Innovation to Improve 3D Navigation

SFU researchers are working on new technologies that deliver more authentic and user-friendly three-dimensional (3D) Virtual Reality (VR) experiences and may lead to more efficient and accessible options for navigating virtual worlds.

Together with School of Interactivce Arts & Technology (SIAT) professor Bernhard Riecke, head of the iSpace (immersive, Spatial, Perception, Action/Art, Cognition, Embodiment lab), and SIAT professor Wolfgang Stuerzlinger, head of the VVISE (Virtual and Augmented Reality, Visual Analytics, Interaction, Systems & Experiments Lab), SIAT Master’s student Thinh (Ted) Nguyen-Vo, designed and led an experiment to evaluate and compare the NaviBoard—a new VR navigation interface developed by SFU researchers—to other forms of VR navigation.

The NaviBoard, which is an innovative VR navigation interface designed by the researchers that allows whole body leaning and stepping to control speed and direction while navigating virtual worlds is showing promising results and may lead to more efficient and accessible options for navigating 3D virtual worlds. The more a user leans, the faster they go.

The NaviBoard may provide an alternative to locomotion by walking in a tracked space, which requires large spaces that are expensive to build and maintain and can also present safety issues.

“As a member of the iSpace Lab, I was able to design and develop experiments from end to end — from planning and designing to coding and analysis, and present my ideas to Bernhard and the team,” says Nguyen-Vo.

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