Comparing Pedestrian Navigation Methods in Virtual Reality and Real Life

Gian-Luca Savino, Niklas Emanuel, Steven Kowalzik, Felix Kroll, Marvin C. Lange, Matthis Laudan, Rieke Leder, Zhanhua Liang, Dayana Markhabayeva, Martin Schmeißer, Nicolai Schütz, Carolin Stellmacher, Zihe Xu, Kerstin Bub, Thorsten Kluss, Jaime Maldonado, Ernst Kruijff, Johannes Schöning
International Conference on Multimodal Interaction, page 16--25 - October 2019


Mobile navigation apps are among the most used mobile applications and are often used as a baseline to evaluate new mobile navigation technologies in field studies. As field studies often introduce external factors that are hard to control for, we investigate how pedestrian navigation methods can be evaluated in virtual reality (VR). We present a study comparing navigation methods in real life (RL) and VR to evaluate if VR environments are a viable alternative to RL environments when it comes to testing these. In a series of studies, participants navigated a real and a virtual environment using a paper map and a navigation app on a smartphone. We measured the differences in navigation performance, task load and spatial knowledge acquisition between RL and VR. From these we formulate guidelines for the improvement of pedestrian navigation systems in VR like improved legibility for small screen devices. We furthermore discuss appropriate low-cost and low-space VR-locomotion techniques and discuss more controllable locomotion techniques.

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BibTex references

  author       = {Savino, Gian-Luca and Emanuel, Niklas and Kowalzik, Steven and Kroll, Felix and Lange, Marvin C. and Laudan, Matthis and Leder, Rieke and Liang, Zhanhua and Markhabayeva, Dayana and Schmei{\ss}er, Martin and Sch{\"u}tz, Nicolai and Stellmacher, Carolin and Xu, Zihe and Bub, Kerstin and Kluss, Thorsten and Maldonado, Jaime and Kruijff, Ernst and Sch{\"o}ning, Johannes},
  title        = {Comparing Pedestrian Navigation Methods in Virtual Reality and Real Life},
  booktitle    = {International Conference on Multimodal Interaction},
  series       = {ICMI},
  pages        = {16--25},
  month        = {October},
  year         = {2019},

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