SPiCy - Space Perception in Cyberspace

The Perception of Space in Virtual Reality. With  the  broader  availability  of  low-cost  VR-devices,  the  diversity  of  applications  as  well  as  user groups  is  growing.  At  the  same  time,  AR  and  VR  applications  areleaving  the  (professional)  lab environment and are entering domains where lesser assumptions can be made about the technical setup. In this  project  we  want to  address the particular  problem  that  space  restrictions  in the real environment bear the risk to completely break the illusion of virtual reality if the dimensions of the virtual environment don’t match. More concretely, for the perception of space in virtual environments it is essential to be able to freely move/walk around. If the real environment (eg. the trackable area in  an  office)  does  not  provide  enough  space, the  illusion  breaks  down  as  soon  as the  user  hits  a (real) obstacle.Our methodological approach to overcome these problems is to exploit the fact that a user wearing a head mounted display can only see the virtual environment but senses the real environment with his body. Mismatches between real body movements and visual responses on the display are un-noticeable if they are small and the user’s attention is reduced (eg. because of head oreye move-ment). Hence our goal is to track the user and to rate the current level of distraction. Then, if reduced attention is detected, we can slightly shift the virtual environment relative to the real one in order to reduce the probability of an obstacle hit. In the first phase, we will restrict to passive measures, like head and eye tracking. In the second phase we will explore active methods such as adding obstacles in the virtual environment or letting virtual characters cross the user’s way for distraction.

Project Information


ICT Foundations of a Digitized Industry, Economy, and Society” by the profile area ICT

Funding Period:

01.11.2016 – 31.10.2017


André Calero Valdez

Project Partner:

Prof. Dr. Leif Kobbelt, VCI

Prof. Dr. Martina Ziefle, Communication Science

Dr. Ming Li, VCI

Prof. Dr. Torsten Kuhlen, VCI