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The heat is on: exploring user behaviour in a multisensory virtual environment for fire evacuation

Shaw, Emily; Roper, Tessa; Nilsson, Tommy; Lawson, Glyn; Cobb, Sue V.G.; Miller, Daniel

Authors

Emily Shaw

Tessa Roper

Tommy Nilsson

SUE COBB sue.cobb@nottingham.ac.uk
Associate Professor

Daniel Miller



Abstract

Understanding validity of user behaviour in Virtual Environments (VEs) is critical as they are increasingly being used for serious Health and Safety applications such as predicting human behaviour and training in hazardous situations. This paper presents a comparative study exploring user behaviour in VE-based fire evacuation and investigates whether this is affected by the addition of thermal and olfactory simulation. Participants (N=43) were exposed to a virtual fire in an office building. Quantitative and qualitative analyses of participant attitudes and behaviours found deviations from those we would expect in real life (e.g. pre-evacuation actions), but also valid behaviours like fire avoidance. Potentially important differences were found between multisensory and audio/visual-only conditions (e.g. perceived urgency). We conclude VEs have significant potential in safety-related applications, and that multimodality may afford additional uses in this context, but the identified limitations of behavioural validity must be carefully considered to avoid misapplication of the technology.

Citation

Shaw, E., Nilsson, T., Roper, T., Lawson, G., Cobb, S., & Miller, D. (2019). The heat is on: exploring user behaviour in a multisensory virtual environment for fire evacuation. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systemsdoi:10.1145/3290605.3300856

Conference Name 2019 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (SIG CHI 2019)
Start Date May 4, 2019
End Date May 9, 2019
Acceptance Date Dec 14, 2018
Online Publication Date May 2, 2019
Publication Date May 2, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 23, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 23, 2019
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Book Title Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
ISBN 9781450359702
DOI https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300856
Keywords Virtual Environments; VR; Multimodality; Thermal interfaces; Olfactory interfaces; User studies; Behaviour
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1491851
Publisher URL https://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3300856
Related Public URLs http://chi2019.acm.org/

Additional Information Published in: CHI '19 Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Paper No. 626

Glasgow, Scotland Uk — May 04 - 09, 2019
ACM : New York, USA ©2019
ISBN: 978-1-4503-5970-2 doi 10.1145/3290605.3300856

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