Aberdeen airport seeks volunteers to test hidden disabilities VR app

Aberdeen airport seeks volunteers to test hidden disabilities VR app

Scottish airport has been working with a local hidden disabilities charity on the iSenseVR app Continue reading

Aberdeen airport is appealing for volunteers to help it hone a new virtual reality app that helps travellers with hidden disabilities navigate the facility.

The Scottish airport has been working with Friendly Access, a local hidden disabilities charity on the iSenseVR app.

Friendly Access has worked on it along with the School of Simulation and Visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art and 3D visualisation specialists Crag3D.

iSenseVR has been designed to improve the travelling experience for people with sensory difficulties in busy environments, like airports, shopping centres and other highly populated areas.

The app is now in its final stages of development, and the development team need 70 volunteers with hidden disabilities to register their interest in assisting with the research before a deadline this Friday.

Aberdeen airport has facilitated development work with the app team and potential participants could attend the airport for further research.

Glyn Morris, chief executive of Friendly Access, said: “We are currently seeking approximately 70 individuals with hidden disabilities, aged 16 and over, living in the UK, to take part into our study.

“As our approach is holistic, we do not target any specific hidden disability, but rather prefer to be as inclusive as possible to most hidden disabilities.

“We’re asking potential participants to use their own mobile phone and a Virtual Reality (VR) headset which we will supply, you will experience different environments and scenarios found in an airport using our VR app.

“We want to empower people to empower people living with hidden disabilities such as autism, learning disabilities and mental health issues to overcome their barriers in an airport environment.”

Airport duty manager, Fraser Bain, added: “We’re delighted to assist the team with the creation of the iSenseVR app in any way we can, as we all have a common interest in making airport experiences as comfortable and as relaxing as possible.”

The app has been funded by the European Social Fund and the Social Innovation Fund from the Scottish Government.

The research involves around 20 minutes’ app activity every three days over one-and-a-half months. Participants also be asked to complete a short questionnaire through the app at the end of each session.