University of Oulu

M. Pouke, K. J. Mimnaugh, T. Ojala and S. M. LaValle, "The Plausibility Paradox For Scaled-Down Users In Virtual Environments," 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR), Atlanta, GA, USA, 2020, pp. 913-921, doi: 10.1109/VR46266.2020.00014

The plausibility paradox for scaled-down users in virtual environments

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Author: Pouke, Matti1; Mimnaugh, Katherine J.1; Ojala, Timo1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Center for Ubiquitous Computing
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-06-25


This paper identifies a new phenomenon: when users interact with simulated objects in a virtual environment where the user is much smaller than usual, there is a mismatch between the object physics that they expect and the object physics that would be correct at that scale. We report the findings of our study investigating the relationship between perceived realism and a physically accurate approximation of reality in a virtual reality experience in which the user has been scaled down by a factor of ten. We conducted a within-subjects experiment in which 44 subjects performed a simple interaction task with objects under two different physics simulation conditions. In one condition, the objects, when dropped and thrown, behaved accurately according to the physics that would be correct at that reduced scale in the real world, our true physics condition. In the other condition, the movie physics condition, the objects behaved in a similar manner as they would if no scaling of the user had occurred. We found that a significant majority of the users considered the latter condition to be the more realistic one. We argue that our findings have implications for many virtual reality and telepresence applications involving operation with simulated or physical objects in small scales.

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Series: IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces
ISSN: 2642-5246
ISSN-E: 2642-5254
ISSN-L: 2642-5246
ISBN: 978-1-7281-5608-8
ISBN Print: 978-1-7281-5609-5
Pages: 913 - 921
Article number: 9089491
DOI: 10.1109/VR46266.2020.1580974317169
Host publication: 27th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2020
Conference: IEEE Annual International Symposium Virtual Reality
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: The authors wish to thank all the subjects for their participation in this study. This work was supported by the COMBAT project (293389) funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland and the PERCEPT project (322637) funded by the Academy of Finland, as well as the HUMORcc (6926/31/2018) funded by Business Finland.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 293389
Detailed Information: 293389 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
322637 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
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