Investigating the impact of interacting with real world objects in virtual environments.
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Nelson, Bradley T., 1996-
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Virtual reality (VR) systems allow users to be fully immersed in a virtual world. Incorporating physical objects such as stairs in to virtual reality could provide better immersion and create new uses for these systems. This study investigated what impact interacting with a physical object in the virtual environment has on human motion. A small change in motion in the virtual environment was seen, with average increases in knee flexion of 5.2° and 6.3° in the virtual room and forest environments, respectively and a decrease in percent of foot on step (PFOS) of 4.2% and 6.2%. There was a marked difference in the PFOS while subjects had a full body model instead of a feet only model, with 6.6% less with the full body model in the forest and 5.0% in the room. Overall, incorporating physical objects in VR shows promise as a tool for clinical and training purposes.