Gait Differences in the Real World and Virtual Reality: The Effect of Prior Virtual Reality Experience
DescriptionWalking is one of the most influential parts of virtual reality applications, such as training, health care, and education.
Prior research has established that people's gait behavior change when walking in virtual reality (VR), as compared to the real world. However, very little research has evaluated how people's gait parameters change over time as they gain more experience with VR, and whether this reduced the difference in gait parameters between the real and virtual worlds.
We are running a mixed-design experiment where modality (VR or real-world) is a within-subjects factor and the users' experience level with VR is a between-subjects factor. Participants perform 30 walking trials, where they are asked to walk in a straight line for 6 meters. During each trial, we record path length, average speed, number of steps, and head-trunk angle (these gait parameters were selected based on prior research). We hypothesize that the more experience people have in VR, the less difference there will be between VR and real-world gait parameters.
After completing the experiment, the participants answer some questions about their feelings during the experiment. These interviews are done to find interesting details about novice and experienced VR users' feelings of walking in a virtual environment. Collected data out of the experiments, observations, and interviews make mixed-method research involving quantitative and qualitative sections to answer our research question.