Virtual Reality allow users to naturally explore virtual environments by moving their head and body. However, the size of the environments they can explore becomes tied to real world constraints, such as the tracking technology or the physical space available. Alternative techniques have been proposed that remove these limitations. However, they break the metaphor of natural navigation in VR (e.g. steering techniques), involve control commands (e.g., teleporting) or hinder precise navigation (e.g., scaling user’s displacements). This paper proposes NaviFields, which quantify the requirements for precise navigation of each point of the environment, allowing natural navigation within relevant areas, while scaling users’ displacements when travelling across non-relevant spaces. This expands the size of the navigable space, retains the natural navigation metaphor and still allows for areas with precise control of the virtual head. We present a formal description of our NaviFields technique, which we compared against two alternative solutions (i.e., homogeneous scaling and natural navigation). Our results demonstrate our ability to cover larger spaces, introduce minimal disruption when travelling across bigger distances and provide very significant improvements for maneuvering (precise control of the viewpoint) inside relevant areas.


“NaviFields: Relevance Fields for Adaptive VR Navigation”

Roberto Montano Murillo; Elia Gatti, Miguel Oliver Segovia, Marianna Obrist, Jose Molina Masso, Diego Martinez Plasencia (2017) In: ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology  (UIST 2017) October 2017,  Quebec City, Canada.

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