Presence within virtual environments as a function of visual display parameters

Claudia Hendrix, Woodrow Barfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper reports the results of three studies, each of which investigated the sense of presence within virtual environments as a function of visual display parameters. These factors included the presence or absence of head tracking, the presence or absence of stereoscopic cues, and the geometric field of view used to create the visual image projected on the visual display. In each study, subjects navigated a virtual environment and completed a questionnaire designed to ascertain the level of presence experienced by the participant within the virtual world. Specifically, two aspects of presence were evaluated: (1) the sense of "being there" and (2) the fidelity of the interaction between the virtual environment participant and the virtual world. Not surprisingly, the results of the first and second study indicated that the reported level of presence was significantly higher when head tracking and stereoscopic cues were provided. The results from the third study showed that the geometric field of view used to design the visual display highly influenced the reported level of presence, with more presence associated with a 50 and 90° geometric field of view when compared to a narrower 10° geometric field of view. The results also indicated a significant positive correlation between the reported level of presence and the fidelity of the interaction between the virtual environment participant and the virtual world. Finally, it was shown that the survey questions evaluating several aspects of presence produced reliable responses across questions and studies, indicating that the questionnaire is a useful tool when evaluating presence in virtual environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-289
Number of pages16
JournalPresence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

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