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Location-based virtual reality (LBVR) is promising to offer the full potential of virtual reality (VR) becauseit is not completely virtual, as in space independent VR, which usually relies on a head-worn display andhand-held controllers only. Therefore, LBVR can include and arrange the physical surrounding according to aparticular application or include parameters, such as objects or light conditions, of the physical surroundinginto the virtual environment. While LBVR is drawing a lot of attention in the creative industry and a lot ofLBVR-installations are already entertaining millions of users, not much research has been employed in thisdirection. In this work, we offer an overview containing relevant challenges and accompanying solutions thatneed to be considered in an LBVR-installation.
Staging Location-Based Virtual Reality to Improve
Immersive Experiences
Matthias Wölfel*, Daniel Hepperle, Andreas Siess, Jonas Deuchler
Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems,
Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, Karlsruhe, Germany
Location-based virtual reality (LBVR) is promising to oer the full potential of virtual reality (VR) because
it is not completely virtual, as in space independent VR, which usually relies on a head-worn display and
hand-held controllers only. Therefore, LBVR can include and arrange the physical surrounding according to a
particular application or include parameters, such as objects or light conditions, of the physical surrounding
into the virtual environment. While LBVR is drawing a lot of attention in the creative industry and a lot of
LBVR-installations are already entertaining millions of users, not much research has been employed in this
direction. In this work, we oer an overview containing relevant challenges and accompanying solutions that
need to be considered in an LBVR-installation.
Received on 19 January 2020; accepted on 28 January 2020; published on 24 February 2020
Keywords: virtual reality, exhibition, (semi-)public space, museum, staging, bystander, head-mounted display
Copyright © 2020 Matthias Wölfel et al., licensed to EAI. This is an open access article distributed under the
terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license (, which permits
unlimited use, distribution and reproduction in any medium so long as the original work is properly cited.
1. Introduction
While there is still a debate going on if immersive
virtual reality (VR) technologies will become part of
our daily lives such as TVs, computers or smartphones,
VR is already widely used and already entertaining
millions of users—not in our homes, but at public
or semi-public spaces. In contrast to VR used
in private settings, those location-based VR (LBVR)
installations have additional requirements but also oer
additional possibilities. They can consist of a custom-
designed space, arranged to fit the particular needs
of the application. LBVR can improve your experience
because part of the physical world is becoming part
of the VR experience. This allows items from the
physical world to be rediscovered or virtual objects to
be touched. In contrast to LBVR space independent
VR is usually completely virtual—except for the worn
display and hand-held controllers. VR unfolds its
full potential only in those cases when the physical
surrounding is also taken into consideration. LBVR
oers to combine head-mounted display (HMD) with e.g.
roller coasters, bumper cars or other activities that are
seemingly impossible to experience at home because
it requires complex hardware constructions. Therefore,
for high-end VR installations, museums, exhibitions,
and amusement parks are perfectly suitable for staging
VR installations in the most engaging way [12]. It
has been demonstrated that consisting and correctly
mapped mixed environments where virtual and real
are intermingled—if done right—can improve presence
and overall experience [11,13]. In the context of LBVR,
one is able to create spectacular, immersive experiences,
whereby the complete isolation of the physical outside
world at the same time is a major hurdle for wearing
HMDs. This has to be overcome, especially for cases
where one might be under possible observation such as
semi-public spaces. Besides a “leap into the unknown”
VR technology tends to give rise to uncertainty in
regards to possible motion sickness and also to hygienic
concerns that prevent many potential visitors from
using an HMD in public settings.
2. (Re)Connecting Both Worlds
Building artificial worlds that can be entered and
experienced is an old dream of mankind. The first
realizations of this dream were already implemented
as panoramic paintings more than 200 years ago. Later,
all kinds of tricks, constructions, and projections of
images were used so that the public could feel a kind
of movement through time and space. As early as in
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Wölfel et al.
the year 1900 the Maréorama, as well as the Cinéorama,
were created as entertainment attraction for the 1900
Paris Exposition. The former was created by Hugo
d’Alesi using combined moving panoramic paintings
and a large motion platform to create the illusion of a
ship cruise, the latter was created by Raoul Grimoin-
Sanson using 10 synchronized 70 mm film projectors
to create the illusion of a hot air balloon ride [23].
