Passive Haptic Feedback for Object Manipulation in Virtual Reality
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Thanks to technological advancement and lower priced head mounted displays, Virtual Reality is becoming popular in the consumer market. One of the main aspects on which researchers are focusing in these days is finding a way to interact in a way that is as similar as possible to the real world. In this document it is first analyzed some previous work done in this field. Then, it is presented an implementation of a passive feedback system which uses real objects to augment virtual reality experiences. In this research, the system is used on two different sets of real objects. The first is composed of the exact replica of the objects present in the virtual environment, the second is composed by objects with several levels of mismatched physical characteristics. A user study is conducted to compare the interaction in VR using passive haptics and two state-of-the-art interaction methods: VR controllers and Bare Hands Interaction. The goal of this user study is to observe which interaction method gives the best results in terms of realism, level of immersion, enjoyment and precision and quality of movement in VR. In addition, the execution of the task in VR is compared to the execution of the same task in the real world. Results show that enhancing a virtual environment with physical objects increases the level of perceived realism and immersion of the experience. The characteristics of the execution of a movement in a passive haptic environment are more similar to those done in the real world. The difference in the task execution using exact physical replica and different objects depends on the type of task (i.e. more focused on the object or on the action). Using VR controllers to interact with the environment yields to satisfactory results while the absence of a touch feedback in the Bare Hands Interaction brings to significantly worse results in the investigated categories.
Passive Haptic Feedback