Translational gain for interactive virtual reality
Pictured: Object alignment task as part of testing the effects of translational gain on interactive VR.

Room-scale Virtual Reality (VR) has become an affordable consumer reality, with applications ranging from entertainment to productivity. However, the limited physical space available for room-scale VR in the typical home or office environment poses a significant problem. To solve this, physical spaces can be extended by amplifying the mapping of physical to virtual movement (translational gain). Although amplified movement has been used since the earliest days of VR (e.g. as part of various redirected walking techniques alongside rotational gain), little is known about how it influences reach-based interactions with virtual objects, now a standard feature of interactive consumer VR.

Consequently, we explored the picking and placing of virtual objects in VR under translational gain for the first time, with gains of between 1x (a one-to-one mapping of a 3.5m3.5m virtual space to the same sized physical space) and 3x (10.5m10.5m virtual mapped to 3.5m*3.5m physical). Results showed that reaching accuracy is maintained for up to 2x gain, however going beyond this diminishes accuracy and increases simulator sickness and perceived workload. We suggest gain levels of 1.5x to 1.75x can be utilized without compromising the usability of a VR task, significantly expanding the bounds of interactive room-scale VR.

Publication: Object Manipulation in Virtual Reality Under Increasing Levels of Translational Gain, 2018. 2018 ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '18) DOI Link