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Effects of head-slaved navigation and the use of teleports on spatial orientation in virtual environments

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Author: Bakker, N.H. · Passenier, P.O. · Werkhoven, P.J.
Institution: TNO Technische Menskunde
Source:Human Factors, 1, 45, 160 - 169
Identifier: 12226
doi: doi:10.1518/hfes.
Keywords: Perception · Feedback · Interfaces (computer) · Knowledge engineering · Learning systems · Virtual reality · Head-slaved navigation · Portals · accuracy · adolescent · adult · anticipation · article · controlled study · disorientation · female · human · human experiment · male · mental capacity · normal human · practice guideline · spatial orientation · task performance · virtual reality · Adolescent · Adult · Cognition · Female · Humans · Male · Movement · Netherlands · Proprioception · Space Perception · Task Performance and Analysis · User-Computer Interface


The type of navigation interface in a virtual environment (VE) - head slaved or indirect - determines whether or not proprioceptive feedback stimuli are present during movement. In addition, teleports can be used, which do not provide continuous movement but, rather, discontinuously displace the viewpoint over large distances. A two-part experiment was performed. The first part investigated whether head-slaved navigation provides an advantage for spatial learning in a VE. The second part investigated the role of anticipation when using teleports. The results showed that head-slaved navigation has an advantage over indirect navigation for the acquisition of spatial knowledge in a VE. Anticipating the destination of the teleport prevented disorientation after the displacement to a great extent but not completely. The time that was needed for anticipation increased if the teleport involved a rotation of the viewing direction. This research shows the potential added value of using a head-slaved navigation interface - for example, when using VE for training purposes - and provides practical guidelines for the use of teleports in VE applications.