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The benefits of using a walking interface to navigate virtual environments

Ruddle, R.A. and Lessels, S. (2009) The benefits of using a walking interface to navigate virtual environments. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 16 (1). 5:1-5:18. ISSN 1073-0516

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Navigation is the most common interactive task performed in three-dimensional virtual environments (VEs), but it is also a task that users often find difficult. We investigated how body-based information about the translational and rotational components of movement helped participants to perform a navigational search task (finding targets hidden inside boxes in a room-sized space). When participants physically walked around the VE while viewing it on a head-mounted display (HMD), they then performed 90% of trials perfectly, comparable to participants who had performed an equivalent task in the real world during a previous study. By contrast, participants performed less than 50% of trials perfectly if they used a tethered HMD (move by physically turning but pressing a button to translate) or a desktop display (no body-based information). This is the most complex navigational task in which a real-world level of performance has been achieved in a VE. Behavioral data indicates that both translational and rotational body-based information are required to accurately update one's position during navigation, and participants who walked tended to avoid obstacles, even though collision detection was not implemented and feedback not provided. A walking interface would bring immediate benefits to a number of VE applications.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Association for Computing Machinery. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 16 (1). 5:1-5:18.
Keywords: virtual reality, navigation, locomotion, visual fidelity
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Computing (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Jamie Grant
Date Deposited: 21 May 2009 15:49
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2014 00:55
Published Version: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1502800.1502805
Status: Published
Publisher: Association for Computing Machinery
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1145/1502800.1502805
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8632

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