Travelling Salesperson in an Immersive Virtual Environment: Experimental Evaluation of Tracking System Device
Nowadays Virtual Reality (VR) is an extremely versatile technology capable to cope with many areas of human life, and its fast development requires constant evaluation and validation. Cognitive models of human behavior play a central role in this evaluation, aiming at obtaining high quality, safe and usable products. A problem currently faced by VR users inside immersive Virtual Environments (iVEs) consists in the Simulator-induced Sickness (SS), a particular kind of motion sickness evoked by the simulated visual motion. SS can reduce subjects’ performances, and bias data collected with VR. Although Tracking Systems (TS) were thought to reduce SS symptoms, their effective contribution is not clear. A task based on the Traveling Salaperson was implemented in an iVE to investigate whether TS (a) evoked less SS symptoms and (b) facilitated performance in participants with respect to a control condition without TS. Results showed that TS allowed reduction of many SS symptoms, but this did not produced clear benefits on the cognitive performance, mainly true for female subjects. While TSs may facilitate enjoyment of iVE reducing SS, the higher susceptibility of females suggested that VR designers and producers should consider valuable a certain training before using the iVEs.
KeywordsTracking System Visuospatial planning Navigation Simulator sickness Immersive virtual environments Gender
The activity presented in the paper was part of a BMBF framed project research, namely the ViERforES project (www.vierfores.de), from the Fraunhofer IFF in Magdeburg. We thank Dr. Eberhard Blümel and the other collaborators from the Virtual Development Training Centre for the support and cooperation.
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