Perceived Space in the HTC Vive

Kelly, Jonathan
Kelly, Jonathan
Cherep, Lucia
Siegel, Zachary
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Underperception of egocentric distance in virtual reality has been a persistent concern for almost 20 years. Modern headmounted displays (HMDs) appear to have begun to ameliorate underperception. The current study examined several aspects of perceived space in the HTC Vive. Blind-walking distance judgments, verbal distance judgments, and size judgments were measured in two distinct virtual environments (VEs)—a high-quality replica of a real classroom and an empty grass field—as well as the real classroom upon which the classroom VE was modeled. A brief walking interaction was also examined as an intervention for improving anticipated underperception in the VEs. Results from the Vive were compared to existing data using two older HMDs (nVisor SX111 and ST50). Blind-walking judgments were more accurate in the Vive compared to the older displays, and did not differ substantially from the real world nor across VEs. Size judgments were more accurate in the classroom VE than the grass VE and in the Vive compared to the older displays. Verbal judgments were significantly smaller in the classroom VE compared to the real classroom and did not significantly differ across VEs. Blind-walking and size judgments were more accurate after walking interaction, but verbal judgments were unaffected. The results indicate that underperception of distance in the HTC Vive is less than in older displays but has not yet been completely resolved. With more accurate space perception afforded by modern HMDs, alternative methods for improving judgments of perceived space—such as walking interaction—may no longer be necessary.

<p>This article is published as Jonathan W. Kelly, Lucia A. Cherep, and Zachary D. Siegel. 2017. Perceived Space in the HTC Vive. ACM Trans. Appl. Percept. 15, 1, Article 2 (July 2017), 16 pages. Posted with permission.</p>
Depth perception, stereoscopic displays, virtual environments