In the project ECoClass-VR, which is part of the AUDICTIVE priority programme, we investigate the suitability of audiovisual Immersive Virtual Environments (IVEs) for a “real-world” assessment of cognitive performance of adults and children in classroom-type environments under different visuospatial and acoustic conditions. Existing knowledge in this area comes predominantly from auditory experimental paradigms with typically simple acoustic replications. So far, only limited attention has been paid to visual processing, without considering relevant audiovisual aspects. In the project ECoClass-VR, it is planned to successively increase the realism of three existing psychological test paradigms that are first translated into audiovisual tasks and subsequently increased in terms of their realism with regard to cognitive tasks and IVEs.
To do so, we use two different types of scene visualization: immersive 360° video, hence captured 360° video scenes and Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) based scenes generated by a software such as e.g. Unity. Within this paper, we present first results and explain how we captured and generated the corresponding IVEs. We describe the challenges as well as the technical solutions to achieve close-to-photorealism for two virtual representations of a classroom-type scene, and to enable the flexibility required for conducting the targeted cognitive performance tests.
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