Virtual Rotations for Maneuvering in Immersive Virtual Environments

Anchored Jumping allows a user to specify a rotation axis (left) and a new viewing position relative to it (middle). The user will then teleport to the indicated viewing position and automatically face the specified rotation axis (right). Depending on the scenario, this axis can either be re-activated for the next maneuvering step or be re-specified for each jump.

Abstract

In virtual navigation, maneuvering around an object of interest is a common task which requires simultaneous changes in both rotation and translation. In this paper, we present Anchored Jumping, a teleportation technique for maneuvering that allows the explicit specification of a new viewing direction by selecting a point of interest as part of the target specification process. A first preliminary study showed that naïve Anchored Jumping can be improved by an automatic counter rotation that preserves the user’s relative orientation towards their point of interest. In our second, qualitative study, this extended technique was compared with two common approaches to specifying virtual rotations. Our results indicate that Anchored Jumping allows precise and comfortable maneuvering and is compatible with techniques that primarily support virtual exploration and search tasks. Equipped with a combination of such complementary techniques, seated users generally preferred virtual over physical rotations for indoor navigation.

Our research received funding from the Thuringian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Science, and Digital Society under grant 5575/10-5 (MetaReal). We would like to thank the members of the Virtual Reality and Visualization Research Group at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar.

Publication

Pauline Bimberg, Tim Weissker, Alexander Kulik, and Bernd Froehlich. 2021.
Virtual Rotations for Maneuvering in Immersive Virtual Environments
To appear in Proceedings of the 27th Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technologies. 2021. ACM.
[preprint][video]