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    Editorial

  • Locomotion perception and redirection
    Miao WANG, Songhai ZHANG, Shimin HU

    DOI:10.3724/SP.J.2096-5796.2021.03.06

    2021, 3(6) : 1-2

    PDF (17) HTML (188)
  • Article

  • Virtual climbing: An immersive upslope walking system using passive haptics
    Liming WANG, Xianwei CHEN, Tianyang DONG, Jing FAN

    DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2021.08.008

    2021, 3(6) : 435-450

    Abstract(299) PDF (16) HTML (176)
    Background
    In virtual environments (VEs), users can explore a large virtual scene through the viewpoint operation of a head-mounted display (HMD) and movement gains combined with redirected walking technology. The existing redirection methods and viewpoint operations are effective in the horizontal direction; however, they cannot help participants experience immersion in the vertical direction. To improve the immersion of upslope walking, this study presents a virtual climbing system based on passive haptics.
    Methods
    This virtual climbing system uses the tactile feedback provided by sponges, a commonly used flexible material, to simulate the tactile sense of a user's soles. In addition, the visual stimulus of the HMD, the tactile feedback of the flexible material, and the operation of the user's walking in a VE combined with redirection technology are all adopted to enhance the user's perception in a VE. In the experiments, a physical space with a hard-flat floor and three types of sponges with thicknesses of 3, 5, and 8cm were utilized.
    Results
    We recruited 40 volunteers to conduct these experiments, and the results showed that a thicker flexible material increases the difficulty for users to roam and walk within a certain range.
    Conclusion
    The virtual climbing system can enhance users' perception of upslope walking in a VE.
  • Effects of virtual environment and self-representations on perception and physical performance in redirected jumping
    Yijun LI, Miao WANG, Derong JIN, Frank STEINICKE, Qinping ZHAO

    DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2021.06.003

    2021, 3(6) : 451-469

    Abstract(235) PDF (16) HTML (190)
    Background
    Redirected jumping (RDJ) allows users to explore virtual environments (VEs) naturally by scaling a small real-world jump to a larger virtual jump with virtual camera motion manipulation, thereby addressing the problem of limited physical space in VR applications. Previous RDJ studies have mainly focused on detection threshold estimation. However, the effect VE or self-representation (SR) has on the perception or performance of RDJs remains unclear.
    Methods
    In this paper, we report experiments to measure the perception (detection thresholds for gains, presence, embodiment, intrinsic motivation, and cybersickness) and physical performance (heart rate intensity, preparation time, and actual jumping distance) of redirected forward jumping under six different combinations of VE (low and high visual richness) and SRs (invisible, shoes, and human-like).
    Results
    Our results indicated that the detection threshold ranges for horizontal translation gains were significantly smaller in the VE with high rather than low visual richness. When different SRs were applied, our results did not suggest significant differences in detection thresholds, but it did report longer actual jumping distances in the invisible body case compared with the other two SRs. In the high visual richness VE, the preparation time for jumping with a human-like avatar was significantly longer than that with other SRs. Finally, some correlations were found between perception and physical performance measures.
    Conclusions
    All these findings suggest that both VE and SRs influence users' perception and performance in RDJ and must be considered when designing locomotion techniques.
  • Redirected jumping in virtual scenes with alleys
    Xiaolong LIU, Lili WANG

    DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2021.06.004

    2021, 3(6) : 470-483

    Abstract(204) PDF (6) HTML (197)
    Background
    The redirected jumping (RDJ) technique is a new locomotion method that saves physical tracking area and enhances the body movement experience of users in virtual reality. In a previous study, the range of imperceptible manipulation gains in RDJ was discussed in an empty virtual environment (VE).
    Methods
    In this study, we conducted three tasks to investigate the influence of alley width on the detection threshold of jump redirection in a VE.
    Results
    The results demonstrated that the imperceptible distance gain range in RDJ was not associated with the width of the alleys. The imperceptible height and rotation gain ranges in RDJ are related to the width of the alleys.
    Conclusions
    We preliminarily summarized the relationship between the occlusion distance and manipulation range of the three gains in a complex environment. Simultaneously, the guiding principle for choosing three gains in RDJ according to the occlusion distance in a complex environment is provided.
  • Dynamic targets searching assistance based on virtual camera priority
    Zixiang ZHAO, Quanwei ZHOU, Xiaoguang HAN, Lili WANG

    DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2021.10.001

    2021, 3(6) : 484-500

    Abstract(214) PDF (1) HTML (170)
    Background
    When a user walks freely in an unknown virtual scene and searches for multiple dynamic targets, the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the environment may have a negative impact on the execution of virtual reality tasks. Previous studies can help users with auxiliary tools, such as top view maps or trails, and exploration guidance, for example, automatically generated paths according to the user location and important static spots in virtual scenes. However, in some virtual reality applications, when the scene has complex occlusions, and the user cannot obtain any real-time position information of the dynamic target, the above assistance cannot help the user complete the task more effectively.
    Methods
    We design a virtual camera priority-based assistance to help the user search dynamic targets efficiently. Instead of forcing users to go to destinations, we provide an optimized instant path to guide them to places where they are more likely to find dynamic targets when they ask for help. We assume that a certain number of virtual cameras are fixed in virtual scenes to obtain extra depth maps, which capture the depth information of the scene and the locations of the dynamic targets. Our method automatically analyzes the priority of these virtual cameras, chooses the destination, and generates an instant path to assist the user in finding the dynamic targets. Our method is suitable for various virtual reality applications that do not require manual supervision or input.
    Results
    A user study is designed to evaluate the proposed method. The results indicate that compared with three conventional navigation methods, such as the top-view method, our method can help users find dynamic targets more efficiently. The advantages include reducing the task completion time, reducing the number of resets, increasing the average distance between resets, and reducing user task load.
    Conclusions
    We presented a method for improving dynamic target searching efficiency in virtual scenes by virtual camera priority-based path guidance. Compared with three conventional navigation methods, such as the top-view method, this method can help users find dynamic targets more effectively.
  • Detection of scene-irrelevant head movements via eye-head coordination information
    Xiaoxiong FAN, Yun CAI, Yufei YANG, Tianxing XU, Yike Li, Songhai ZHANG, Fanglue ZHANG

    DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2021.08.007

    2021, 3(6) : 501-514

    Abstract(185) PDF (6) HTML (152)
    Background
    Accurate motion tracking in head-mounted displays (HMDs) has been widely used in immersive VR interaction technologies. However, tracking the head motion of users at all times is not always desirable. During a session of HMD usage, users may make scene-irrelevant head rotations, such as adjusting the head position to avoid neck pain or responding to distractions from the physical world. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that addresses the problem of scene-irrelevant head movements.
    Methods
    We trained a classifier to detect scene-irrelevant motions using temporal eye-head-coordinated information sequences. To investigate the usefulness of the detection results, we propose a technique to suspend motion tracking in HMDs where scene-irrelevant motions are detected.
    Results/Conclusions
    Experimental results demonstrate that the scene-relevancy of movements can be detected using eye-head coordination information, and that ignoring scene-irrelevant head motions in HMDs improves user continuity without increasing sickness or breaking immersion.
  • Review

  • Effects of using headset-delivered virtual reality in road safety research: A systematic review of empirical studies
    Daniel VANKOV, David JANKOVSZKY

    DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2021.05.005

    2021, 3(5) : 351-368

    Abstract(360) PDF (17) HTML (361)
    To reduce serious crashes, contemporary research leverages opportunities provided by technology. A potentially higher added value to reduce road trauma may be hidden in utilising emerging technologies, such as headset-delivered virtual reality (VR). However, there is no study to analyse the application of such VR in road safety research systematically. Using the PRISMA protocol, our study identified 39 papers presented at conferences or published in scholarly journals. In those sources, we found evidence of VR's applicability in studies involving different road users (drivers, pedestrians, cyclists and passengers). A number of articles were concerned with providing evidence around the potential adverse effects of VR, such as simulator sickness. Other work compared VR with conventional simulators. VR was also contributing to the emerging field of autonomous vehicles. However, few studies leveraged the opportunities that VR presents to positively influence the involved road users' behaviour. Based on our findings, we identified pathways for future research.
  • Article

  • Analysis of teenagers' preferences and concerns regarding HMDs in education
    Jie GUO, Dongdong WENG, Yue LIU, Qiyong CHEN, Yongtian WANG

    DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2021.09.004

    2021, 3(5) : 369-382

    Abstract(337) PDF (12) HTML (278)
    Background
    Virtual reality (VR) has become a powerful and promising tool for education, and numerous studies have investigated the application and effectiveness of VR education. However, few studies have focused on the expectations and concerns of teenagers regarding head-mounted displays (HMDs), which are used for this purpose.
    Methods
    In this paper, we aim to explore the current problems and necessary advancements required in VR education based on a survey of 163 senior high school students who experience VR educational content for 1h. The usability and comfort of the HMD system, the physical and psychological effects on the students, and their preferences and concerns are investigated.
    Results
    The results show that HMDs increase students' interest, concentration, and enthusiasm for learning. However, isolated virtual environments make students feel nervous and afraid. The immersive environment also makes them worry about VR addiction and confusing the physical world with the virtual one.
    Conclusions
    VR has great potential in the field of education, but the issue of safety needs to be considered in the future.

Aims & Scope

Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware (VRIH) is an open access journal that aims to showcase and promote distinguished research in the field of virtual reality and intelligent hardware. It provides a global publishing and academic exchange platform for researchers, professionals and industry practitioners. The journal offers high-quality single-blind peer review and is published bimonthly in English.

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