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Evaluating Motion Constraints for 3D Wayfinding in Immersive and Desktop Virtual Environments


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Motion constraints providing guidance for 3D navigation have recently been suggested as a way of offloading some of the cognitive effort of traversing complex 3D environments on a computer. We present findings from an evaluation of the benefits of this practice where users achieved significantly better results in memory recall and performance when given access to such a guidance method. The study was conducted on both standard desktop computers with mouse and keyboard, as well as on an immersive CAVE system. Interestingly, our results also show that the improvements were more dramatic for desktop users than for CAVE users, even outperforming the latter. Furthermore, the study indicates that allowing the users to retain local control over the navigation on the desktop platform helps them in familiarizing themselves with the 3D world.

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Evaluating Motion Constraints for 3D Wayfinding in Immersive and Desktop Virtual Environments

  1. 1. Evaluating Motion Constraints for 3D Wayfinding in Immersive and Desktop Virtual Environments Niklas Elmqvist [email_address] M. Eduard Tudoreanu [email_address] Philippas Tsigas [email_address] CHI 2008 – Florence, Italy
  2. 2. Where am I? Where am I going?
  3. 3. How to Aid Wayfinding? <ul><li>Wayfinding : navigation to solve specific task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Performed on cognitive map </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poor map leads to poor performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Problem : aiding wayfinding by supporting cognitive map building </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Motion constraints and guides </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example : sightseeing tour of new city </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Cognitive Maps Hotel Tour Eiffel Montmartre Notre Dame Louvre Airport (CDG) ?
  5. 5. Supporting Cognitive Maps <ul><li>GC : Global coverage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expose viewer to whole environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>CM : Continuous motion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support spatial relations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LC : Local control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning by doing </li></ul></ul>Hotel Tour Eiffel Montmartre Notre Dame Louvre Airport (CDG) ?
  6. 6. Virtual vs. Physical Worlds <ul><li>Why is wayfinding more difficult in virtual worlds? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low visual fidelity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mouse and keyboard poorly mapped to 3D navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of sensorial cues </li></ul></ul><ul><li>High cognitive load on users </li></ul>
  7. 7. Reducing Cognitive Load <ul><li>Method : Immersive Virtual Reality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Full 3D input </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full 3D output </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But : No widespread use, expensive (?) </li></ul><ul><li>Mouse and keyboard are standard </li></ul>
  8. 8. Guiding using 3D Motion Constraints <ul><li>Tour-based motion constraints (GC) </li></ul><ul><li>Smooth animation (CM) </li></ul><ul><li>Spring-based control (LC) </li></ul>
  9. 9. User Study <ul><li>Hypotheses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>H1 : Guiding navigation helps wayfinding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H2 : Local control improves familiarization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>H3 : Navigation guidance has higher impact for desktop than for CAVE </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Controlled experiment (mixed design) </li></ul><ul><li>Two experiment sites </li></ul><ul><li>35 participants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>16 (4 female) on desktop computer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>19 (2 female) on CAVE system </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Factors <ul><li>Platform (BS) : desktop or CAVE </li></ul><ul><li>Navigation (BS/WS) : free, follow, spring </li></ul><ul><li>Scenario (WS) : outdoor, indoor, infoscape, conetree </li></ul><ul><li>Collect distance, error, and time </li></ul>
  11. 11. Procedure <ul><li>Phase I : Familiarization </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create cognitive map (5 minutes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported by guidance technique </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three target object types </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phase II : Recall </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Locate two targets on overhead map </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phase III : Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Collect third target in world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No navigation guidance </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Results – Summary <ul><li>Navigation method : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free navigation: CAVE better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Motion constraints: desktop significantly better ( p < 0.05) [H1] </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Desktop platform : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spring-based guidance gave better accuracy than other methods [H2] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation guidance more efficient than free flight [H3] </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Results – Details
  14. 14. Conclusions <ul><li>Navigation guidance based on tours </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve cognitive map building </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluation on desktop and CAVE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation guidance on desktop outperforms CAVE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less focus on interaction mechanics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Take-away message : removing (some) freedom in 3D navigation may actually help wayfinding! </li></ul>
  15. 15. Questions? <ul><li>Main findings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free-flight best on immersive platforms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3D guidance: desktop outperform CAVE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowing local control helped desktop </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Removing freedom improves performance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contact information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Niklas Elmqvist ( [email_address] ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Edi Tudoreanu ( [email_address] ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Philippas Tsigas ( [email_address] ) </li></ul></ul>