Effects of field of view on balance in an immersive environment

Proceedings IEEE Virtual Reality 2001 (2001), pp. 235-240, doi: 10.1109/VR.2001.913791
Experiments
Tasks
Findings

How does field of view(FOR) and scene content affect postural stability, or balance, in an immersive VR environment?

Variables and Constants

Independent Variables
  • scene content - one was a radial pattern, and the second was a photograph of an outdoors scene.
Constants

Visual scene motion was present during the entire experiment. Motion was generated through software by showing a series of digitzed images. Majority of components of fidelity including frame rate, refresh rate, display resolution, brightness, form factor and size were all constant.

System Info

Displays
  • dome - the dome was 3-foot dome, with nominal 180 x 180 degrees for, at 640 x 480 pixel resolution. a box-light projector projected all images.
Input Hardware
None
Software

Participant Info

The participants reported having normal or corrected vision. No participant reported having "a history of auditory disturbance, balance disorders, back problems, or high susceptibility to motion sickness. " Participants came from a Human Interface Technology Lab, so one can assume some level of technical proficiency. The paper gave no additional details.

Total # Age Range Gender Balance
10 20 - 30

Participants stood with a sharpened Rhomberg stance (one foot in front of the other and arms crossed behind their backs, check out paper for more details & citation). Then the moderator collected balance dispersion, data on whether they broke the stance, and subject difficulty rating.

Environment

One of the independent variable is scene content, and the outdoors scene was moderately dense, taken from a real-world scene. The radial scene was an abstract pattern with low density.

Dimensionality Scale Density Visual Realism
Not reported Large Controlled variable Controlled variable
Metrics

  • accuracy - is related to balance dispersion and whether the participants broke their stance
  • user task perception - a difficulty rating reported by participants
  1. There was a significant inverse effect of field of regard (for) on accuracy for a passive experience of the ve task.

    Higher FOR led to harder ability to keep balance for standing in a sharpened Rhomberg stance (one foot in front of the other and arms crossed behind their backs).

    Specificity: Somewhat general
    The task evaluated a more rigorous balancing position, having implications in an upright standing task. Upright standing tasks in VE's are commonplace, making this finding more general than others.

  2. There was a significant interaction between field of regard (for) and scene content on user task perception for a passive experience of the ve task.

    Higher FOR led to a higher reported difficulty in being able to keep balance while seeing an outdoors scene in an sharpened Rhomberg stance (one foot in front of the other and arms crossed behind their backs).

    Specificity: Neither