Terry is back

Our colleague, Terry Hartig, has been visiting us here in Reykjavik. Data analysis has been the main issue and exciting things are surfacing.

In the coming months, we plan to run two quite large studies, one focusing on further validation of the virtual technology as an research tool for studies on psychological restoration and the other targeting the influences of different building characteristics on performance, emotions and various physiological variables.

Yesterday, … in the Black Room, Terry experienced being in Kaenuvogur in Reykjavik during summer … 🙂




Grant! Grant! Grant!

Yeeessss … it’s great to announce that the Cities that Sustain Us project got a three years grant from Icelandic Technology Development Fund.

So … Cities that Sustain Us 2: Creating Virtual Futures … will start in January 2017.

The project summary: Psychological factors are often neglected in environmental design and planning processes initiating dissatisfying and unsustainable urban development. To encourage more humane and sustainable urban development, better approaches must be implemented. They can build on the vast scientific literature in environmental psychology and new technological solutions. Computer and virtual reality technology, where people can interact directly with a high quality, virtual environment in controlled settings, opens up new opportunities for people-environment studies.
However, the level of computer expertise required to build, configure and carry out studies utilizing the technology seems to be an obstacle. In the „Cities that Sustain Us“ project we bridged the gap with a powerful software to run VR-based environmental studies. In this project “Cities that Sustain Us 2: Creating Virtual Futures”, we plan further developments of the VR-based approach while applying it to real-world planning projects.

Also see: Cities that Sustain Us: Using Virtual Reality to Test the Restorative Potential of Future Urban Environments (project summary).

CISUUS 2 Creating Virtual Futures_small

We want you for the CiSuUs – Study 1b – Data collection completed

SORRY, but the data collection is completed 🙂

Now the data collection for our second follow up study is running on all cylinders, and we need participants.

We want you

First of all …
If not … we are sorry, because this study requires skills in Icelandic …

But if you do … vinsamlegast lestu þá áfram …
Okkur vantar þátttakendur í rannsóknina okkar sem fæst við að kanna sálfræðilega upplifun fólks á mismunandi götumyndum.
Þetta er netkönnun og aðeins tekur um 5 – 7 mínútur að afgreiða hana.
Engum persónulegum eða rekjanlegum gögnum verður safnað.

Til að taka þátt smelltu þá á tengilinn hér fyrir neðan …

–>  Taka þátt í rannsókn  <–

Með góðum þökkum,


Things are developing

A lot of interesting stuff is going on in the project these days. Now we are preparing two small studies as follow-ups to our first CiSuUs Study 1 that was carried out in December and January. One of them focuses on different modes of travelling within the virtual environment and the other one will test people’s perception of the urban environment.  We assume that both studies to be carried out late this month or in the beginning of May.

Then our VR lab development  is getting exciting 😉 . Here is a screenshot from the start menu, where you can choose an interactive virtual environment of interest. Would you like to look around at the Shoe Square? Or visit „Virtual Austurvollur“, which is a virtual replica of Reykjavik’s main square, located in the heart of the old city.


And finally the „Creation of Vogabyggd-VR“, a construction of a virtual replica of Vogabyggd (click here to see Vogabyggd on Google Maps). This work is moving smoothly towards its stage of completion – see the image below, showing the real world and the current status of the 3D modelling. Yes, we know the textures are still missing … but this looks promising, isn’t it? 😉






UT-messan 2016

Several days ago, the Cities that Sustain Us project was a part of the UT-messan 2016.  This time we allowed people to test, via Oculus Rift, the environments used in study, we carried out last November/December.

Furthermore, we invited people to try out different modes of travelling within a virtual environment, but for several weeks we have been developing new modes of travelling, in order to reduce the likelihood of motion sickness during virtual environment navigation. Soon we will conduct a empirical study to systematically test the influence of these different travelling modes on motion sickness.

By the way, a lot of people came to our hub … 🙂


Terry in Iceland

Last week has been a very productive one. Terry Hartig came to Iceland to work with us on data analysis and to discuss next steps in the project.

For those not familiar with Terry, he is one of leading scholars worldwide within the field of restorative environments with tens of published research articles (see www.researchgate.net) under his belt. Some of them very frequently cited.

Unfortunately, we totally forgot to capture a photo of the whole research group. Actually, the image below is the only one taken of him during his visit – Terry and Pall at Caruso in Austurstraeti, last night.

Terry & Pall at Caruso


We wanted you!

Update – January 20 2016: Sorry – but data collection is completed 🙂 .


Now the data collection for our first study is running on all cylinders, and we need participants.

We want you

Here is our official ad …


„The Psychological Impact of Future Urban Environments Using Virtual Reality“


This study is carried out by CADIA (Center of Analysis and Design of Intelligent Agents) at RU, and focuses on testing the psychological influences of the built urban environment on people, using interactive, 3D computer virtual technology.
To complete data collection we still need a substantial number of participants.

If interested – and if your Icelandic skills are good, please click on the link below

to sign up and we will be in contact with you soon.


AI Festival 2016

The annual AI Festival, a joint event between CADIA and the Icelandic Institute for Intelligent Machines (IIIM) was held on the October 23rd. The CiSuUs-team was there to present the project, and allowing guests to experience a pretty scary virtual environment through Oculus Rift goggles while they were hooked to Finometer PRO, a  continuous blood pressure measuring instrument.

Below Tumi Sveinn, one of our team-members, telling guests about the project …

Tumi AI Festival 2015

And here, you can see the output from Finometer PRO, that shows the cardiovascular activity while guest X navigated through the virtual environment …

Finometer output

Advania Fall Conference 2015

Last Friday, one of our team members, Hannes Hogni Vilhjalmsson talked about the Cities that Sustain Us project at the Advania Fall Conference 2015 that was held at Harpa Conference Centre, here in Reykjavik.

Haustráðstefna Advania 2015

According to the conference website, the conference was taken place for the 21st time and has become the main event for the Icelandic IT industry. We are glad for the opportunity to participate in this big event, and thankful for how many people attended the presentation and showed interest in the project.

The abstract is below (in Icelandic):

Samfara hraðri fjölgun jarðarbúa, tútna borgir heimsins út og vekur þessi þróun upp áleitnar spurningar um sjálfbærni á heimsvísu. Þétting byggðar er sú lausn sem sögð er ýta undir sjálfbærni í umhverfislegum, fjárhagslegum og félagslegum skilningi. Í þessari þróun er þó líðan fólks í þéttu umhverfi ekki endilega tekin með í reikninginn. Með nýrri sýndarveruleikatækni fæst öflugt verkfæri til rannsókna og kortlagningar á sálfræðilegum áhrifum umhverfis áður en það er byggt. Gervigreindarsetur HR, í samstarfi við Uppsala-háskóla í Svíþjóð, Reykjavíkurborg og fleiri, eru að þróa þessa tækni til að fá loksins nothæfan mælikvarða á hin mannlegu áhrif.

Update September 24, 2015:

Advania wanted to put the presentation on YouTube and we said „yes“, so now everyone can listen … well, maybe not everyone … actually it is limited to those understanding Icelandic 🙂 .