The Extended Reality (XR) technologies like Mixed Reality (MR) are expanding the physical world with improvements to the real environment. While this expansion affects the daily habits of people, it is also affecting the scope of architecture. As Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality becoming popular and ubiquitous, the content of architectural studies is broadened with extended realities into virtual worlds.
In 1965, Ivan Sutherland mentioned virtual worlds in his research called “The Ultimate Display” by saying “The screen is a window through which one sees a virtual world. The challenge is to make that world look real, act real, sound real, feel real”. Today in 2018, the developed technologies provide many opportunities to engage virtual worlds not just via a screen, also with haptic devices, goggles, projectors and many other. Nevertheless, the question is how it is possible to take advantage of virtual worlds and make the quality of life in the physical world better.
This study explores spatial interface design and development for Mixed Reality, to help autistic people with sensory difficulties by making the spaces customizable and interactive to improve their daily lives. In the scope of the study, along with the various resources on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and MR technology, existing interface designs of applications for autistic people are examined. After the examination, the results are compared, and the spatial interface design is proposed accordingly. A prototype of the interface is tested on 12 autistic kids between the ages 6-16 to observe their reactions to the HoloLens device. The initial results are shared in this study, and the future of spatial interface design and development for autistic people is discussed further.
In the end, an open-source spatial interface toolkit named “My Ho Me” is proposed to be implemented into the MR applications that assists autistic people with sensory difficulties.