Virtual reality technologies to analyze wayfinding and signage systems of infrastructures before they are built

Increasingly complex and multi-functional public spaces and infrastructures such as airports, transit hubs, shopping centers or festivals can cause people to get disoriented or to feel discomfort. Understanding how people interact with their physical environment and how different sources of visual information influence their orientation and navigation behavior is a key to well-designed architectures and wayfinding systems. This has to be fully taken into account in the planning phase to prevent wrong design choices which might result in higher costs at later stages.

EXPERIENCE is based on virtual reality technologies offering a novel method for interactive exploration and analysis of architectural models and designs before they are built. It uses a test environment allowing persons to walk through an immersive virtual 3D model of a building or urban environment while measuring their movement, gaze and relevant behavioral characteristics. It includes crowd simulations and characteristic soundscapes for a high level of realism. As a result, visual attention patterns are projected onto the virtual 3D model and can be explored dynamically.

EXPERIENCE reveals and quantifies the following aspects in customized scenarios:

  • User task performance: walking time and distance as well as detailed route analysis
  • Physical behavior: characteristics of locomotion, head and body orientation as well as movement paths
  • Decision making: visual attention on objects and signs identified via 3D gaze analysis

 Experience enables to:

  • identify deficits of architectural designs and wayfinding systems
  • improve pedestrian flows and the performance of designs
  • increase customer satisfaction leading to greater usage and income

EXPERIENCE is the ideal solution for architects, operators of large infrastructures and public spaces, transportation planners and consultants. It effectively supports the evaluation of architecture and wayfinding systems by identifying issues ahead of time, resulting in reduced need for re-work and project cost savings.