Recently, Brendan Walker and myself have been out and about measuring thrill levels at the Goodwood festival of speed. This time we have been spending time on the Nissan stall as part of the promotions for Nissan’s Juke range of cars. Specifically we have been wearing the title of “Juke Trill Laboratory” and looking at thrilling experiences. On the stand, on the day Nissan had set up a virtual reality skydive simulator, made by the good folks over at Inition. Having had a shot on it I can say that it was indeed pretty good fun, though I have my doubts that it had any real analogue to the terrification of actual skydiving. It certainly is one of the most fun VR experiences I’ve had.
So where does thrill lab fit into this equation? Well we were monitoring people on the ride, using a Vilistus DSU to capture heart rate via a blood volume pulse (BVP) sensor and skin conductance via an electrodermal activity (EDA) or galvanic skin response (GSR) sensor (depending on your preferred terminology for the same thing). With these two readings, along with some extra info (age, fitness level etc) we attempted to give each person a “thrill score” as a pilot in terms of developing an objective measure of thrill. What made this interesting to me was the fact that we had to create in vicarious a new custom visualisation of the data that exactly matched an existing visualisation. Readers of this blog will have seen part of that visualisation before, as I used it in the food design visualisations. The final result: a nice little filem on Nissan’s Built to Thrill Hub. Expect to see more posts about my work with built to thrill over the next few months, along with may various other projects.
Here you can see the video in all its glory:
And so vicarious wends its way from somewhat flaky research software towards usable tool for commercial visualisation of data. Groovy.