Virtual Reality Tools for Ergonomic Support Systems


  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • Snugfit Australia Pty Ltd
  • U-Sleep well


Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder linked with health problems, and recognized as a major socioeconomic concern nationally. Traditional sleep apnea treatments are invasive and expensive. A comfortable affordable and effective sleep apnea pillow/bed is developed. This research has used virtual reality, to reduce the design cycle and improve effectiveness of ergonomic support systems, particularly sleep apnea. The success of a sleep system, which interacts with humans, depended on the correct posture and inclined level while asleep to improve breathing, comfort and reduce snoring. The VR captured human/equipment interactions, avoiding a prototype, delivering productivity gains sustained by sound scientific foundation.

Key Features


Productivity: This project is piloted and validated the use of VR as a new process in developing a product with complex variables, setting a new benchmark in design efficiency.


Novel product: Compared to invasive, expensive and uncomfortable apnea treatments, this is preventing snoring to circumvent sleep apnea.


Design novelty: This VR is design inclusive, delivering productivity gains, improved operational safety and comfort.


Commercial benefits: The Victorian government funded project enhanced manufacturing, design and research capabilities within region. The pillow currently exported globally and the sleep system will be marketed increasing export s and showcasing the Victoria’s innovation.

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