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The importance of accurate head registration for fine motor performance in VR Sprague, David William

Abstract

Many virtual reality researchers consider exact head registration and an exact multisensory alignment between real world and virtual objects to be a critical factor for effective motor performance in a virtual environment. Calibration procedures for headmounted displays, however, can be error prone, time consuming and sometimes impractical to perform. To better understand the relationship between head registration and fine motor performance, we conducted a series of reciprocal tapping tasks under four conditions: real world tapping, virtual reality with correct head registration, virtual reality with mildly perturbed head registration, and virtual reality with highly perturbed head registration. As might be expected, virtual reality performance was worse than real world performance. There was no effect of head registration perturbation on motor performance in the tapping tasks. We believe that sensorimotor adaptation enabled subjects to perform equally well in the three virtual reality conditions despite the incorrect head registration in two of the conditions. This suggests that exact head registration may not be as critically important as previously thought, and that extensive per-user calibration procedures may not be necessary for some virtual reality tasks.

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