While the first installations were done using large
scale canvases with projections and thus generating a
joint multi-person experience, the majority of today’s
immersive experiences relies on HMDs and thus today’s
experiences are isolating users from their surroundings
and company [25]. This gap between the headset user
and the audience exists because in those cases the
virtual content is not presented to the public in an
appropriate way—or even worse—not at all. In those
cases where the virtual world is shown to the public,
it is common to present it in a first-person view on a
screen mounted in the vicinity of the person using the
HMD. This ego-perspective, however, makes it dicult
for others to understand what is happening because
this type of visualization lacks to articulate the spatial
layout of the current scene, the image itself is unsteady
and oers a viewpoint that is unfamiliar to non-video
game players.
LBVR has the potential to reduce this gap by
(re)connecting both worlds: humans, objects, as well as
the surrounding in the real can also be presented in
the virtual and/or vice versa. The scientific community
is catching up on the topic of LBVR lately; e.g. there
has been a first workshop dedicated to discussing the
upcoming challenges using HMDs in shared and social
spaces. Here topics such as bystander in- and exclusion,
privacy and safety concerns as well as augmentation by
using projections have been discussed [7]. In addition,
theories regarding the interaction with large displays
and HMD have been introduced: To describe the
interaction of immersive VR installations in public
places, the audience funnel [26], which has been
introduced in relation to public displays, needs to
be adapted. While Mai and Khamis [21] proposed
to replace “subtle interactions” (which we refer to
implicitly interacting) by “get in touch with the
hardware” to emphasize that the bystanders need to
familiarize themselves with the hardware by inspecting
and even touching it, we think [30] that both steps
need to be considered in such cases where the HMD is
accompanied by large screens.
A person who is going to use an LBVR-installation can
take on dierent roles which we briefly describe next
(see Figure 1):
1. Passer-By: a person who is uninvolved, not aware,
or not paying attention to the installation
2. Spectator: a persons who observes the installation
and the headset user, he/she can communicate
with other spectators about the installation but do
not yet interact with users or the installation
3. Implicitly Interacting User: a person whose behav-
ior is not primarily focused on interaction with
the installation but triggers actions unconsciously
4. Explicitly Interacting User: a person who con-
sciously performs actions in order to interact with
the installation
5. Headset User: a person who wears an HMD and
interacts within the virtual environment
6. Follow up Acting User: a person who continues to
interact with the installation on-site or performs
o-site actions related to the installation
7. Companion: a person who interacts with the
person using an HMD
It is important to note that not every participant will
go through every role. Some roles might be skipped. For
instance, a passer-by (role 1) might eventually skip roles
3 to 6 and instantly become a companion (role 7) of the
headset user (role 5) or he/she might skip 3, 4 and 6
and only interact within the virtual world. In each role
the user has particular needs that have to be supported
to allow for an optimal flow through the funnel. An
overview is given in Table 1and details are presented
in the next subsections.
Role Support Explanation
1–2 Attraction Attract visitors towards the instal-
lation by using state of the art
advertising in public spaces.
1–6 Narration Build up a consistent story.
2–4 Transition
into the
Prepare people for immersion by
letting them interact with the
installation to familiarize with the
5 Immersion Let the headset user experiences
the virtual environment without
being concerned about the ‘out-
side world’.
6 Transition
into the
Prepare people for reality by
oering a reasonable transition of
the virtual space into the real
5&7 Connection Foster communication between
the headset user and bystander.
Table 1. Description of what kind of support has to be offered at
what kind of user role.
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User Explicitly Interacting
Follow Up Acting
Implicitly Interacting
Figure 1. Audience funnel for location-based virtual reality.
2.1. Attraction
The way that visitors are attracted by and perceive an
installation has a major eect on the users’ attitude and
intention to enter the immersive virtual environment.
Therefore, the first goal of any installation is to attract
attention and foster comfort. This can be reached by
following common knowledge in designing exhibition
stands [3]. The location of a good stand has to be
carefully chosen and its design has to catch someone’s
eye from across the venue. To promote your LBVR-
installation, the story has to be integrated into the
exhibition stand design and always keep in mind whom
you want to reach. It is also important to understand the
impact of decoration and to make sure that the lighting
conditions match the aims of the overall concept.
