktop. Simulation sickness was only reported on desktop walk-through. The participants reflected their feedback on the concepts for design improvement.
A redesign of the restroom was finished in one week and assessed in VR with thirty-three potential users. The new concept provide a high comfort level among the users. The virtual reality provide an opportunity to investigate the preferences of each design element independently under a general context, which helps designer understand the nuances of user’s needs.