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A Virtual Reality Couch Configurator Leveraging Passive Haptic Feedback

André Zenner; Felix Kosmalla; Jan Ehrlich; Philip Hell; Gerrit Kahl; Christian Murlowski; Marco Speicher; Florian Daiber; Daniel Heinrich; Antonio Krüger
In: Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. International Conference. ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI-2020), CHI EA ’20, ISBN 9781450368193, Association for Computing Machinery, 2020.


When configuring furniture during sales consultancy in a furniture store, customers are usually confronted with abstract 2D drawings or simplistic renderings of the discussed configuration on a display. We present a novel application based on virtual reality (VR) to support furniture store consultations. Our system allows customers to elaborate different configurations of a couch in dialogue with a sales expert and lets customers experience them through immersive VR in a variety of virtual environments. While the sales-expert can modify the couch layout and fabric, the customer can stay immersed and experience a realistic tactile feeling of the configured couch through passive haptic feedback provided by a sample piece the customer can sit on. A preliminary field study in a furniture store showed that the system is immersive, conveying realistic impressions of the couch configurations. Customers perceived the VR configurator as useful since it would make their purchase decisions easier.

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