Factors effecting spatial awareness in non-stereo visual representations of virtual, real and digital image environments
2013-08-12T15:20:07Z (GMT) by
The increasing number of applications employing virtual environment (VE) teclmologies as a tool, particularly those that use VE as surrogates, makes it important to examine the ability of YE to provide realistic simulations to users. Accurate space and distance perceptions have been suggested as essential preconditions for the reliable use of VE teclmologies in various applications. However, space and distance perception in the VE has been reported by some . investigators as being perceived differently from the real world. Thus, the overall aim of this thesis is to improve our understanding of factors affecting spatial awareness in the YE. The general approach is based on a strategy of conducting empirical investigations comparing tasks performed in the VE to similar tasks performed in the real world. This research has examined the effect of display related factors on users' spatial task performance in the context of static, dynamic and interactive presentations. Three sets of experiments in these respective contexts were conducted to explore the influence of image type, display size, viewing distance, physiological cues, interface device and travel modes on distance estimate and spatial memory tasks. For distance perception, results revealed that the effect of image type depends on the context of presentations, the type of asynunetrical distances and image resolution. The effect of display size in static and dynamic presentations is consistent with the results of previous investigations. However, results from evaluations conducted by the author have indicated that other factors such as viewing distance and physiological cues were also accountable. In interactive presentations, results indicated that display size had different effects on different users whereby familiarity with display size may influence user's performance. Similarly, it was shown that a commonly used interface device is more useful and beneficial for user's spatial memory performance in the VE than the less familiar ones. In terms of travel mode, the natural method of movement available in the real world may not necessary be better than the unnatural movement which is possible in the VE. The results of investigations reported in this thesis contribute towards knowledge and understanding on factors affecting spatial awareness in the real and YE. In particular, they highlight the influence of these factors in space and distance perception in different contexts of VE presentations which will serve as important scientifically based guidelines for designers and users of VE applications.