Research Theme

Interactive Technologies

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies are achieving mass adoption in numerous sectors including Big Pharma, education, manufacturing, Healthcare and gaming. Using a HMD “Head Mounted Display”, VR creates an environment via software that immerses the user in a virtual world which suspends belief.   AR is similar but uses holograms which are overlaid on the user’s real environment and enhances or adds to what they can see via data displays or 3D models. These technologies produce new immersive human machine interaction paradigms that are not only transforming how we consume information but also the speed of how we comprehend higher level concepts. 

Key areas of expertise 

  • Interactive technologies (Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality)  
  • Visual Processing 
  • Network of the Brain. 
  • Dynamic Adaptive content 

Mixed Reality

  • VR/AR Middleware Software Development
  • VR/AR Application Development (bespoke applications across specific verticals)
  • VR/AR for Training
  • VR/AR for Education
  • VR/AR Awareness Building

VR Perception 

  1. Neural Stimulation
  2. Virtual Neural Rehabilitation
  3. Visual Processing
  4. How the brain perceives emotions 
  5. Graph Theory Brain 
  6. Network of the Brain
  7. Dynamic Adaptive content

Digital Patient Diagnosis, Medical Imaging and rehabilitation  

 The core concept we explore is the ability to model the patient themselves in a virtual space. This allows us to augment the virtual representation created by the scan with additional information or metrics and in the case of DigiHealthScan allow for the capturing, processing and display of health data in particular. This allows for the capture of the patients movement and patterns. By analysing this movement data through both classic methods or pose extraction and application of more complex methods such as deep learning algorithms, we can monitor and diagnose on the basis of postural gait and body part motion analysis.  

Social Cognition : Capacity of Mixed Reality technology to enhance Cognitive Development as well as Social Cognitions development.  

Impaired social communication represents a key obstacle facing people with varying conditions; this includes response to social stimuli as well as appropriate navigation of natural social settings. It is envisaged that this research shall also explore the user’s own awareness and recognition of their emotional state – through the use of ML algorithms and a body sensor array to indicate their own emotional state as well as that of others due to their behaviour in social situations, which can help to develop self-reflective skills. 

VR for Education  

VR/AR technologies are becoming a more attractive option to support educational aspects. The group has linked with many clients in this space and continue to delve into new and innovative solutions and research in this area. Specific research activities here focus on aptitude tests, digital twin (for training and education) and examining the feasibility of virtual reality-assisted language learning in comparison to traditional methods. 

The research in the ARVR lab focus on two on main activities: 

  • AR/VR Communication Platforms: Future telepresence systems will not only require seamless communication in single or multi-user scenarios but also allow users to interact and collaborate in augmented or virtual environments.  The ARVR researchers are delivering a next generation enterprise and personal communication system at a much lower cost and barrier to entry to traditional systems.  They are investigating pre-scanning and real-time user capturing systems via depth sensing camera hardware, 3D mesh modification representation and enhancement, 3D mesh transmission and the use of adaptive level of detailing systems to manage and maintain quality of service between variable connections and disparate end user hardware systems.
  • NeuroVR As VR hardware improves through new technology and future iterations of existing hardware, users will experience increasingly immersive experiences.  Our research into the area of Neuro VR is currently investigating the relationship between the brain and the reactions within nerve clusters to specific and adaptive virtual stimuli.  The results of this research could potentially lead to new neurorehabilitation and treatment techniques in addition to bench marking and improving the level of immersion within VR worlds or applications. 

Educating people about COVID-19 with AR and VR

The Virtual and Augmented Reality team in TSSG have combined visual and kinaesthetic learning tools to raise awareness of COVID-19. Aimed at children aged 8 and up, this interactive experience is also ASD friendly and can be used as a tool to educate children in a fun and engaging environment. Using the HSE COVID-19 safety guidelines, this informative and interactive experience demonstrates how to effectively wash hands using a sequence of cards and how to successfully practice social distancing in a supermarket or retail environment.

To access this virtual experience, users require an Oculus Quest with Oculus Touch controllers, which are available online. Download the VR experience from SideQuest.

Ian Mills

AR/VR Technical Lead

Ryan McCloskey 

Junior Software Developer

Stephen Barnes

Experienced Research Software Developer

Colin Fardey

Junior Research Software Engineer

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