Standing VR

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Standing VR (figure 1) is a way of experiencing virtual reality (VR) in which the user is standing up in a specific area, but not moving around. It stands in-between seated VR and room-scale VR. There will be more movement while interacting with the VR experience compared to seated VR, but less when compared to room-scale VR.

1. Standing VR (Image: WorldViz)

A sensor is required to provide a tracking system, in order for standing VR to be possible. Motion controllers are generally used in this kind of experience, and it can be considered more immersive than seated VR. Some users have reported that, while they were skeptic about the potential of standing VR due to physical space limitations and equipment constraints (e.g. headset cords), experiencing it changed their opinion. With standing VR, the physical space tracking required is lesser than for room-scale VR, and the tracked hand controllers allow for a more seamless and intuitive experience [1].

The major head-mounted displays (HMD's) in the market – HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Playstation VR - allow for standing VR, with each also offering their own brand of motion controllers [2] [3] [4].

In an informal survey made in 2015, respondents were asked what their expectations were regarding the usage of standing VR. The majority responded that they thought that they would enjoy a hybrid experience that had some standing and some sitting (or to be able to switch between the two). In second place, were the respondents that answered that they would enjoy a standing experience every day. Although this survey was made before the general release of the main headsets, it serves as an indication of the interest for a type of VR experience in which the user is standing up [5].

While standing VR may increase the sense of immersion in a virtual environment, it might be second-place when compared to room-scale, which some people argue could become an essential feature in VR technology [6] [7].

Standing VR and HMD’s

While the HTC Vive is mainly intended for room-scale VR use, it also has the capability to do standing VR, as well as seated VR. The standing only experiences are useful since they offer full body VR experiences within a smaller play space. Setting up the Vive for standing only will still result in a big range of titles being available within SteamVR. These may not be as impressive as room-scale titles, but will provide immersive experiences with the same level of tracking precision [2] [8] [9].

The Oculus Rift also provides a standing VR experience. Originally, Oculus was focused on a seated experience. Since the release, in December 2016, of the Touch controllers, new tracking system setups, and a boundary system, standing and room-scale experiences became possible - although, according to some, not on the level of what is provided by the Vive [10] [11].

There have been reports regarding difficulties with the tracking system of the Playstation VR, which uses a single camera to track the motion controllers. While it’s single-camera tracking system does not allow for room-scale VR it can, nevertheless, be used to experience standing VR titles. Indeed, for this system it is only recommended standing or seated VR [12] [13].

Besides the systems mentioned, the Virtuix Omni allows for a more active standing VR experience. It is an accessory that adds to the immersion by providing an intense VR experience that comes with walking and running, while maintaining the same physical location [14].

Selected standing VR games

  • Sublevel Zero

References

  1. Railboy (2016). Standing VR is as big a leap from sitting VR as sitting VR was from 2D. Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/3tdpu6/standing_vr_is_as_big_a_leap_from_sitting_vr_as/
  2. 2.0 2.1 Holly, R. (2016). Can you enjoy the HTC Vive sitting down? Retrieved from https://www.vrheads.com/can-you-enjoy-htc-vive-sitting-down
  3. James, P. (2017). Oculus Rift & Touch 1.11 update brings improved Touch roomscale & multi-sensor support. Retrieved from http://www.roadtovr.com/oculus-rift-touch-1-11-update-brings-improved-touch-roomscale-multi-sensor-support/
  4. Wan, S. (2016). Sony Playstation VR will focus on seated play. Retrieved from http://www.eteknix.com/sony-playstation-vr-will-focus-on-seated-play/
  5. Allen, D. (2015). Standing vs. seated: the VR community weights in. Retrieved from http://www.blockinterval.com/project-updates/2015/9/30/standing-vs-seated-the-vr-community-weighs-in
  6. Borrow the Light Studios. Room scale vs. seated VR. Retrieved from http://www.borrowedlightvr.com/2016/02/29/room-scale-vs-seated-vr/
  7. VRperception. Seated HTC Vive experiences with one Lighthouse station is possible. Retrieved from https://vrperception.com/2016/03/08/seated-htc-vive-experiences-with-one-lighthouse-station-is-possible/
  8. Vive. Will VR apps for seated/standing-only experiences work with room-scale setup? Retrieved from https://www.vive.com/us/support/category_howto/839445.html
  9. Brown, M. (2016). How to set up your HTC Vive for standing use only. Retrieved from http://www.vrheads.com/how-set-your-htc-vive-standing-use-only
  10. PC Magazine (2016). Oculus Rift. Retrieved from http://www.pcmag.com/review/343413/oculus-rift
  11. Kuchera, B. (2016). The Oculus Rift is now a standing experience. Retrieved from http://www.polygon.com/2016/10/6/13182026/the-oculus-rift-is-now-a-standing-experience
  12. Pino, N. (2017). PlayStation VR review. Retrieved from http://www.techradar.com/reviews/gaming/playstation-vr-1235379/review
  13. Venturebeat (2016). PlayStation VR Has A Frustrating Camera Distance Problem. Retrieved from https://uploadvr.com/playstation-vr-camera-tracking/
  14. Virtuix Omni. About Virtuix. Retrieved from http://www.virtuix.com/about/

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