This spring the CICS User-eXperience Lab (UXL) received new equipment: Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Gear and Noldus Face Reader 7. The new equipment increases capacity and expands research opportunities for faculty, researchers, and students in the College of Communication and Information’s four schools (Advertising and Public Relations, Communication Studies, Information Sciences, and Journalism and Electronic Media).
The Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Gear provides an environment to study people’s information behavior, how people communicate, the effects of communication messages, and information architecture design in virtual environments. Many established CCI research agendas can be extended with use of VR including studies of hate speech, information behavior in a variety of contexts including health care and data intensive environments, data journalism, and countering violent extremism.
The Noldus FaceReader provides researchers with the ability to analyze facial expressions to identify the affect the stimuli are having on an individual. Facial recognition allows researchers to record and analyze how an individual is reacting to a communication or information challenge within a given context. The software recognizes six basic facial expressions (happy, sad, angry, disgusted, scared, and surprised). FaceReader also has the ability to calculate gaze direction, head orientation, and person characteristics. The software has applications in consumer behavior studies, usability studies, market research, psychology, and many other uses.
For more information, a tour of the User-eXperience lab, or demonstration of the equipment please contact the UXL manager, Rachel Volentine, at firstname.lastname@example.org.