2.2. Narration
The connection with the virtual environment presented
on the HMD should start already long before its actual
use to prepare for what is happening in the virtual
world. For instance, in the waiting lines of theme
parks, the general theme is already taken on and
presented before the final experience in order to foster
engagement within the queue [2,20]. This is building
up a storyline or characters which can be built on
in the virtual world. Constructing narrative coherence
already before use can help to support the suspension
of disbelief (a state in which the mind forgets that it is
being subjected to entertainment with e.g. impossible
physics) [15]. For instance, if one is already prepared
to have superpowers before entering the virtual world
via HMD, one is not surprised to be able to fly like
2.3. Transition
In situations where the physical space or objects are
of particular interests, such as in museums, gyms [18]
or other institutions the user might want to stay
connected with the physical world by finding part of
the surrounding or objects also in the digital space.
The digital environment is re-sampling the physical
environments to establish a connection between the
physical and virtual content and foster an easier
transition between the two worlds; e.g. a vitrine
showing ancient objects or the resemblance of a warrior
in full dress1(see Fig. 2). After this connection has
been stabilized the warrior can become alive and start
interacting with the visitor. Note that this is dierent
from augmented reality (AR) where the virtual world is
merged with the real world.
1At the time the user is setting up the HMD the objects represented
in VR have to be physically located exactly at the place where they are
at this point in time. If not fixed to a particular position tracking of
these objects become important.
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Figure 2. The warrior in the vitrine is present in the real and the
virtual environment. Courtesy of Oliver Langewitz and ArcTron.
Karlsruhe Campus. The campus of the Karlsruhe
University of Applied Sciences was replicated as a
digital twin to study the transition between the real
and virtual worlds. By isolating observable dierences
between the two worlds it can be studied what
parameters have to match and what parameters can
It is interesting to note that a virtual environment
matching reality requires a more complex creation
process compared to a fictional environment and a
higher level of accuracy. When the participants are
located in the same area in reality, dierences are much
more noticeable. Almost all the 3D models need to
be custom created and positioned while a fictional
environment oers more freedom and the possibility to
use already created 3D objects.
Archaeology in Baden. The Badisches Landesmuseum
(Baden State Museum) aims to improve its exhibition
about the region’s archaeological heritage via LBVR2. In
order to establish the connection between the virtual
and real environment and thus to enable HMD users
to locate and orient themselves in VR, the museum is
pursuing the approach of showing a shelf with exhibits
from the historical era in a physical space as well as
in VR, see Figure 2. The idea behind this approach is
that the objects and a warrior are displayed in exactly
the same place with exactly the same proportions. The
historically appropriate content creates an additional
bridge between the exhibition, which is perceived as
a passive viewer, and the VR-experience, which is
retrieved as an active user.
Figure 3. The physical environment is setup to support the virtual
2.4. Immersion
Most of today’s LBVR-installations aim to improve the
experience within the virtual environment. Therefore,
the physical environment is set up to re-sample part
of the digital environments to make the VR experience
more immersive—e.g. haptics can be introduced by
physically setting up walls, objects, etc. (see Figure 3)
or velocity and acceleration can be introduced through
motion platforms (for instance Hologate Blitz3) or
roller coasters (for instance VRCoaster4). While a lot
of eorts, in this regard, are taken to improve the
immersive experience, those setups cannot support the
overall experience outside the virtual world.
2.5. Connection
Some content requires to create a shared space where it
becomes possible that some information is exchanged
between the headset user and his/her companions.
This exchange is important because, according to a
study conducted by the German association for cultural
management e.V., most museum visitors come in
groups to have an “eventful day” and “to undertake
something together” [19]. This requires a space where
part of the experience is identical to both and where
physical objects, as well as virtual content, are used to
enhance both, the perception of the real as well as the
virtual environment. For instance, virtual objects can be
altered according to objects in the real world. It becomes
even possible, for instance, that a physical present chair
that would not make sense in the virtual environment,
might be replaced by a proxy in the form of a tree stump
which is moving accordingly [5].
