Enhancing Lean and Agile ways of working using an asymmetric multi-user virtual reality setup
Becerril Palma, Paulina (2021)
Becerril Palma, Paulina
Master's Programme in Human-Technology Interaction
Informaatioteknologian ja viestinnän tiedekunta - Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences
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At present, the relevance of studying VR to ease industry processes has increased in importance as several studies indicate that VR solutions might enhance future production models that use centralized digital data. However, there is lack of research on the specific use cases, stakeholders, and requirements the VR solutions should meet to fulfil the needs proper of the industry. Therefore, the goal of this research was to analyze a multi-user VR application to aid the maintenance and technical documentation process in the industry. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions and in adherence to the Lean and Agile principles, the multi-user VR evaluation was conducted using an asymmetric VR setting. Asymmetric VR settings refer to the use of immersive and non-immersive platforms simultaneously, in this case HMD and desktop VR. The virtual environment VE used to in this user study is a Collaborative Virtual Reality Environment, COVE-VR. The COVE-VR is a software created by Tampere University in collaboration with KONE. The VE was designed to aid the collaboration in the industry with a focus on digital content creation. The user study took part in the elevators and escalators company KONE, with participants from sites in Finland, China, India, and USA. The participants of the study represented 20 end-users of the industry. The results of this study showed that as VR has the potential to optimize industrial tasks in a Lean and Agile manner, especially for geographically dispersed teams. Moreover, the introduction of asymmetric VR settings can enable the participation of wider audiences, easing rapid 3D visualization, avoiding travelling costs, and reducing hardware and software cost in comparison to HMD platforms. Lastly, the study demonstrate that VR promotes remote collaboration and sense of co-presence even for desktop VR users.