Professor Rob Lindeman is the Research Leader of the HIT Lab NZ.
Virtual Reality (VR) involves immersing people in digital worlds. Rob is interested in supporting effective use of VR for entertainment, work, tourism, and other areas that enhance the user experience. This means doing research in 3D User Interaction (3DUI), multi-sensory feedback, and long-term immersion, all being applied to real world situations, such as training, education, and just plain fun.
His 3DUI work focuses on the main tasks people need to do in VR, including working with objects (e.g., picking things up, opening doors, and creating the worlds themselves), moving around in VR worlds (i.e., travel and finding your way), and task-specific things, like loading new models, or communicating with virtual characters).
With regard to multi-sensory cues, Rob has done extensive work on going beyond visual and audio feedback to providing significant touch, wearable vibration feedback, floor vibration, and even wind. He has also explored the delivery of smell cues in VR. Rob takes a holistic approach, in that he looks at all the senses in concert, as opposed to looking at them individually, because this better matches how people sense in the real world – balancing the strengths and weaknesses of each sensory system to make sense of the world.
In terms of long-term immersion in VR, it is clear that people will be spending ever-increasing hours inside VR. How can we support people getting real work done? How can we provide a good balance between expressiveness and fatigue?
Rob is a Senior Member of both the IEEE and ACM, and is a member of UPE, the Computer Science Honor Society.
In his spare time, Rob enjoys skiing, mountain biking, soccer and geocaching.