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CAREER: Using Games to Design and Evaluate Wearable Computer Interfaces for Disaster Collaboration

08-28-2020 -

Wearable computers are set to proliferate, yet there are questions of use cases and designs.
Wearables may support human collaboration away from the desktop. Wearable interfaces are impoverished, yet their sensors enable them to leverage context. The present research addresses the question of how to best support mobile collaboration using wearable interfaces.

The present research approach is to systematically build on existing digital game designs,
applying them to the physical world. Game designers have long developed wearable interfaces
through head-up displays and use of controllers to accomplish game tasks. Many games are multi-player, supporting collaboration. Disaster response contexts motivate designs and drive broader impact,
as they are collaborative and characterized by a need for mobility. To validate findings and
designs, the present research leverages mixed reality games that combine a virtual world with
the physical one.

The objectives of this proposal are to design and develop wearable interfaces for disaster response contexts and test them in mixed reality games. The principal hypotheses are that it is possible to design and develop wearable interfaces from existing game designs and a deep understanding of disaster response; further, that mixed reality games will serve as an effective testbed for such designs.