Physically touching and tasting virtual objects enhances the realism of virtual experiences

Virtual Reality (1998), pp. 226-234, doi: 10.1007/BF01408703
Experiments
Tasks
Findings

Do passive haptics for one object in a virtual environment impact the user's perception of properties and laws of the rest of the environment?

Variables and Constants

    Haptic Fidelity
  • haptics (on/off) - passive haptics using a real plate or none (visual only)
Constants

Virtual plate size (27 cm diameter)

System Info

Displays
  • head-mounted display - division dvisor (fov: 40 degrees vertical, 105 degrees horizontal across two eyes; 40 degrees horizontal overlap)
Input Hardware
  • tracking system - polhemous position sensor, one on right hand and one on plate, used in the haptics condition
  • 3d mouse - used in the visual-only condition

Division LTD's KitchenWorld demo

Participant Info

All participants were students from the University of Washington

Total # Age Range Gender Balance
19 -

The user picked up a virtual plate, either with the 3D mouse (for visual-only condition) or by picking up a real plate with their right hand.

Interaction and Environment

Interface

In the visual-only condition, the user immersed their virtual hand in the virtual plate and pulled the trigger on their 3D mouse to pick up the plate. In the haptics condition, the user picked up a real, tracked plate to move the virtual plate.

The environment was in the form of a kitchen. Users could see their hand as a virtual disembodied hand in the environment.

Dimensionality Scale Density Visual Realism
3D Small High Medium
Metrics

  • presence - 5-question questionnaire (each question on a scale from 1-7)
  1. There was a significant direct effect of haptics (on/off) on presence for a object manipulation task.

    Users reported that the virtual world was more solid, weights were more accurate to the real world, and the law of gravity closer to that of the real world in the haptics condition than in the non-haptics condition.

    Specificity: Highly general

Does physically biting a virtual chocolate bar versus imagining biting a virtual chocolate bar provide higher presence, realism, and fun for the user?

Variables

    Haptic Fidelity
  • haptics (on/off) - whether the user physically bit the chocolate bar or imagined doing so.
System Info

Displays
  • head-mounted display - division dvisor (fov: 40 degrees vertical, 105 degrees horizontal across two eyes; 40 degrees horizontal overlap)
Input Hardware
  • tracking system - polhemous position sensor, attached to the real-life chocolate bar

Division LTD's KitchenWorld demo

Participant Info

All participants were students from the University of Washington.

Total # Age Range Gender Balance
21 -

Subjects kept their eyes closed while an experimenter removed the top third of the chocolate bar's wrapper so that the user could hear. They then opened their eyes and looked at the virtual chocolate bar, which showed a third of the wrapper torn away. In the "imagined" condition, the user raised the chocolate bar as if to take a bite, but only smelled it and imagined taking a large bite. In the "physically bit" condition, the user looked around the virtual environment for approximately 1 minute, smelled the chocolate bar, then took a bite of the real chocolate bar. in both conditions, an experimenter then pressed a button to show a lage bite taken out of the virtual chocolate bar.

Interaction and Environment

Interface

Users held the real chocolate bar in their hand, and it was tracked to move in the virtual environment as they moved it in the real world.

The environment was in the form of a kitchen. Users could see their hand as a virtual disembodied hand in the environment. Users could also see the chocolate bar. In the real world, the chocolate bar was actually two chocolate bars taped together end-to-end with a sensor attached in the middle. For the "imagined" condition, the real chocolate bar was hidden when the user removed their HMD.

Dimensionality Scale Density Visual Realism
3D Small High Medium
Metrics

  • presence - 7-question questionnatire (each question on a scale from 0-100)
  1. There was a significant direct effect of haptics (on/off) on presence for a object manipulation task.

    Users reported that the virtual world and biting were more realistic, that the biting was more fun, and that they felt more present in the virtual world for the condition where they physically bit the chocolate bar than for the condition where they imagin

    Specificity: Highly general