Boundaries reduce disorientation in virtual reality

Date
2022-02-23
Authors
Kelly, Jonathan
Gilbert, Stephen
Cherep, Lucia A.
Gilbert, Stephen A.
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PsyArXiv
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems EngineeringPsychologyVirtual Reality Applications Center
Abstract
Virtual reality users are susceptible to disorientation, particularly when using locomotion interfaces that lack self-motion cues. Environmental cues, such as boundaries defined by walls or a fence, provide information to help the user remain oriented. This experiment evaluated whether the type of boundary impacts its usefulness for staying oriented. Participants wore a head-mounted display and performed a triangle completion task in virtual reality by traveling two outbound path segments before attempting to point to the path origin. The task was completed with two teleporting interfaces differing in the availability of rotational self-motion cues, and within five virtual environments differing in the availability and type of boundaries. Pointing errors were highest in an open field without environmental cues, and lowest in a classroom with walls and landmarks. Environments with a single square boundary defined by a fence, drop-off, or floor texture discontinuity led to errors in between the open field and the classroom. Performance with the floor texture discontinuity was similar to that with navigational barriers (i.e., fence and drop-off), indicating that an effective barrier need not be a navigational impediment. These results inform spatial cognitive theory about boundary-based navigation and inform application by specifying the types of environmental and self-motion cues that designers of virtual environments should include to reduce disorientation in virtual reality.
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This is a pre-print of the article Kelly, Jonathan, Taylor Doty, Lucia Cherep, and Stephen B. Gilbert. "Boundaries reduce disorientation in virtual reality." PsyArXiv (2022). DOI: 10.31234/osf.io/wvb95. Copyright 2022 The Authors. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). Posted with permission.
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Locomotion interfaces, Teleporting, Virtual reality, Spatial updating, Navigation, Boundaries, Virtual environments
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