PIU - Perception, Interaction and Usability – is a domain of applied research within CCG, with a dedicated team that studies human perception, behavior, adaptation, and interaction with his/her surroundings.
In the field of perception, PIU develops research in basic perception processes, mainly processes of multimodal integration and perception-action in the visual, audiovisual, audio-motor, visual-motor, and, recently, olfactory modalities.
Regarding interaction PIU has developed projects on the frontier between science and technology, focusing mainly on the user’s adaptation to new interfaces, devices, and motor interaction. This acquired knowledge can be applied in areas such as biomechanics, rehabilitation, sports, entertainment, and assisted living.
As for usability, PIU faces it as the applied area of knowledge that gathers ergonomics, functional design, accessibility, and the general development of user-centered design solutions.
PIU has at its disposal cutting edge technology in a space equipped with a virtual and augmented reality system, namely a CAVE-like (Cave automatic Virtual Environment) system, a real-time auralization system, and a motion capture Vicon® system. The main goal is to provide users with an immersive environment that is highly configurable in order to be used in simulation, prototyping, and interaction evaluation in a very realistic scenario.
This domain of applied research has strong connections with the Laboratory of Visualization and Perception (LVP) from the University of Minho.
Besides having services concerning the utilization of the CAVE and inherent technical support, PIU’s team has already developed different applied projects in several areas, such as:
- Studying road pavements that are acoustically comfortable for road users;
- Calibrating audiovisual interfaces for assisted living;
- Evaluation of technologies and interactions;
- Driving simulation, interfaces for driver support, road safety;
- Biomechanical studies and products for motor rehabilitation;
- Analysis of comfort/ergonomic indicators (consulting);
- Usability tests for product certification (consulting);
- Collection and reproduction of 3D audio (noise studies, entertainment, modeling);
- Psychophysical studies for the aromatization of spaces.
The main goal of PIU is to develop human-centered studies and to participate in the creation of new products that contribute to a more adaptive, usable, and comfortable utilization, as well as products that help with health/rehabilitation, safety, and entertainment.