Updating Orientation in Large Virtual Environments Using Scaled Translational Gain

Betsy Williams, Gayathri Narasimham, Tim McNamara, Tom Carr, John Rieser, and Bobby Bodenheimer

Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization 2006


Navigating through large virtual environments using a head-mounted display (HMD) is difficult due to the spatial limitations of the tracking system. We conducted two experiments to examine methods of exploring large virtual spaces with an HMD under translation conditions different than normal walking. Experiment~1 compares locomotion in the virtual environment using two different motor actions to translate the subject. The study contrasts user learning and orientation of two different translational gains of bipedal locomotion (not scaled and scaled by ten) with joystick locomotion, where rotation in both locomotion interfaces is accomplished by physically turning. Experiment~2 looks further at the effects of increasing the translational gain of bipedal locomotion in a virtual environment. A subject's spatial learning and orientation were evaluated in three gain conditions where each physical step was: not scaled, scaled by two, or scaled by ten (1:1, 2:1, 10:1, respectively). A sub-study of this experiment compared the performance of people who played video games against people who did not.

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