Don't Block the Ground: Reducing Discomfort in Virtual Reality with an Asymmetric Field-of-View Restrictor

Fei Wu, George S. Bailey, Thomas Stoffregen, Evan Suma Rosenberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Although virtual reality has been gaining in popularity, users continue to report discomfort during and after use of VR applications, and many experience symptoms associated with motion sickness. To mitigate this problem, dynamic field-of-view restriction is a common technique that has been widely implemented in commercial VR games. Although artificially reducing the field-of-view during movement can improve comfort, the standard restrictor is typically implemented using a symmetric circular mask that blocks imagery in the periphery of the visual field. This reduces users' visibility of the virtual environment and can negatively impact their subjective experience. In this paper, we propose and evaluate a novel asymmetric field-of-view restrictor that maintains visibility of the ground plane during movement. We conducted a remote user study that sampled from the population of VR headset owners. The experiment used a within-subjects design that compared the ground-visible restrictor, the traditional symmetric restrictor, and a control condition without FOV restriction. Participation required navigating through a complex maze-like environment using a controller during three separate virtual reality sessions conducted at least 24 hours apart. Results showed that ground-visible FOV restriction offers benefits for user comfort, postural stability, and subjective sense of presence. Additionally, we found no evidence of negative drawbacks to maintaining visibility of the ground plane during FOV restriction, suggesting that the proposed technique is superior for experienced users compared to the widely used symmetric restrictor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - SUI 2021
Subtitle of host publicationACM Spatial User Interaction 2021
EditorsStephen N. Spencer
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450390910
StatePublished - Nov 9 2021
Event9th ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, SUI 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Nov 9 2021Nov 10 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - SUI 2021: ACM Spatial User Interaction 2021


Conference9th ACM Symposium on Spatial User Interaction, SUI 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Victoria Interrante and Tongyu Nie for their assistance with this research. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1901423.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Owner/Author.


  • cybersickness
  • field-of-view
  • postural stability
  • virtual reality


Dive into the research topics of 'Don't Block the Ground: Reducing Discomfort in Virtual Reality with an Asymmetric Field-of-View Restrictor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this