NaviFields: Relevance fields for adaptive VR navigation

Murillo RA Montano, E Gatti, MO Segovia, Marianna Obrist, Masso JP Molina, Diego Martinez Plasencia
in UIST '17: Proceedings of the 30th Annual ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, Conference paper (text)

Abstract

© 2017 Association for Computing Machinery. Virtual Reality allow users to explore virtual environments naturally, by moving their head and body. However, the size of the environments they can explore is limited by real world constraints, such as the tracking technology or the physical space available. Existing techniques removing these limitations often break the metaphor of natural navigation in VR (e.g. steering techniques), involve control commands (e.g., teleporting) or hinder precise navigation (e.g., scaling user's displacements). This paper proposes NaviFields, which quantify the requirements for precise navigation of each point of the environment, allowing natural navigation within relevant areas, while scaling users' displacements when travelling across non-relevant spaces. This expands the size of the navigable space, retains the natural navigation metaphor and still allows for areas with precise control of the virtual head. We present a formal description of our NaviFields technique, which we compared against two alternative solutions (i.e., homogeneous scaling and natural navigation). Our results demonstrate our ability to cover larger spaces, introduce minimal disruption when travelling across bigger distances and improve very significantly the precise control of the viewpoint inside relevant areas.