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The Visual Appearance of User's Avatar Can Influence the Manipulation of Both Real Devices and Virtual Objects

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4 Author(s)

This paper describes two experiments conducted to study the influence of visual appearance of user's avatar (or 3D cursor) on the manipulation of both interaction devices and virtual objects in 3D virtual environments (VE). In both experiments, participants were asked to pick up a virtual cube and place it at a random location in a VE. The first experiment showed that the visual appearance of a 3D cursor could influence the participants in the way they manipulated the real interaction device. The participants changed the orientation of their hand as function of the orientation suggested visually by the shape of the 3D cursor. The second experiment showed that one visual properly of the avatar (i.e., the presence or absence of a directional cue) could influence the way participants picked up the cube in the VE. When using avatars or 3D cursors with a strong directional cue (e.g., arrows pointing to the left or right), participants generally picked up the cube by a specific side (e.g., right or left side). When using 3D cursors with no main directional cue, participants picked up the virtual cube more frequently by its front or top side. Taken together our results suggest that some visual aspects (such as directional cues) of avatars or 3D cursors chosen to display the user in the VE could partially determine his/her behaviour during manipulation tasks. Such an influence could be used to prevent wrong uses or to favour optimal uses of manipulation interfaces such as haptic devices in virtual environments

Published in:

2007 IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces

Date of Conference:

10-11 March 2007