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Unobtrusive vehicle motion prediction cues reduced simulator sickness during passive travel in a driving simulator

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This study investigated cues that permit prediction of turns during passive movement through a virtual environment. Effects on simulator sickness (SS), presence and enjoyment were examined. Subjects were exposed to complex visual motion through a cartoon-like simulated environment in a driving simulator. Forward velocity remained constant and the motion path was the same across all experimental conditions. Using a within-subject design, we examined visual paths that provided different levels of cue salience – detailed, simplified and no cues – for the upcoming simulated vehicle motion. Following each trial, participants completed questionnaires on SS, presence and enjoyment. After all of the trials were completed, a debriefing determined participants' perceptions of vehicle motion attributes and their awareness of the prediction cues. The results showed that SS in the no-cue condition was significantly greater than that in the conditions that provided vehicle motion cues. Presence and enjoyment responses were not different across the conditions. No participants reported differences between prediction cue conditions or recognized that the vehicle motion followed the same path across trials. However, participants tended to report that the motion was smoother for the detailed-cue than the no-cue condition. Participants ranked turn predictability as higher in conditions with prediction cues. The results support the hypothesis that unobtrusive and unreported motion cues may alleviate SS in a virtual environment.
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Keywords: Interactivity; Prediction cues; Simulator sickness; Virtual environment

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Human Interface Technology Laboratory, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA 2: Department of Otolaryngology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Publication date: May 15, 2005

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