SpaceWalk: Movement and Interaction in Virtual Space with Commodity Hardware

Greuter, S and Roberts, D 2014, 'SpaceWalk: Movement and Interaction in Virtual Space with Commodity Hardware', in K. Blackmore, K. Nesbitt, S.P. Smith (ed.) Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Interactive Entertainment, Newcastle, Australia, 2-3 December 2014, pp. 1-7.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title SpaceWalk: Movement and Interaction in Virtual Space with Commodity Hardware
Author(s) Greuter, S
Roberts, D
Year 2014
Conference name 2014 Conference on Interactive Entertainment
Conference location Newcastle, Australia
Conference dates 2-3 December 2014
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Interactive Entertainment
Editor(s) K. Blackmore, K. Nesbitt, S.P. Smith
Publisher ACM
Place of publication United States
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Abstract We introduce SpaceWalk, an experimental approach to allow a person to move around a small room while wearing a Head Mounted Display. The goal is to get immersed users in everyday settings out of their seats and naturally experiencing movement within the simulation. SpaceWalk integrates a wireless solution around commodity equipment and requires no calibration by the user. This allows a low encumbrance full-body immersion in virtual reality while walking around living-room sized real-world spaces. The platform combines a commodity Head Mounted Display (Oculus Rift), with a depth-based camera (Kinect2) capturing movement of body and limbs within the space. A tablet computer, carried in a backpack, runs commodity VR software (Unity) with our own extensions that integrate the components. A brief survey of the literature demonstrates a gap in that other systems do neither allow a person's body to be routinely tracked without calibration, or movement around the space without the encumbrance of wires. The proposed full body immersive virtual reality platform opens the door to Virtual Reality in small environments, such as people's homes, that is compelling, easy to setup and use. After half a century, VR is coming of age, yet routine and unencumbered movement still needs to be achieved. This paper offers a method for doing so. Its contribution is to make Virtual Reality accessible to a wider group of users who do not have access to a professional virtual reality facility. In doing so it may help to unlock new paradigms for work, learning and entertainment.
Subjects Computer Gaming and Animation
Keyword(s) Virtual Reality
Head Mounted Displays
Depth Cameras
Motion Tracking
Viewpoint Tracking
Oculus Rift
Microsoft Kinect
Copyright notice © 2014 by the Association for Computing
ISBN 9781450327909
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