Influence of the size of the field of view on distance perception in virtual environment
The way humans estimate distance has attracted scientific interest for well over a century. Although numerous studies have investigated the physiology of the human visual system, the way that information from the environment is computed in order to yield a nearly metric perception of space remains the subject of active investigation. The literature shows that in real environments, distance perception averages 90% of the physical distance.
Nowadays, virtual reality plays an increasing role in a wide variety of applications. It is also an indisputably important tool for research that allows independent manipulation of information. In virtual reality environments, technology limits the number of relevant cues available to the human visual system. Concerning distance perception, we observe an underestimation greater than that observed in real environments. There are numerous possible factors that may cause this underestimation in virtual environments and among them we find the limitation of the visual field of view. Indeed, the observation of a virtual image may be considered as the observation of a scene through a window. This reduces the number of elements that can be simultaneously seen and thus limits the chances of a correct understanding of the environment.
The present study shows that for a static observer, the reduction of the available field of view leads to an underestimation of egocentric distance to nearby objects. We also show that the more the field of view is limited, the more distances are underestimated. This underestimation disappears when the participants are allowed to perform head movements. We suggest that the important parameter is not the size of the field of view itself, but rather another related parameter we will describe. This new parameter is the ratio “angular size of the target compared to the angular size of the static field of view”.
D. Paillé defended his PhD from Paris 6 University (Cognitive Science speciality)
on July 27, 2005, before a jury composed of:
Dr. Andras Kemeny, co-director
Pr. Alain Berthoz, co-director
Dr. Sabine Coquillart, reviewer
Dr. Edouard Gentaz, reviewer
Dr. Heinrich Bülthoff, examiner
Dr. Viola Cavallo, examiner
Pr. Charles Pierrot-Deseilligny, examiner, president of the jury
Publications and Communications
PAILLé D., KEMENY A., BERTHOZ A. (2005). « Stereoscopic stimuli are not used in absolute distance evaluation in multi-cue virtual environment ».
Proceedings of the SPIE, Electronic Imaging 2005, Stereoscopic Displays and Applications XVI and The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality, San Jose , 16-20 janvier 2005, Andrew J. Woods, Mark T. Bolas, John O. Merritt, Ian E. MacDowall; Eds. May 2005, pp.596-605.
PAILLé D., KEMENY A., BERTHOZ A. (2005). « Influence de la taille du champ de vision sur la perception des distances proches en environnement virtuel ». Séminaire Images Virtuelles, CTS (Renault) – LPPA (Collège de France-CNRS), Paris, 13 janvier 2002, (sous presse).
BLACKHAM G, COATES N, PAILLé D, HEIDET A, KEMENY A (2003). « Perception using a wide field of view HMD in a driving simulation context ». Proceedings of the Image 2003 Conference, July 14-18, Scottsdale, Arizona.
VALLET M., PAILLé D., MONOT A., KEMENY A. (2003). « Ecological model of glittering texture ». Proceedings of the SPIE Vol. 5007, Electronic Imaging 2003, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging VIII; San Jose , 21-24 janvier, Bernice E. Rogowitz, Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas; Eds. Jun 2003, pp. 310-320.