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The experience of isolation while using an HMD in
public was demonstrated by Mai et al., who interviewed
their respondents in qualitative interviews about their
feelings during use [22]. They found that dierent
spatial layouts and amounts of passive bystanders
had no significant influence on measured presence.
This, however, might change if passive bystanders are
encouraged to become active participants.
“Share VR” by Gugenheimer et al. allows participat-
ing in a joint experience between headset users and
their companions through floor projections [8]. They
found that the engagement into the narrative of both,
the headset users as well as their companions, could be
increased. “ReverseCAVE” [14] is an interesting concept
to engage bystanders via wall projections and especially
helpful for social media purposes since it enables visi-
tors to take photos of VR content. Other concepts that
try to facilitate cooperation between headset users and
non-headset users include multi-touch-tables [34].
Super Nubibus. The installation Super Nubibus5
presents a VR ride in a hot air balloon over the town
of Karlsruhe in the year 1834. It has been presented on
various occasions including the ZKM Karlsruhe [30].
Users can experience the ride using a physical replica
of a balloon basket and an HMD. By placing the basket
precisely in the virtual environment, it was possible
to ensure that the virtual and haptic representation
matched exactly: a concept proven to be very valuable,
see Section 3.3. The basket also allowed the headset
user to lean on the railing and hold on to it. The user
could start the ride and determine the height of the
balloon by pulling a physical rope that would ignite the
burner’s flame in the virtual environment and light up
two powerful PAR spotlights to simulate the burner’s
heat on the user’s head. Furthermore, a wind machine
was activated once the ride started. It is interesting to
note here that while in real hot air balloon rides there
is nearly no air movement, people who have never
experienced it, assume there are. Thus, the expectation
of most users is fulfilled by the introduction of the
wind machine even though it is not physically precise.
A floor projection has been set up around the balloon
basket to show the virtual content from a bird’s eye
perspective (see Figure 4A). For passers-by, this resulted
in a panoramic view of a balloon basket that conveyed
the impression of being levitated over a landscape.
Additionally—to allow for a control group—a TV
monitor has been set up in 3 m height (see Figure 4B)
that exactly reproduced the HMD ego-perspective view.
A detailed description of the setup can be found in [10].
3. Extend of Similarity between Both Worlds
LBVR oers to include or resemble parts of the
physical environment within the virtual environment.
As capturing or modeling realistic, real-world objects
for virtual 3D environments is a complex and time-
consuming task, the question arose, what factors are
crucial and how detailed the virtual world has to
resemble the real world for dierent aspects (see
Figure 5). In particular in those cases where a physical
representation can directly be compared. Therefore, we
discuss in this section how similar the two worlds have
to be according to dierent aspects.
3.1. Similarity of Geometry
The similarity in geometry and texture determines if
two objects—one real and one virtual—are perceived
as the same object or as two independent objects.
Simeone et al. [32] investigated fundamental shape
parameters that are necessary for a credible integration
of physical objects in VR. They found that not only
the (assumed) center of gravity of the object is of
particular interest, but especially dierences in size
seem to have a very significant disturbing eect.
The authors specifically name the problem of an
undersized virtual representation, in which the test
persons already touched the physical object, but in
the digital environment the distance between hand
and object could still be perceived. The opposite case
(oversized virtual representation or undersized physical
object) was not perceived as particularly disturbing.
Regarding basic factors of discomfort Siess et al. [29]
asked various questions concerning what particular
eect or feature of VR actually caused uneasiness
among VR users. A majority of the participants stated
that a significant factor for their perceived discomfort
being asynchronous mapping between the displayed
image and the underlying technical implementation.
