Motion Seats for VR


Using motion seats for enhancing locomotion and immersion in VR

How can we pro­vide a “moving expe­ri­ence” through VR with­out having to use a full-scale motion platform?

Could a com­pact and rel­a­tively low-cost “motion seat” pro­vide some of the same ben­e­fits, thus reduc­ing cost, com­plex­ity, space & safety requirements?

Despite con­sid­er­able advances in Simulation and Virtual Reality (VR) tech­nol­ogy, it largely remains an open prob­lem how to pro­vide a con­vinc­ing and embod­ied sen­sa­tion of really being present and immersed in large vir­tual spaces, and nav­i­gat­ing through them effec­tively with­out exces­sive dis­ori­en­ta­tion and motion/simulator sick­ness. This is par­tic­u­larly true when the goal is to develop cost– and space-efficient solu­tions and phys­i­cal space is lim­ited, such that vir­tual nav­i­ga­tion cannot be enabled by phys­i­cally walk­ing or moving-base motion simulators.
In col­lab­o­ra­tion with Christie, a large audio-visual and VR system com­pany, we jointly per­form research into inno­v­a­tive “motion seats” that allow for small-scale user motion and vibra­tions. The goal is to devise more com­pact and cost-effective ways to enhance the user expe­ri­ence (e.g., per­ceived real­ism, immer­sion, self-motion per­cep­tion) as well as task-specific per­for­mance in simulators.
Initial qual­i­ta­tive research is used to iden­tify key design deci­sions and out­line require­ments. This helps to guide the design and iter­a­tive refine­ment of both the motion seat and suit­able exper­i­ments to inves­ti­gate its effec­tive­ness. Together, this will lead to a work­ing pro­to­type of a motion seat and demon­stra­tor, sci­en­tific analy­sis and reports, and guide­lines for pos­si­ble future research and devel­op­ment. This project will enable and inspire more afford­able yet effec­tive simulators.
Reducing the reliance on large, heavy, and costly moving-base sim­u­la­tors can fur­ther enhance user accep­tance, safety, and acces­si­bil­ity to wider audi­ences while reduc­ing cost, space, and tech­ni­cal sup­port needs.
This could pro­vide ben­e­fits for both use single-user sys­tems (e.g., arcades, home-based pre­mium games, flight sim­u­la­tors or telepresence/remote oper­a­tion sys­tems) and multi-user sys­tems (e.g., large format dig­i­tal the­atres, next-generation movies, and theme parks).

Media Gallery

Project videos

This video gives a first glimps of a gam­i­fied exper­i­ment that we designed, where users can use either a Leap motion con­troller or a 2-handed joy­stick inter­face to con­trol a heli­copter (qua­tro­copter) fly­through in Virtual Reality. This demo illus­trates flying through a Mediterranean market place (which was the train­ing phase in one of our stud­ies), pro­jected on a Christie 2-projector VR simulator.

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Related Publications

Freiberg, J., Kitson, A., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Development and Evaluation of a Hands-Free Motion Cueing Interface for Ground-Based Navigation. Presented at the IEEE Virtual Reality (accepted 2-page extended abstract). (Download)
Kitson, A., Hashemian, A. M., Stepanova, E. R., Kruijff, E., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Comparing Leaning-Based Motion Cueing Interfaces for Virtual Reality Locomotion (pp. 1–10). Presented at the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 3DUI (accepted), Los Angeles, CA, USA. (Download)
Kitson, A., Hashemian, A. M., Stepanova, E. R., Kruijff, E., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Lean Into It: Exploring Leaning-Based Motion Cueing Interfaces for Virtual Reality Movement. Presented at the IEEE Virtual Reality (accepted 2-page extended abstract), Los Angeles, CA, USA. (Download)
Kruijff, E., & Riecke, B. E. (2017). Navigation Interfaces for Virtual Reality and Gaming: Theory and Practice. Workshop pre­sented at the IEEE Virtual Reality (VR 2017), Los Angeles, CA, USA. (Download)
Nguyen, T., Riecke, B. E., & Stuerzlinger, W. (2017). Moving in a Box: Improving Spatial Orientation in Virtual Reality using Simulated Reference Frames. Presented at the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 3DUI. (Download)
Freiberg, J. (2015). Experience Before Construction: Immersive Virtual Reality Design Tools for Architectural Practice (MSc Thesis). Simon Fraser University, Surrey, BC, Canada. Retrieved from (Download)
Kitson, A., Riecke, B. E., Hashemian, A. M., & Neustaedter, C. (2015). NaviChair: Evaluating an Embodied Interface Using a Pointing Task to Navigate Virtual Reality. In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction (pp. 123–126). Los Angeles, CA, USA: ACM. (Download)
Kruijff, E., Riecke, B. E., Trepkowski, C., & Kitson. (2015). Upper Body Leaning can affect Forward Self-Motion Perception in Virtual Environments (pp. 103–112). Presented at the SUI ’15: Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, Los Angeles, CA, USA: ACM. (Download)
Grechkin, T. Y., & Riecke, B. E. (2014). Re-evaluating Benefits of Body-based Rotational Cues for Maintaining Orientation in Virtual Environments: Men Benefit from Real Rotations, Women Don’t. In ACM Symposium on Applied Perception SAP (pp. 99–102). Vancouver, Canada: ACM. (Download)