“Altering User Movement Behaviour in Virtual Reality” accepted at IEEE VR 2017 and in TVCG!

This paper explores how we can alter Virtual Environments to affect user trajectories in Virtual Environments. See the video:

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A.L. Simeone, I. Mavridou, and W. Powell.
Altering User Movement Behaviour in Virtual Environments
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 19(5), 2017. IEEE, in print..

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In immersive Virtual Reality systems, users tend to move in a Virtual Environment as they would in an analogous physical environment. In this work, we investigated how user behaviour is affected when the Virtual Environment differs from the physical space. We created two sets of four environments each, plus a virtual replica of the physical environment as a baseline. The first focused on aesthetic discrepancies, such as a water surface in place of solid ground. The second focused on mixing immaterial objects together with those paired to tangible objects. For example, barring an area with walls or obstacles. We designed a study where participants had to reach three waypoints laid out in such a way to prompt a decision on which path to follow based on the conflict between the mismatching visual stimuli and their awareness of the real layout of the room. We analysed their performances to determine whether their trajectories were altered significantly from the shortest route. From the results obtained and our observations, we derive guidelines on how to alter user movement behaviour in Virtual Environments.

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