Around 17% deprecated insucient graphics (i.e. bad
textures or imprecise shadow rendering) as a source of
3.2. Similarity of Light Conditions
Lighting has the potential to give a distinct character to
scenes. Especially in environments exposed to natural
or changing light sources the dierence between real
and virtual light conditions can vary. This could have
a disturbing eect in particular in those cases where the
real surrounding is represented in virtuality. Therefore,
the question arises if people can benefit with respect
to presence or comfort by resampling natural light
conditions such as the sun within the headset. To study
this eect we developed a test environment as described
in the example Karlsruhe Campus in Section 2.3 and
applied dierent lighting situations. The hypothesis
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Figure 4. A: the setup as seen from behind; B: view at the booth from the rest area
Figure 5. Digital reconstruction of a flat. Courtesy of Greg
was that people feel more comfortable, experience
a higher degree of presence, and can adjust faster
to a virtual environment when the light conditions
regarding the sun’s positions or color temperature
match the current daytime and sunlight outside. More
details on the test setup can be found in the Appendix.
Similarity of Color Temperature. Color temperature
describes light in a spectrum that is commonly
described by the analogy of warm (< 5000 K) to cool
light (> 5000 K) referencing to the heat radiation
of most natural warm-colored light sources. It can
have an eect on how images in immersive virtual
Figure 6. A participant during the test of color temperature and
environments are perceived by dierent users and user
groups (male vs. female) [31].
To understand what eect the current light condition
of the surrounding has on LBVR we performed a user
study: Subjects in group A were exposed in VR to
the light color temperature measured before the test
from the physical environment.6Group B experienced a
color oset from the current measure which was chosen
randomly from 6 dierent strength levels—1000 K,
6The LUMU POWER 2, which is pre-calibrated and based on the color
standard CIE 1931/DIN 5033, was used.
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1500 K, or 2000 K in either a warmer or colder direction
to the current real sunlight. This was done to avoid
possible bias to warmer or colder color temperatures in
Similarity of Shadows. Shadows are ubiquitous phenom-
ena in the real world, supporting people to subcon-
sciously estimate current time, sunlight intensity and in
some cases the current season of the year. Therefore, the
potential of enhancing the perception of virtual worlds
by adding natural shadows needs to be researched.
Slater et al. [33] examined dynamic shadows in an
immersive virtual environment concerning spatial per-
ception and presence. This was inconclusive to the eect
of shadows on depth perception. However, the experi-
ment suggests that for visually dominant subjects, the
greater the extent of shadow phenomena in the virtual
environment, the greater the sense of presence.
Similar to the color temperature test, participants
were either exposed to the current sun position or an
oset of 2 or 4 hours into the future or the past. As
the time range of well-visible shadows ranged from
about 07:00 until 20:40 at the approximate test date
in the virtual environments, participants close to these
times were not tested with an oset ranging out of these
boundaries. Figure 7shows dierent sun positions in
the virtual test environment.
Figure 7. Image of a campus building in different daytimes.
Summary. Altering the color temperature as well as
the sun’s positions in a virtual environment does
not influence people in a meaningful way for almost
every case tested. Additionally, when participants were
asked for the current time in the virtual environment,
a noticeable number of people could not actively
dierentiate between dierent shadow positions and
connect them to time. Therefore, these conditions
do not need to be considered in the resembled VR
3.3. Similarity of Visual and Tactile Appearance
Also, when further modalities such as touch are
addressed in regards to resemble the physical surround-
ing, there are several findings that can improve the
LBVR experience. If we take a look at Figure 3one
can imagine, that a physical room setup was chosen
that will be quite similar to the virtual counterpart in
case of arrangement (position and rotation) and size.
But what is commonly not taken into consideration is
how the visual surface (appearance in VR) is matching
with the haptic surface (structure in the physical world).
In the given case the visual surface resembles stone or
wood and the haptic surface cardboard. To investigate
if immersion and believability are aected by a mis-
match between these conditions Hepperle and Wölfel
conducted a user study, see Appendix for more detail
and Figure 8. They found that several real materials are
not only a better match for their specific replica but also
match well for other virtual materials.
The swiss’ material archive lists 18 subordinate
material groups [24].7Neglecting those that are in most
cases not relevant for building virtual environments
such as wax, colorants, solvents or minerals etc., one
can see that by only using real aluminum, and real
acrylic one would be able to depict seven out of the
ten relevant materials. Virtual leather, virtual fabric,
and virtual wood could not be well represented. Here
it might be argued that the former two materials are
elastic and the latter has a rough surface structure while
the other surfaces are solid and plain.
