Navigational Search in VR: Do Reference Frames Help?

profile

Would the rec­tan­gu­lar ref­er­ence frame of a CAVE help to reduce dis­ori­en­ta­tion and improve nav­i­ga­tion per­for­mance in VR? Here, we show that simply pro­vid­ing the rec­tan­gu­lar ref­er­ence frame of a room (as a simple wire­frame cuboid), but not a CAVE improved nav­i­ga­tional search performance.  

Despite recent advances in vir­tual real­ity, loco­mo­tion in a vir­tual envi­ron­ment is still restricted because of spa­tial dis­ori­en­ta­tion. Previous research has shown the ben­e­fits of ref­er­ence frames in main­tain­ing spa­tial ori­en­ta­tion. Here, we pro­pose using a visu­ally sim­u­lated ref­er­ence frame in vir­tual real­ity to pro­vide users with a better sense of direc­tion in landmark-free vir­tual envi­ron­ments. Visually over­laid rec­tan­gu­lar frames sim­u­late dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions of frames of ref­er­ence. We inves­ti­gated how two dif­fer­ent types of visu­ally sim­u­lated ref­er­ence frames might ben­e­fit in a nav­i­ga­tional search task through a mixed-method study. Results showed that the pres­ence of a ref­er­ence frame sig­nif­i­cantly affects par­tic­i­pants’ per­for­mance in a nav­i­ga­tional search task. Though the ego­cen­tric frame of ref­er­ence (sim­u­lated CAVE) that trans­lates with the observer did not sig­nif­i­cantly help, an allo­cen­tric frame of ref­er­ence (a sim­u­lated sta­tion­ary room) sig­nif­i­cantly improved user per­for­mance both in nav­i­ga­tional search time and over­all travel dis­tance. Our study sug­gests that adding a vari­a­tion of the ref­er­ence frame to vir­tual real­ity appli­ca­tions might be a cost-effective solu­tion to enable more effec­tive loco­mo­tion in vir­tual reality.

For more infor­ma­tion and to down­load a demo, see http://navisearch.ispacelab.com/

Nguyen-Vo, T., Riecke, B. E., & Stuerzlinger, W. (2017). Moving in a Box: Improving Spatial Orientation in Virtual Reality using Simulated Reference Frames (pp. 207–208). Presented at the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 3DUI. https://doi.org/10.1109/3DUI.2017.7893344
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

Click to view Poster

Media Gallery

Publications

Nguyen-Vo, T., Riecke, B. E., & Stuerzlinger, W. (2017, April). Investigating the Effect of Simulated Reference Frames on Spatial Orientation in Virtual Reality. Poster pre­sented at the Second International Workshop on Models and Representations in Spatial Cognition, Tübingen, Germany. (Download)
Nguyen-Vo, T., Riecke, B. E., & Stuerzlinger, W. (2017). Moving in a Box: Improving Spatial Orientation in Virtual Reality using Simulated Reference Frames (pp. 207–208). Presented at the IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 3DUI. https://doi.org/10.1109/3DUI.2017.7893344 (Download)
Riecke, B., Bodenheimer, B., McNamara, T., Williams, B., Peng, P., & Feuereissen, D. (2010). Do We Need to Walk for Effective Virtual Reality Navigation? Physical Rotations Alone May Suffice. In C. Hölscher, T. Shipley, M. Olivetti Belardinelli, J. Bateman, & N. Newcombe (Eds.), Spatial Cognition VII (Vol. 6222, pp. 234–247). Springer Berlin / Heidelberg.