Enhancing VR experiences with blowing input techniques

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Abstract: Virtual Reality (VR) has strongly emerged to be one of the technologies to play an important role in areas such as entertainment, science, simulation and research. VR use visual, auditory  and other sensations to simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual environment (VE). Adding a new layer of interaction to VR could enhance user’s immersion within the VE. This paper presents an explorative study  offering insights about what factors have to be considered when designing a new blowing input technique within VR. To carry the study two blowing input techniques were prototyped using Arduinos, one attached to the headset and one to the controller of the HTC Vive. Also eight  different VR interactions were developed. Ten users participated in the user study testing the prototypes in ten minutes sessions followed by a questionnaire and an interview. The study results show that the headset prototype was preferred  by the  natural way to interact with. In general the interactions were perceived as more engaging depending on the prototypes used to interact. The conclusion is that when developing VR interactions using these blowing prototypes different factors have to be taken in consideration such as the placement and design of the virtual representation, the triggering distance, the purpose of the interaction and intuitiveness of use. It also concluded that is crucial to not use the blowing inputs in prolonged times which could cause exhaustion and/or dizziness. Finally it revealed that each prototype performed better depending on the interactions used.

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