4. User Acceptability and Involvement
As LBVR-installations are also social spaces, the
willingness to use and actual use of the installation
are strongly influenced by social opinion. Therefore,
the social dimension has to be treated as an important
factor in designing LBVR-installations to foster the
willingness of the user to get involved and interact with
the installation. Besides relying solely on established
7When Hepperle and Wölfel carried out the experiment in 2017, there
were only 15 groups listed. New are cement, clay, and lime which have
not been evaluated.
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Figure 8. Collage of a real material (left: acrylic) and its virtual
counterpart (right: aluminum).
social norms, special care has to be taken, because with
novel collaborative technologies also novel social norms
come [28]. This eect is particularly important in those
cases where the user is publicly exposed to the general
audience while not knowing what is going on in the
environment—a very common setup in any situation
where HMDs are used.
4.1. Social Acceptability
Social acceptability is the outcome of a collective
judgment or collective opinion of a project, behavior or
technology. It is so strong, that the use of technology is
negatively aected if it is expected not to follow social
norms. How the user is believing to be perceived and
judged by bystanders is an important fact and may
result in discomfort and tension [6,17].
As pointed out by Eghbali et al. [4] “the isolation
of the user from the others can create a form of social
gap that may aect the social acceptability in public
context.” We identified three social gaps8due to the use
of HMDs:
spectator blindness: When only seeing a per-
son wearing an HMD and interacting with the
environment without a “window into the vir-
tual world”, such as a monitor or projection,
bystanders cannot understand what is happening.
leap into the unknown: The potential user of the
HMD does not know what to expect from the
upcoming experience and might let him/her not
put on the headset.
8We refer to social acceptance here only if there is interaction involved
between persons, thus hygiene and other similar issues are not
addressed here.
environment blindness: Using an HMD causes the
loss of knowledge of the physical space which
can cause being afraid about how to move safely
through the environments and being watched by
While spectator blindness and leap into the unknown
might sound very similar at first, we want to point
out the dierence between the two. While spectator
blindness is addressing those persons who have no
intention to use the HMD and are only interested in
watching others, leap into the unknown is only aecting
those users to get prepared for their own VR experience.
However, both have in common that they are caused
by not communicating what is happening in the virtual
world to its physical surroundings. This drawback can
be overcome—as already discussed in Section 2.5—by
the introduction of screens and “non-digital” staging.
Environment blindness for the user is caused by
the lack to communicate from the “outer world” into
the virtual world. While the physical environment
is usually stable and changes are not immediately
important (e.g. cars driving by in the distance) while
being enclosed in the virtual world, humans change
positions and emotions rapidly and might be of
immediate importance to the user (e.g. Is my kid still
waiting for me? Are others laughing about me acting
To the best of our knowledge, there are no solutions
available that are able to reduce the problem of
environment blindness without drastically influencing
the HMD users’ immersion and behavior. One idea is to
represent bystanders as avatars inside the virtual world,
however, this could have severe influences as has been
observed by Kinatender and Warren by examining the
influence of bystanders on evacuation behavior in real
and virtual environments [16]. Another idea is to look
outside the virtual environment using a “flashlight” to
blend the real into the virtual environment [9]. While
this approach is promising, the authors named several
limitations that have to be overcome before it can be
presented to end-users including performance issues
and visual fidelity.
4.2. User Involvement
Placing the right prompts and incentives to engage
visitors to get involved and to interact with the
LBVR-installations is a key element to improve their
success [27]. Hepperle et al. [10] investigated key factors
to increase user involvement by observing the Super
Nubibus installation, as described in Section 2.5, and
by asking users to fill out a questionnaire. The results
are presented in Figure 9. Watching others using an
LBVR-installation is the most influential method to tear
down the barriers to enter—the honeypot eect seems to
be eective also for staged VR installations. The second
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20% 16% 16%
I saw others
of the floor
others told me
about it
pulled me in
of the monitor
Figure 9. Questionnaire answers on “I used the installation
because ...” (more than one answer possible).
strongest influence found was the floor projection
which performed significantly better than the use of a
monitor mirroring the image of the VR headset from
a first-person perspective. More than twice as many
bystanders were motivated to participate by the floor
projection compared to the monitor. A nearly equal
influence was attributed to others who suggested the
installation as well as persons who actively pulled in
passers-by and spectators.
