Interaction in virtual and augmented reality is inherently spatial and embodied.  Immersive user interfaces leverage the rich sensory resources of the human body and enable compelling interactive experiences using physical motion, gestures, and tangible objects.  However, these emerging interaction paradigms also introduce design and implementation challenges for usability, ease of use, and physical fatigue. The Illusioneering Lab researches novel spatial techniques. develops enabling technologies, and investigates how embodied interaction be applied in immersive applications for health, rehabilitation, training, and entertainment.

The Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (Suma et al. 2011) has been used by clinicians for game-based rehabilitation after stroke or traumatic brain injury.
Astrojumper is a virtual reality fitness game designed to motivate vigorous exercise (Finkelstein et al. 2011).

Selected Publications

Acting the Part: The Role of Gesture on Avatar Identity

A. Feng, G. Lucas, S. Marsella, E. Suma, C. Chiu, D. Casas, and A. Shapiro. ACM SIGGRAPH Conference on Motion in Games, pp. 49–54, 2014.

Evaluation of the Exertion and Motivation Factors of a Virtual Reality Exercise Game for Children with Autism

S. Finkelstein, T. Barnes, Z. Wartell, and E. Suma. IEEE VR Workshop on Virtual and Augmented Assive Technology, 2013.

Adapting User Interfaces for Gestural Interaction with the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit

E. Suma, D. Krum, B. Lange, S. Koenig, A. Rizzo, and M. Bolas. Computers & Graphics, 37 (3), pp. 193–201, 2013.

Designing Informed Game-Based Rehabilitation Tasks Leveraging Advances in Virtual Reality

B. Lange, S. Koenig, C. Chang, E. McConnell, E. Suma, M. Bolas, and A. Rizzo. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34 (22), pp. 1863–1870, 2012.

Astrojumper: Motivating Exercise with an Immersive Virtual Reality Exergame

S. Finkelstein, A. Nickel, Z. Lipps, Z. Wartell, T. Barnes, and E. Suma. Presence: Teleoperators & Virtual Environments, 20 (1), pp. 78–92, 2011.

FAAST: The Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit

E. Suma, B. Lange, A. Rizzo, D. Krum, and M. Bolas. IEEE Virtual Reality, pp. 247–248, 2011.

Leveraging unencumbered full body control of animated virtual characters for game-based rehabilitation

B. Lange, E. Suma, B. Newman, T. Phan, C. Chang, A. Rizzo, and M. Bolas. HCI International, pp. 243–252, 2011.