Eric Maslowski, Technical Creative Consultant

Research Home

Wayfinding in Assisted Living Homes

An important factor in the quality of care offered to the elderly in homes for the aged is the ability for residents to successfully navigate between points of interest. Unfortunately, many assisted living homes suffer from non-descript hallways and difficult floor plans which have proven to be cumbersome for their residents. Working with the University of Michigan 3D Lab, this project will help identify key visual cues used for wayfinding through the use and development of immersive technologies and real-time simulations.

For this project the Jugular engine is being used due to its flexible architecture and ability to run on a series of devices. Complete logging of a user's experience was added to the engine so that one could record/playback a particular session while storing the data to file as well. Reviewers can now deeply analyze what the participant was doing, plot their movements, and come to conclusions quicker.

Students working for the lab, Victor Uhal and Matthew Schwartz, created a faithful reproduction of a known home for the aged with realistic lighting and texturing. Using texturing baking techniques the complicated lighting was stored in special texures which were combined with diffuse, bump, and specular maps at run-time creating a natural and immersive experience.