Experimental Virtual Reality Framework to Study Individual Pedestrians Avoidance of Pedestrian Groups in Crowded Situations

Abstract

A completely wireless virtual reality framework that allows users to control virtual avatars by physically walking is becoming increasingly necessary as virtual reality technologies such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are pushed into the mainstream market. Virtual reality is no longer an expensive tool only employed by the better funded researchers. To this end we proposed to create a novel virtual reality framework which lays the ground work for future researchers to utilize. The use of our virtual reality framework for research is validated through a virtual reality study which aims to help fill the knowledge gap of how individual pedestrians navigate through crowds. As a result of conducting our virtual reality experiment we have confirmed that our virtual reality framework is capable of observing qualitatively similar collision avoidance decisions of individual pedestrians when compared to previous researcher’s results. Additionally, we have confirmed the presence of a distance compression effect in virtual reality; increased gait instability, and modified personal space of users inside virtual worlds. Our virtual reality framework was positively received with an enjoyment score of 5.6 out of 7(7 being very enjoyable).

Author: Joel Patane - Bachelor of Information Technology

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