Locomotion in virtual environments and analysis of a new virtual walking device
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This thesis investigates user interfaces for locomotion in virtual environments (VEs). It looks initially at virtual environments and user interfaces, then concentrates on locomotion interfaces, specifically on the Omni-Directional Treadmill (ODT) (Darken and Cockayne, 1997) and a new virtual walking device, LocoX, which was developed at the MOVES Institute, Naval Postgraduate School. It analyzes and compares the ODT and LocoX in terms of the application of human ability requirements (HARs). Afterwards, it compares the results of the analysis of the ODT and LocoX to real-world locomotion. The analysis indicates that LocoX, a new way of exploring virtual environments (VEs), provides a close match to real locomotion on some subtasks in VEs-- compared to the ODT--and produces relatively closer representation on some subtasks of real world locomotion. This thesis concludes that LocoX has great potential and that the locomotion provided is realistic enough to simulate certain kinds of movements inherent to real-world locomotion. LocoX still requires maturation and development, but is nonetheless a viable locomotion technique for VEs and future game-based simulations.
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