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Effects of field of view on human locomotion

Author: Toet, A. · Hoeven, M. van der
Publisher: The International Society for Optical Engineering
Place: Bellingham, WA, USA
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:Brown, R.W.Marasco, P.L., Proc. SPIE Vol. 6955-16, Head- and Helmet-Mounted Displays XIII: Design and Applications, Orlando FL, USA, March 2008, 69550H/1-69550H/11
SPIE proceedings
Identifier: 22170
doi: doi:10.1117/12.771950
Article number: 69550H
Keywords: Vision · Field-of-view Locomotion · Maneuvering · Helmet mounted displays · Maneuverability · Optical design · Optical devices · Velocity measurement · Field of view (FOV) restrictions · Head movements · Traversal time · Mass transportation · vision · field of view · movement


Field of view (FOV) restrictions are known to impair human performance for a range of different tasks. However, the effects of FOV restrictions on human locomotion through a complex environment are still not clear. This is particularly important for the development and deployment of FOV restricting devices like Head Mounted Displays (HMD’s), which generally have FOV’s that are much smaller than the unrestricted FOV. We investigated the effects of both horizontal and vertical FOV restrictions on the walking speed and head movements of participants manoeuvring through complex 3D obstacle courses. All FOV restrictions tested significantly increased the time needed to complete the courses, compared to the unrestricted condition. The time needed to traverse a course was significantly longer for a vertical FOV of 18° than for a vertical FOV of 48°. For a fixed vertical FOV size, the traversal time was constant for horizontal FOV sizes ranging between 75° and 180°, and increased significantly for the 30° horizontal FOV condition. The implications of the current findings for the development of devices with FOV restrictions (like HMD’s) are discussed. Keywords: field-of-view, locomotion, maneuvering