Interest in the LBVR-installation was more attributed
to the floor projection (µ: 5.43, σ: 1.43)9than the
monitor (µ: 4.47, σ: 1.78). HMD users interacting with
the installation were equally rated to raise interest
than the floor projection (µ: 5.30, σ: 1.52). Comparing
correlations between the parameters revealed that users
who were attracted by the floor projection were also
more likely to recommend the installation to others and
to share the opinion that the floor projection established
a connection between VR and the real world.
5. Design Recommendations for Staging
Location-Based Virtual Reality
Based on the previous discussions and findings we
can summarize the following design recommendations
particular for LBVR as an extension to general
recommendations for public screening (e.g. avoid
unsuitable content such as nudity and violence,
protection of data privacy) [1,26]:
stage the environment and queue line and
thereby create valuable interactions for passers-
by, waiting visitors, and spectators with the VR-
• define a clear separation between the dierent
interaction zones to increase felt safety and make
sure they cannot be broken easily
9on a Likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree)
prepare users beforehand what kind of experience
they have to expect—nobody likes the leap into
the unknown
• make sure bystanders can understand what is
going on and why the person wearing the headset
is acting like that—sharing the ego perspective of
the HMD user is common today but third-person
views are more suitable
foster bystanders to take on a particular role, a
system operator or friends, next to the wearer of
the display can improve the feeling of safety and
allow communication between the HMD user and
bystanders or the environment without the need
to remove the display
match the location between the objects which can
be viewed and touched and make sure they are not
drifting over time
• match the visual perception of a surface with
the haptic perception to a certain degree (some
materials can be a good substitution for others)
letting users quickly blend realities can help
to overcome environment blindness but might
negatively aect immersion and behavior
While some aspects show a great impact in LBVR
other aspects are not important and might need less
consideration in setting up an LBVR-installation:
realism is overrated and consistency in location is
more important as high-poly models
exact congruence of the physical lighting condi-
tions with the rendering of the virtual representa-
tion seems to be not helpful
6. Conclusion, Limitations and Future Work
We have investigated dierent location-based specific
aspects to improve the experience of LBVR. While some
aspects are very specific for one particular installation
such as motion platforms (e.g. underwater, hot-air
balloon rides, bike cycling) we have focused on aspects
quite common to many LBVR-installations. Staging
has the potential to not only convince passers-by to
participate but also has a direct influence on the
actual HMD user’s well-being (e.g. not feeling isolated
from the physical surroundings while maintaining a
sense of presence). By articulating the content to the
public, a connection is created between the otherwise
isolated headset user and the audience. This reduces the
fear of putting on an HMD and—at the same time—
improves the immersive VR experience itself. This is
because the headset user is no longer overwhelmed by
EAI Endorsed Transactions on
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02 2020 - 02 2020 | Volume 6 | Issue 21 | e5
Wölfel et al.
the unexpected content, but can mentally prepare for
the upcoming environment and content already before
entering the experience.
As the possibilities, as well as various eects, are
nearly endless we were able to focus on some common
aspects which are shared among dierent LBVR-
installations. Specific topics have not been addressed
and need further investigations. For instance, it has
been observed that motion sickness can be reduced by
merging the virtual and physical world accordingly
not only in those cases of motion platforms.
LBVR has many possibilities to improve VR experi-
ences. By now many LBVR-installations do not consider
many points discussed here and thus are not using the
full potential to oer “magic moments” through LBVR.
This might be due to cost and eort issues, but we
believe that there is also a lack of understanding of how
to use the potential lying in this. Therefore, we have also
included design recommendations into this publication
to support a good overview of what has to be taken on
to improve LBVR-installations.
Here we give details about the test populations and
some additional findings not presented in the running
text. All experiments presented here have been used an
HTC Vive and a Windows PC running Windows 10.
Details to Section 3.2. This empirical study aimed to
observe the impact of sun-like light sources on people
in VR with respect to color temperature and shadows.
