Spatialized Vibrotactile Feedback Improves Goal-Directed Movements in Cluttered Virtual Environments

  • Louison Cephise
  • Ferlay Fabien
  • Mestre Daniel R.

ART

Spatial awareness in virtual reality (VR) is a dominant research topic. It plays an essential role in the assessment of human operators' behavior in simulated tasks, 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 (VE). 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 experimental results obtained using a head-mounted display (HMD) during a goal-directed task in a cluttered VE. Results suggest the contribution of spatialized vibrotactile feedback to visuo-proprioceptive consistency.