University of Twente Student Theses


Virtual Reality Rowing with Sonification - An Exploration of the Effects of Sonification in a Virtual Reality Environment

Blom, A.A. (2023) Virtual Reality Rowing with Sonification - An Exploration of the Effects of Sonification in a Virtual Reality Environment.

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Abstract:This thesis explores the design and effectiveness of sonification, a form of non-verbal auditory feedback, to enhance rowing in a virtual reality (VR) environment. The research question addressed is: "How can we design effective auditory feedback in the form of sonification to enhance rowing in a virtual reality environment?" Exploring effective sonification designs within this new environment and understanding their correlation with participants’ rowing behaviour will contribute to enhancing training and performance in rowing sports. Additionally, this study could provide valuable insights into the inconsistent success rate of sonification. Methods involved data collection from twenty participants, who engaged in rowing sessions under different VR and Sonification conditions. The study utilised a mixed-methods approach, combining the quantitative data analysis of the force curve with qualitative assessments of user experiences. The force curve data were analysed to evaluate stroke form and differences between sound groups, while subjective evaluations were utilised to analyse user perceptions of the experience. Results reveal a significant distinction in angular velocity between the two sound groups, indicating the possibility of sonification to influence rowing behaviour. However, stroke form and angular velocity showed no significant differences between sonification and no sonification conditions, suggesting the opposite. The VR environment and sonification were received as immersive and engaging by participants, who felt like it positively impacted their performance. The discussion highlights the implications and limitations of the study, including the need for individualised feedback for rowers, potential learning effects among inexperienced participants, and considerations for prolonged VR usage. The study recommends further research on experienced rowers, personalised feedback systems, and the impact of feedback dependency on skill acquisition. An important limitation is the incorrect implementation of the power curve due to the absence of drag factor calculations. Future research includes incorporating user characteristics and examining the effects of prolonged VR and sonification utilisation in addition to exploring different variables and evaluation methods. In conclusion, this thesis contributes to the field by revealing the potential of sonification and VR to enhance rowing performance, but cannot give a clear answer on how to design effective sonification in a VR environment. Acceptance rate and appreciation are high for sonification and VR and differences in audio design suggest a potential impact on force output.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:02 science and culture in general
Programme:Creative Technology BSc (50447)
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