The impact of the input interface in a virtual environment: the Vive controller and the Myo armband


Gesture-based touchless devices are becoming a widespread alternative to traditional gaming devices such as joysticks or gamepads. However, the impact of such devices on the user experience has to be evaluated, especially if we consider that most users are more familiar with classical handheld gaming controllers. In virtual reality applications, they influence not only the traditional usability, but also the user perception related to some peculiarities of immersive environments. In this paper, we evaluate both these aspects by comparing the user experience with the Myo armband touchless interface and the Vive controller distributed with the HTC Vive headset. We focused on a virtual navigator we developed for HTC Vive to allow users exploring the organs of the human body and navigating inside them. We recruited 78 subjects to test the virtual environment and asked them to fill in a questionnaire: we combined two generic purpose questionnaires focusing on the system usability (UMUX and SUS) and a presence questionnaire, which was specifically designed for virtual environments. We conducted a statistical analysis to study the effects of a touchless interaction on the user experience. The results revealed a better usability of the Vive controller, even though the effort to learn how to use the two devices is similar. In particular, difficulties in using Myo have a significant impact on immersion and adaptation in the virtual environment.

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De Paolis, L.T., De Luca, V. The impact of the input interface in a virtual environment: the Vive controller and the Myo armband. Virtual Reality (2019).

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  • Touchless interaction
  • Gesture
  • User experience
  • Usability
  • Presence
  • Virtual environment