Artificial locomotion

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Artificial locomotion is a virtual reality (VR) locomotion method characterized by the use of a controller or keyboard to move in a certain direction in the virtual environment. Pressing a button, moving the joystick or D-pads enables the user to navigate the avatar. Virtual reality artificial locomotion is a basic method of locomotion and not optimal for the VR experience. [1] [2] [3]

Locomotion is one of the main problems to be surpassed in VR, and one that creates difficulties to developers of VR games. Traditionally, video games movement mechanics are executed using a keyboard and mouse or a gamepad. This has given developers a standard control scheme that does not vary significantly from game to game. However, moving in VR comfortably and immersively is still a hurdle. [4] [5]

There are not many VR games that use keyboard and mouse configurations. On the contrary, a lot of VR games use traditional gamepads; indeed, they can support the classic two-thumbstick artificial locomotion method seen in almost all first-person console games, such as in the case of the VR game Adr1ft. [4]

While artificial locomotion is easy to create, since the control scheme is common in gaming, the movement generated in VR is unnatural and creates a dissonance between what is perceived by the eyes and what the body feels. This can lead to motion sickness, and while fine-tunings to improve this VR locomotion method have happened, like in the military shooter Onward, it is far from optimal since the method is prone to generating a vestibular mismatch that can trigger nausea and vomiting. [1] [4]

Due to the possibility of a vestibular mismatch in a lot of users, artificial locomotion is not considered to be the gold-standard in VR, and developers are still researching other VR locomotion methods that are more immersive. [2] [4]

Currently, teleportation is one of the more used VR locomotion techniques, but a lot of users think that it is not the most immersive method. 1:1 movement, motion sensor movement (i.e. RIPmotion; arm swinger), and redirected walking are just some examples of locomotion methods that try to improve upon artificial locomotion. [1] [2] [4]

Reference

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Roy (2016). Locomotion or moving around in VR. Retrieved from http://ignite-vr.com/blog/2016/09/24/locomotion-in-vr/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bumble. Locomotion in VR: overview of different locomotion methods on HTC Vive [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0YxzgQG2-E
  3. VR Glossary. Locomotion. Retrieved from http://www.vrglossary.org/glossary/locomotion/
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Carbotte, K. (2016). VR locomotion is a problem that has many half-solutions. Retrieved from http://www.tomshardware.com/news/vr-locomotion-developer-solution-roundup,33108.html
  5. Lang, B. (2017). ‘Freedom Locomotion System’ is a comprehensive package for VR movement. Retrieved from https://www.roadtovr.com/freedom-locomotion-system-comprehensive-package-vr-movement/

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