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Immersive accessibility engineering

Designing accessible products in virtual reality
: Dangelmaier, Manfred

Neugebauer, Reimund (Hrsg.) ; TU Chemnitz:
VAR² 2013 - Realität erweitern = VAR² 2013 - extend reality : 2. Fachkonferenz zu VR/AR-Technologien an der Professur für Werkzeugmaschinen und Umformtechnik der TU Chemnitz; Tagungsband
Zwickau: Verlag Wissenschaftliche Scripten, 2013
ISBN: 978-3-942267-66-3
ISBN: 3-942267-66-7
Fachkonferenz zu VR/AR-Technologien <2, 2013, Chemnitz>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Inclusive design is a declared political intention in Europe. Enterprises are expected to take their social responsibility by providing accessible products. But inclusive design must also meet economic criteria and balanced entrepreneurial decisions are needed. It is proposed to trade off added market potential against the required additional effort for accessibility. Exclusive, restrictive, positive and fully inclusive product development strategies are considered. The "positive" strategy seems to be best balanced. To design accessible products a new type of engineering competence and function is needed: accessibility engineering. Accessibility engineers contribute to all stages of the development process and can help to boost sales volume in all phases of the product lifecycle. Accessibility engineering needs in particular tools for usability and user experience validation. The European VERITAS project has developed an open simulation platform and an immersive platform for that purpose and proves their usefulness for various products and disabilities. It is shown that virtual reality can contribute to the design of accessible products by providing a first person experience to the designer from the perspective of users with disabilities. Furthermore VR can provide an immersive interface to usability simulation applications based on user models of disabled users. The user model specification used in VERITAS is proposed for standardization by the EUROPEAN VUMS project cluster as a contribution for implementing the European Disability strategy.