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Real Walking in Virtual Environments

Within the research field of Virtual Reality (VR), there is still a lack of generating a realistic sensation of walking. Although intensive research is done in this field, current solutions suffer either from an unrealistic haptic sensation or from very restricted visualization possibilities. However, the sensation of walking could become very important for applications in medicine, mechanical engineering, education, etc., since it could provide very important additional information, which could not be transferred otherwise.

Existing approaches in providing the proprioceptive sensation of walking rely on installations that either support ‘walking in place’ or ‘walking on a conveyor belt’, while only some approaches provide a real walking in a very limited virtual environment.

Thus, the goal of the proposed project is to realize a real sensation of walking within a holistic approach. New basic algorithms to predict the users’ behaviors within the given context of a virtual environment will be developed and verified. Within this new approach, the user is really walking on a plane surface, while all other perception channels – among others in particular the visual sensation – are addressed by the virtual environment. After developing the proposed system, basic user studies will be done in the new system on how the human perception could be influenced in such a way that the virtually unlimited space can be compressed to a physically limited space with optimal free walking experience. 

For the ReWaVE startup company please contact Thomas Nescher


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© 2019 ETH Zurich | Imprint | 21 January 2016