Dr. Izabela Derda, researcher and lecturer at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC), has been awarded NWO’s (Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research) KIEM GoCI grant for her next research project. The KIEM GoCI scheme aims to stimulate multidisciplinary, practice-oriented research around the creative industry and connects technology, social and cultural aspects to propose solutions to social issues.
“Let’s be: Multisensory storytelling in haptic-supported VR for an improved sense of presence and connectedness”, Izabela titles her next research project. Psychosocial problems related to social isolation are a growing issue for wellbeing and health and have become a significant societal problem. This is especially relevant for children and adults with chronic illnesses and disabilities, and those spending extended periods in hospitals or permanently living in assisted living facilities. A lack of social relationships, social connectivity, and the inability to travel freely leads to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
This project aims to explore how haptic technologies can support the storytelling of semi-scripted experiences in VR to improve participants’ sense of presence and, therefore, the feeling of connectedness. The project is conducted in co-operation with dr. Pedro Russo (Leiden University) and Hogeschool Leiden.