Spatialized Vibrotactile Feedback Contributes to Goal-Directed Movements in Cluttered Virtual Environments

  • Louison Cephise
  • Ferlay Fabien
  • Mestre Daniel R.

COMM

In virtual reality (VR), spatial awareness is a dominant research topic. It plays an essential role in the assessment of human operators' behavior within virtual environments (VE), notably for the evaluation of the feasibility of manual maintenance tasks in cluttered industrial settings. In such contexts, it is decisive to evaluate the spatial and temporal correspondence between the operator's movement kinematics and that of his/her virtual avatar in the virtual environment. Often, in a cluttered VE, direct kinesthetic (force) feedback is limited or absent. We tested whether vibrotactile (cutaneous) feedback would increase visuo-proprioceptive consistency, spatial awareness, and thus the validity of VR studies, by augmenting the perception of the operator's contact(s) with virtual objects. We present preliminary experimental results, obtained using a head-mounted display (HMD) during a goal-directed task in a cluttered VE. Data suggest that spatialized vibrotactile feedback contributes to visuo-proprioceptive consistency.