Infinity Walk in VR: Effects of Cognitive Load on Velocity during Continuous Long-Distance Walking

ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (SAP), page accepted - 2019
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Bipedal walking is generally considered to be the most natural and common locomotion technique in the physical world, for humans, and the most presence-enhancing form of locomotion in virtual reality (VR). However, there are significant differences in the way people walk in VR compared to their walking behaviour in the real world. For instance, previous studies have shown a significant decrease of gait parameters, in particular, velocity and step length in the virtual environment (VE). However, those studies have only considered short periods of walking. In contrast, many VR applications involve extended exposures to the VE and often include additional cognitive tasks such as way-finding. Hence, it remains an open question whether velocity during VR walking will further slowdown over time or if users of VR will eventually speed-up and adapt their velocity to the VE and move with the same speed as in the real world. In this paper we present a study to compare the effects of cognitive task on velocity during long-distance walking in VR compared to walking in the real world. Therefore, we used an exact virtual replica model of the users real surrounding. To reliably evaluate locomotion performance, we analyzed walking velocity during long-distance walking. This was achieved by 60 consecutive cycles using a left/right figure-8 protocol, which avoids the limitations of treadmill and non-consecutive walking protocols (i.\,e., start-stop). The results show a significant decrease of velocity in the VE compared to the real world even after 60 consecutive cycles with and without the cognitive task.

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BibTex references

  author       = "Janeh, Omar and Katzakis, Nikolaos and Tong, Jonathan and Steinicke, Frank",
  title        = "Infinity Walk in VR: Effects of Cognitive Load on Velocity during Continuous Long-Distance Walking",
  booktitle    = "ACM Symposium on Applied Perception (SAP)",
  pages        = "accepted",
  year         = "2019",
  url          = ""

Other publications in the database

» Omar Janeh
» Nikolaos Katzakis
» Jonathan Tong
» Frank Steinicke