Geometric Calibration of Head-Mounted Displays and its Effects on Distance Estimation

Falko Kellner, Benjamin Bolte, Gerd Bruder, Ulrich Rautenberg, Frank Steinicke, Markus Lappe, Reinhard Koch
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), Volume 18, Number 4, page 589--596 - 2012
Download the publication : vr2012.pdf [1.4Mo]  
Head-mounted displays (HMDs) allow users to observe virtual environments (VEs) from an egocentric perspective. However, several experiments have provided evidence that egocentric distances are perceived as compressed in VEs relative to the real world. Recent experiments suggest that the virtual view frustum set for rendering the VE has an essential impact on the user's estimation of distances. In this article we analyze if distance estimation can be improved by calibrating the view frustum for a given HMD and user. Unfortunately, in an immersive virtual reality (VR) environment, a full per user calibration is not trivial and manual per user adjustment often leads to mini- or magnification of the scene. Therefore, we propose a novel per user calibration approach with optical see-through displays commonly used in augmented reality (AR). This calibration takes advantage of a geometric scheme based on 2D point - 3D line correspondences, which can be used intuitively by inexperienced users and requires less than a minute to complete. The required user interaction is based on taking aim at a distant target marker with a close marker, which ensures non-planar measurements covering a large area of the interaction space while also reducing the number of required measurements to five. We found the tendency that a calibrated view frustum reduced the average distance underestimation of users in an immersive VR environment, but even the correctly calibrated view frustum could not entirely compensate for the distance underestimation effects.

Images and movies


BibTex references

  author       = "Kellner, Falko and Bolte, Benjamin and Bruder, Gerd and Rautenberg, Ulrich and Steinicke, Frank and Lappe, Markus and Koch, Reinhard",
  title        = "Geometric Calibration of Head-Mounted Displays and its Effects on Distance Estimation",
  journal      = "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG)",
  number       = "4",
  volume       = "18",
  pages        = "589--596",
  year         = "2012",
  url          = ""

Other publications in the database

» Benjamin Bolte
» Gerd Bruder
» Frank Steinicke
» Markus Lappe