University of Oulu

Barhoush, Y., Georgiev, G. V., & Loudon, B. (2020). EMPATHY AND IDEA GENERATION: EXPLORING THE DESIGN OF A VIRTUAL REALITY CONTROLLER FOR REHABILITATION PURPOSES. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2020). Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Design Creativity.

Empathy and idea generation : exploring the design of a virtual reality controller for rehabilitation purposes

Saved in:
Author: Barhoush, Yazan1; Georgiev, Georgi V.1; Loudon, Brian2
Organizations: 1Center for Ubiquitous Computing, University of Oulu, Finland
2Loud1Design Limited, Glasgow, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: The Design Society, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-11-09


The paper explores the ideation and design of a Virtual Reality (VR) proof-of-concept controller for rehabilitation of users with limited physical mobility (upper-limb disability). An existing tracker solution is used to map input (actions and movements) in VR. The main challenge was integrating some of the default functionalities existing in current commercial VR controllers, while providing an empathic setup and a use-case for disability rehabilitation, as well as keeping the controller compact, lightweight, and handheld. The prototyping process followed a human-centred explorative design idea generation. Only limited functionality of existing commercial controllers was maintained, with the feasibility and readiness for implementing additional functionalities to use the controller with existing applications and future use cases. An experiment was performed to investigate the usability of the system and the effectiveness and reliability of the controller in empathic re-mapping of real-life disability to VR.

see all

ISBN: 978-1-912254-11-8
Pages: 287 - 294
DOI: 10.35199/ICDC.2020.36
Host publication: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Design Creativity (ICDC 2020). 26-28 August 2020, Oulu, Finland
Host publication editor: Boujut, Jean-François
Cascini, Gaetano
Ahmed-Kristensen, Saeema
Georgiev, Georgi V.
Iivari, Netta
Conference: International Conference on Design Creativity
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 856998. This research has been also partially financially supported by Academy of Finland 6Genesis Flagship (grant 318927).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318927
Detailed Information: 318927 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © The Authors 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is unaltered and is properly cited. The written permission of Cambridge University Press must be obtained for commercial re-use or in order to create a derivative work.