Mutual Proximity Awareness in Immersive Multi-User Virtual Environments with RealWalking

I. Podkosova, H. Kaufmann:
"Mutual Proximity Awareness in Immersive Multi-User Virtual Environments with RealWalking";
in:"Proceedings of International Conference on Artificial Reality and Telexistence and Eurographics Symposium on Virtual Environments", Eurographics Association, 2015, ISBN: 978-3-905674-84-2, S. 109 - 116.

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Are users aware of each other in an immersive multi-user virtual environment if they cannot see or hear each
other? We present a study on usersĀ“ awareness of other users who share the same physical space. The goal of our
research is to investigate proximity awareness when walking in multi-user virtual environments. The high degree
of immersion in our virtual environment is achieved through the use of a head-mounted display and real walking in
a large tracked space. In our experiment, pairs of participants are required to walk on pre-defined paths towards
or side by side to each other and point at their test partners if they feel their presence. Our results show that 1/3 of
the participants who had a-priori knowledge about the possible proximity of their test partners could notice their
test partners during the experiment at a distance shorter than 1m. The test subjects who did not have any a-priori
knowledge proved to be not aware of other users.