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Exploring Hands-Free Alternatives for Teleportation in VR
AuthorSpurgeon, Walker Lee
Computer Science and Engineering
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In recent years, Virtual Reality (VR) technology has reached a point where it is powerful enough to be immersive, yet cheap enough to be commercially available. Both high-end headsets designed for desktop computers and low-cost peripherals for smartphones are seeing increased usage by consumers and developers alike. While there are differences in motion tracking capabilities between various VR devices, locomotion remains a common problem due to space constraints, VR sickness, limited input on low-cost devices, and the need for immersion in VR. Currently, a popular technique for locomotion in VR is teleportation. For headsets with positional tracking, teleportation allows users to navigate beyond the tracking space without a high risk of inducing VR sickness; for devices without positional tracking, teleportation can allow users to move in the virtual world even if the device has limited input options or low computational power. The most common teleportation methods rely on controller input, usually with motion controllers. This kind of input has downsides in that it can lead to arm fatigue, and it is not a viable method for devices without motion controllers or for people who cannot use motion controllers because of a disability or injury. We evaluated four hands-free methods for teleportation and compared their performance with teleportation using motion controllers. Two of the methods - teleporting using a voice command and teleporting by having the user's gaze dwell on the desired destination - had been used previously. The other two methods - teleporting via foot stomp and teleporting via blink - were novel. We performed a study in which users would teleport to waypoints in a VR environment, and the speed and accuracy of their teleportation was recorded and compared between the various methods. The study compared teleportation via controller with the blink, stomp, voice, and dwell methods. Data analysis of our results suggest that the blink and dwell methods have comparable results to controller teleportation and may serve as viable hands-free alternatives. Both methods had comparable accuracy, and blink in particular was well-received by users and did not have a large time increase.