AR/VR: How not to walk into walls
Imagine you are exploring an extensive Virtual Reality environment by walking in a real space.
You know already that experiencing VR worlds from a chair and using a mouse or some gestures to move around can feel very unnatural and restrictive. For people with a good sense of balance and understanding of their physical presence in space, this can be very disturbing and lead to VR sickness even if the virtual world is displayed without any undue delays. Of course, VR systems like the Oculus Quest and the HTC Vive give you already a lot of freedom to act naturally, but you are still moving in a very constrained space.
Wouldn't it be much more desirable to move your avatar by really moving around in the real world without any spatial bounds?
We have experimented with a much larger space to roam around in during the Third Life project (vimeo.com/152074988), but it still required an awareness of the spatial boundaries.
Can we trick the mind to move "freely" in a constrained space? A VR treadmill (e.g. Kat VR) allows this to a great extent, but it is extremely expensive. A poor man’s solution is real movement in real spaces. But how do we trick the human mind to ignore the physical limitations?
In a set of theses, we want to compare ideas for overcoming this limitation:
- conscious use of scrolling areas that are indicated by visual or tactile clues
- unconscious use of rotating VR spaces
- unconscious use of attention-grabs for VR space rotation