Leveraging Change Blindness for Redirection in Virtual Environments

We present change blindness redirection, a novel technique for al- lowing the user to walk through an immersive virtual environment that is considerably larger than the available physical workspace. In contrast to previous redirection techniques, this approach, based on a dynamic environment model, does not introduce any visual- vestibular conflicts from manipulating the mapping between phys- ical and virtual motions, nor does it require breaking presence to stop and explicitly reorient the user. We conducted two user stud- ies to evaluate the effectiveness of the change blindness illusion when exploring a virtual environment that was an order of magni- tude larger than the physical walking space. Despite the dynami- cally changing environment, participants were able to draw coher- ent sketch maps of the environment structure, and pointing task results indicated that they were able to maintain their spatial ori- entation within the virtual world. Only one out of 77 participants across both both studies definitively noticed that a scene change had occurred, suggesting that change blindness redirection provides a remarkably compelling illusion. Secondary findings revealed that a wide field-of-view increases pointing accuracy and that experi- enced gamers reported greater sense of presence than those with little or no experience with 3D video games.