A Distributed Virtual Reality Study Under COVID-19 Conditions – Comparing Continuous and Non-Continuous Locomotion Techniques in Mobile VR
Art der Publikation: Conference Paper
Veröffentlicht auf / in: MuC '21: Mensch und Computer 2021
Verlag (Publisher): ACM
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic complicates empirical virtual reality (VR) research and especially laboratory studies. As an alternative study design, we conducted a distributed VR study that took place in the participants’ homes, using mobile VR goggles and personal smartphones. We investigated the influence of two different locomotion techniques on presence, usability, and cybersickness. Subjects were asked to solve a navigation task once with the continuous “Look-Down-to-Move” technique and once with the non-continuous “Point-And-Teleport” technique. Surprisingly, the two locomotion techniques performed comparably well on all variables assessed. The study design showed to be understandable and conductible for the subjects. However, we found that (1) hardware limitations of the used smartphones and (2) confounding factors that are beyond the control of the experimenters could have distorted the results of the study. We propose using uniform hardware and imposing stricter rules for participation to achieve more controlled conditions. Our results hint that the impact of the continuity of locomotion on presence, usability, and cybersickness may be less severe in the context of mobile VR than in immersive high-end VR devices. If these findings are corroborated by subsequent studies, they could provide designers of mobile virtual environments (VEs) with more flexibility when developing a suitable locomotion technique for their application.