BlindWalkVR: formative insights into blind and visually impaired people’s VR locomotion using commercially available approaches

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PubDate: June 2020

Teams: Nuremberg Institute of Technology

Writers: Julian Kreimeier;Pascal Karg;Timo Götzelmann

PDF: BlindWalkVR: formative insights into blind and visually impaired people’s VR locomotion using commercially available approaches

Abstract

Virtual Reality (VR) promises expanded access to spatial information, especially for blind and visually impaired people. Through haptic and acoustic feedback, real world’s limitations like the risk of injury or the necessity of a sighted safety assistant can be circumvented. However, the best possible profit of this technology requires interactive locomotion in large virtual environments to overcome real world space limitations. Thus, we present formative insights of blind people’s egocentric VR locomotion by comparing four different implementations (i.e., two VR treadmills, trackers on the ankles or joystick based locomotion) in a qualitative and quantitative user study with seven blind and visually impaired participants. Our results reveal novel insights on characteristics of each implementation in terms of usability and practicability and also provide recommendations for further work in this field with the target user group in sight.

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