This introduction is useful in that it discusses some of the issues that have challenged the development of virtual environments (VEs) and how some of these have already been resolved.
Kelly et al. investigate several perception and usability improvements for VEs using a popular head mount display (HMD), the HTC Vive Virtual Reality Kit. In this study, an older HMD was also used for display comparison with Vive. Two VEs were also developed for testing. First, a high-quality replica of a real classroom and also an empty grass field were developed. The real-world classroom was also included for comparison testing with the replicated VE model.
The authors are working with the underperception of egocentric distance, such as blind walking, and this has been a major and persistent concern in the development of VEs. Egocentric distance is the distance (or perceived space) from observer to object within virtual reality. Other core judgments measured were verbal distance judgments and size judgments.
Other sections within the paper describe the procedure, analysis, and results. The discussion section presents key findings, reports the study, and provides a clear summary of the testing process. The results indicate that there were incremental improvements demonstrated by the HTV Vive headset, but not the older models. The authors explain that these improvements are expected to be a feature included with future headset technologies and are likely to render the problem of distance underperception, for example, as less important anyway. This is because improved technology in virtual reality (VR) and HDM displays are expected to facilitate and develop more accurate methods to work with judgments within perceived space.