Emerging research is expanding the idea of using 360-degree spherical panoramas of real-world environments for use in "360 VR" experiences beyond video and image viewing. However, most of these experiences are strictly guided, with few opportunities for interaction or exploration. There is a desire to develop experiences with cohesive virtual environments created with 360 VR that allow for choice in navigation, versus scripted experiences with limited interaction. Unlike standard VR with the freedom of synthetic graphics, there are challenges in designing appropriate user interfaces (UIs) for 360 VR navigation within the limitations of fixed assets. To tackle this gap, we designed RealNodes, a software system that presents an interactive and explorable 360 VR environment. We also developed four visual guidance UIs for 360 VR navigation. The results of a pilot study showed that choice of UI had a significant effect on task completion times, showing one of our methods, Arrow, was best. Arrow also exhibited positive but non-significant trends in average measures with preference, user engagement, and simulator-sickness. RealNodes, the UI designs, and the pilot study results contribute preliminary information that inspire future investigation of how to design effective explorable scenarios in 360 VR and visual guidance metaphors for navigation in applications using 360 VR environments.
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Laviola II, Joseph
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Cosgrove, Samuel, "Navigating Immersive and Interactive VR Environments With Connected 360° Panoramas" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 201.