Arch-Explore: A natural user interface for immersive architectural walkthroughs

2009 IEEE Symposium on 3D User Interfaces 03/2009; DOI: 10.1109/3DUI.2009.4811208
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT In this paper we propose the Arch-Explore user interface, which supports natural exploration of architectural 3D models at different scales in a real walking virtual reality (VR) environment such as head-mounted display (HMD) or CAVE setups. We discuss in detail how user movements can be transferred to the virtual world to enable walking through virtual indoor environments. To overcome the limited interaction space in small VR laboratory setups, we have implemented redirected walking techniques to support natural exploration of comparably large-scale virtual models. Furthermore, the concept of virtual portals provides a means to cover long distances intuitively within architectural models. We describe the software and hardware setup and discuss benefits of Arch-Explore.

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    ABSTRACT: Redirected Walking (RDW) is a technique that allows exploring immersive virtual environments by real walking in a small physical room. RDW employs so-called redirection techniques (RETs) to manipulate the user's real world trajectory in such a way that he remains within the boundaries of the physical room. Different RETs were suggested and evaluated in the past. In addition, steering algorithms were proposed that apply a limited set of RETs to redirect a user away from the physical room's boundaries. Within this paper, a generalized approach to planning and applying RETs is presented. It is capable of dynamically selecting suitable RETs and also controlling parameters like their strengths. The problem of steering a user in a small physical room using RETs is formulated as an optimal control problem. This allows applying an efficient probabilistic planning algorithm to maximize the free walking experience. The proposed algorithm uses a map of the virtual environment to continuously determine the optimal RET that has to be applied next. The suggested algorithm is evaluated within a user study and compared to a state-of-the-art steering algorithm. Results show that for the given virtual environment, it is able to reduce the number of collisions with the room boundaries by 41\% and furthermore reduces the amount of applied redirections significantly.
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