Compensating for Distance Compression in Audiovisual Virtual Environments Using Incongruence

Daniel Finnegan, Eamonn O'Neill, Michael Proulx

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

37 Citations (SciVal)
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A key requirement for a sense of presence in Virtual Environments
(VEs) is for a user to perceive space as naturally as possible.
One critical aspect is distance perception. When judging
distances, compression is a phenomenon where humans
tend to underestimate the distance between themselves and
target objects (termed egocentric or absolute compression),
and between other objects (exocentric or relative compression).
Results of studies in virtual worlds rendered through
head mounted displays are striking, demonstrating significant
distance compression error. Distance compression is a multisensory
phenomenon, where both audio and visual stimuli
are often compressed with respect to their distances from the
observer. In this paper, we propose and test a method for
reducing crossmodal distance compression in VEs. We report
an empirical evaluation of our method via a study of 3D
spatial perception within a virtual reality (VR) head mounted
display. Applying our method resulted in more accurate distance
perception in a VE at longer range, and suggests a modification
that could adaptively compensate for distance compression
at both shorter and longer ranges. Our results have
a significant and intriguing implication for designers of VEs:
an incongruent audiovisual display, i.e. where the audio and
visual information is intentionally misaligned, may lead to
better spatial perception of a virtual scene.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI '16: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-3362-7
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2016
EventSIGCHI Conference in Human Factors in Computing Systems 2016 -
Duration: 7 May 2016 → …


ConferenceSIGCHI Conference in Human Factors in Computing Systems 2016
Period7/05/16 → …


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