A/B tests were used to compare a virtual sun matching
current outside light conditions to other, oset light
conditions. Consequently, participants transitioned
multiple times into virtual environments with dierent
light parameters and rated various aspects via a virtual
questionnaire. Participants were exposed to dierent
light settings in two virtual 3D-environments—one of
them a digital twin of the testing ground, the other
one fictional. The experiments took place on a campus
environment to assure exposure to natural sunlight
before the tests. Current color temperature and time
were measured simultaneously and could be set into
relation to the virtual measurements.
This study was concluded with 33 participants
(female: 7; male: 26, age: 20..32). 6 individuals (18.2%)
were using an HMD for the first time in their life
while 19 (57.6%) already had some experience (<10h)
with virtual reality. 8 (24.2%) were familiar (>10h
experience) with VR technology. The mean tested clock
time was 12:58.
Details to Section 3.3. This empirical study aimed
to investigate the perception of dierent materials
between there haptic and visual representation. It was
concluded with 101 participants (female: 44; male: 57,
age: 15..58). The VR experience was extended by three
self-developed input devices dubbed Haptocube. Each of
the three Haptocubes is made out of a dierent material
(acrylic, wood, aluminum) and contains an Arduino
101. They work wirelessly and can be grasped anywhere
and freely turned around. The Haptocube’s edge length
is about 13.5 cm and each of them weighs around 700
Besides the findings already given in Section 3.3 we
want to present some details here which have been
measured on a Likert scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to
7 (strongly agree): Real aluminum, for instance, can be
used to simulate virtual aluminum (µ: 4.71; σ: 1.27)10 as
well as virtual acrylic (µ: 5.31; σ: 1.00), virtual glass (µ:
5.30; σ: 0.99), virtual quartz (µ: 4.59; σ: 1.08) or virtual
granite (µ: 3.97; σ: 1.58). Whereas other real materials
such as wood do not match with virtual materials such
as glass (µ: 1.46; σ: 0.88), acrylic (µ: 1.61; σ: 1.02) or
aluminum (µ: 2.36; σ: 1.30). Overall real wood only
matched well with itself (µ: 4.32; σ: 1.43), virtual paper
and virtual ceramics.
Details to Section 4.2. This empirical study aimed
to investigate various parameters to improve user
involvement in LBVR. The LBVR-installation was
exhibited for three consecutive days. During this
period 140 individuals of which 134 (95.7%) used
the installation were questioned (female: 63; male: 76;
diverse: 1; age: 19..64). 31 individuals (22.1%) were
using an HMD for the first time in their life while 21
(15.0%) used an HMD once, 48 (34.3%) 2-5 times, 35
(25.0%) more than 5 times, 4 (2.9%) regularly, and 1
(0.7%) stated that he was a VR-developer.
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... Des Weiteren gibt es Konzepte, die sich gut adaptieren lassen, aber auch in nicht immersiven Medien gut funktionieren . Neben den "Multimedia Principles" von Mayer (2002) (Wölfel et al . 2020) kann die Transition ‚zwischen den Welten' durch ein entsprechendes Onboarding und gegebenenfalls Offboarding, auch außerhalb der simulierten Welt, die Gesamterfahrung verbessern . ...
Immersive Technologien heben die Kluft zwischen der digitalen und der analogen Welt auf. Diese eröffnen zahlreiche neue Möglichkeiten in der Umsetzung von Lernanwendungen. Jedoch fördert der Einsatz von diesen Technologien den Lernerfolg nicht automatisch. Um zu identifizieren, welche Faktoren und Strategien für den Lernerfolg entscheidend sind, ist ein besseres Verständnis für diesen neuen Medientyp zwingend. Dabei gilt es technologiebedingte, konzeptionelle und didaktische Aspekte zu berücksichtigen. Daraus leiten sich spezifische Anforderungen an Lernanwendungen ab und es wird der Versuch unternommen, entsprechende Handlungsempfehlungen zu geben.
... Still, their presence may need to be acknowledged by the immersed users in particular as they transition to areas closer to the immersed user. Wolfe et al. [51] presented a first attempt to describe the use of proxemics for interactions for non-immersed users in VR. However, their work limited proxemics' usage to a highly controlled environment and immersed users had no awareness of people outside the VR space. ...
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