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Proceedings Paper

Display conditions that influence wayfinding in virtual environments
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Paper Abstract

As virtual environments may be used in training and evaluation for critical real navigation tasks, it is important to investigate the factors influencing navigational performance in virtual environments. We have carried out controlled experiments involving two visual factors known to induce or sustain vection, the illusory perception of self-motion. The first experiment had subjects navigate mazes with either a narrow or wide field of view. We measured the percentage of wrong turns, the total time taken for each attempt, and we examined subjects' drawings of the mazes. We found that a wide field of view can have a substantial effect on navigational abilities, even when the wide field of view does not offer any additional clues to the task, and really only provides a larger view of blank walls on the sides. The second experiment evaluated the effect of perspective accuracy in the scene by comparing the use of displays that were corrected for changing head position against those that were not corrected. The perspective corrections available through headtracking did not appear have any influence on navigational abilities. Another component of our study suggests that during navigation in a virtual environment, memory for directions may not be as effective as it could be with supplemental symbolic representations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6057, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XI, 605713 (9 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.648472
Show Author Affiliations
Roger A. Browse, Queen's Univ. (Canada)
Derek W. S. Gray, Queen's Univ. (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6057:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XI
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Scott J. Daly, Editor(s)

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