Simulation of the Interaction with Interfaces of Industrial Products in a Multimodal Environment
Several testing activities on industrial products are today performed on Virtual Prototypes (VPs) because of their flexibility and reduced cost compared to the physical ones. The very first activities on VPs were limited because based mainly on visualization devices. Now the availability and the evolution of haptic and sound technologies have opened new scenarios and offered new possibilities to perform tests on VPs. The paper describes an attempt to exploit VPs to test human interaction with the interfaces of industrial products. The user is able to see in 3D the prototype, hear realistic sounds from it and interact through the sense of touch with the interface of the product.We have performed some experiments with the VP of a commercial washing machine in order to prove the concept and understand the limits we can reach with commercial hardware and software devices. The results of the preliminary users’ tests are reported and discussed in the paper.