Spatial scale perception in immersive Virtual Reality. (2020)
Type of ContentElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Thesis DisciplineHuman Interface Technology
Degree NameMaster of Human Interface Technology
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury
AuthorsZhang, Jingjingshow all
Virtual Reality (VR) technology can offer users new insights and applications for a wide range of domains, even supporting experiences which are difficult or impossible to achieve in the physical world. One such example is the use of VR to allow users to experience the perspectives of different people in a virtual environment (VE). This particular application promises to be beneficial for disciplines such as architectural and interior design.
In this research, we explore spatial scale perception by simulating different inter-pupillary distances (IPDs) and eye heights (EHs) for the users in VE. The goals of this research are 1) To investigate different levels of manipulation of EH and IPD to provide different spatial scale perception of multiple target groups of users, 2) To provide appropriate perspectives for enabling a suitable estimation of the virtual object scale for the target groups of users, and 3) To utilise different perspectives for assisting the designers in meeting the needs of different target groups of users. To achieve these goals, we developed a multi-scale VR system and conducted a user study, which comprises of two within-subjects design experiments.
The first experiment investigated the relationship between spatial perception and the user’s ability to identify and assess risks and hazards in VE. Seventeen participants experienced different perspectives simulating four target groups of users: two-year-old children, eight-year-old children, adults and wheelchair users. This experiment aimed to learn the impacts of different spatial perspectives to assist the user in designing a safer environment for everyone. We found that varying spatial scale perception had significant impacts on the perceived level of risk, the heights of the identified risk, and the number of risks discovered. The results yielded empirical evidence to support that experiencing different spatial scale perception can potentially help identify issues during an architectural design process for various groups of users.
The second experiment examined three levels of spatial scale perception: two-year-old children, eight-year-old children, and adults, in a task to estimate chair scales suitable for different target users. We found that the disparity between the perspective taken and the target user groups had a significant impact on the resulting scale of the chairs, and different levels of EH and IPD had a positive correlation to the scaling outcome. The key contribution of this study is the evidence to support that experiencing different spatial scale perception in VR has the potential to assist in the better interior or furniture design for various end-users.