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Aiding orientation performance in virtual environments with proprioceptive feedback

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3 Author(s)

In most applications of virtual environments (VEs), like training and design evaluation, a good sense of orientation is needed in the VE. Orientation performance when moving around in the real world relies on visual as well as proprioceptive feedback. However, the navigation metaphors which are used to move around the VE often lack proprioceptive feedback. Furthermore, the visual feedback in a VE is often relatively poor compared to the visual feedback available in the real world. Therefore, we have quantified the influence of visual and proprioceptive feedback on orientation performance in VEs. Subjects were immersed in a virtual forest and were asked to turn specific angles using three navigation metaphors, differing in the kind of proprioceptive feedback which is provided (no proprioceptive feedback, vestibular feedback, and vestibular and kinesthetic feedback). The results indicate that the most accurate turn performance is found when kinesthetic feedback is present, in a condition where subjects use their legs to turn around. This indicates that incorporating this kind of feedback in navigation metaphors is quite beneficial. Orientation on only the visual component is most inaccurate, leading to progressively larger undershoots for larger angles.

Published in:

Virtual Reality Annual International Symposium, 1998. Proceedings., IEEE 1998

Date of Conference:

18-18 1998