Concurrent locomotion and interaction in VR


Can more embod­ied and leaning-based inter­faces help sup­port con­cur­rent loco­mo­tion and inter­ac­tion in VR when phys­i­cal walk­ing isn’t feasible?

Physical walk­ing is often con­sid­ered the gold stan­dard for VR travel when­ever fea­si­ble. However, espe­cially for larger-scale vir­tual travel the free-space walk­ing areas are typ­i­cally too small, thus requir­ing hand­held con­trollers to nav­i­gate, which can reduce believ­abil­ity, inter­fere with simul­ta­ne­ous inter­ac­tion tasks, and exac­er­bate adverse effects such as motion sick­ness and dis­ori­en­ta­tion. To inves­ti­gate alter­na­tive loco­mo­tion options, we com­pared hand­held Controller(thumbstick-based) and phys­i­cal walk­ing versus a seated (HeadJoystick) and standing/stepping (NaviBoard) leaning-based loco­mo­tion inter­faces, where seated/standing users travel by moving their head toward the target direc­tion. Rotations were always phys­i­cally per­formed. To com­pare these inter­faces, we designed a novel simul­ta­ne­ous loco­mo­tion and object inter­ac­tion task, where users needed to keep touch­ing the center of upward moving target bal­loons with their vir­tual lightsaber, while simul­ta­ne­ously stay­ing inside a hor­i­zon­tally moving enclo­sure. Locomotion, inter­ac­tion, and com­bined per­for­mance was best for walk­ing and worst for con­troller. Leaning-based inter­faces improved user expe­ri­ence and per­for­mance com­pared to Controller, espe­cially when standing/stepping using NaviBoard, but did not reach walk­ing per­for­mance. That is, leaning-based inter­faces HeadJoystick (sit­ting) and NaviBoard (stand­ing) that pro­vided addi­tional phys­i­cal self-motion cues com­pared to con­troller improved enjoy­ment, pref­er­ence, spa­tial pres­ence, vec­tion inten­sity, motion sick­ness, as well as per­for­mance for loco­mo­tion, object inter­ac­tion, and com­bined loco­mo­tion and interaction.

Our “Lightsaber” task is illus­trated below for the dif­fer­ent loco­mo­tion interfaces:






Riecke, B. E., Hashemian, A. M., Adhikari, A., Aguilar, I., Kruijff, E., & Heyde, M. von der. (2021). Simultaneous Locomotion and Interaction in VR: Walking > Leaning > Controller [Talk]. ICSC 2021: 8th International Conference on Spatial Cognition, Rome, Italy. (Download)