Towards a Bedder Future: A Study of Using Virtual Reality while Lying Down
PubDate: April 2023
Teams:University of Copenhagen;University of Melbourne
Writers:Thomas van Gemert,Kasper Hornbæk,Jarrod Knibbe,Joanna Bergström
Most contemporary Virtual Reality (VR) experiences are made for standing users. However, when a user is lying down—either by choice or necessity—it is unclear how they can walk around, dodge obstacles, or grab distant objects. We rotate the virtual coordinate space to study the movement requirements and user experience of using VR while lying down. Fourteen experienced VR users engaged with various popular VR applications for 40 minutes in a study using a think-aloud protocol and semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis of captured videos and interviews reveals that using VR while lying down is comfortable and usable and that the virtual perspective produces a potent illusion of standing up. However, commonplace movements in VR are surprisingly difficult when lying down, and using alternative interactions is fatiguing and hampers performance. To conclude, we discuss design opportunities to tackle the most significant challenges and to create new experiences.