Redirected Walking: Walking in Virtual Reality for long distances is now possible
If you ever wondered how practical Walking in Virtual Reality would be here is a solution. A team in Japan have been researching how we interpret space and movement. What they have discovered is that we are unable to perceive walking in a small curve or angle. They call this Redirected Walking.
They devised a rig as seen in the video where people are asked to walk along corridors which they referred to as Unlimited Corridors. As the person is walking, the use one hand to feel along a wall. The wall is actually bent so that the person is walking in a circle.
What Redirected Walking means is that we are able to trick the mind into thinking that we are walking in a straight line when in fact we are walking in a circle. They demonstration does require a fairly large space to make this work. The research in to how to make walking in Virtual Reality demonstrates huge potential.
Imagine walking through a potential home that you want to buy, playing a game, or walking through a foreign city. All of these are possible using the concept of Redirected Walking and applying it.
This research is the first step in understanding perception in Virtual Reality and opens up huge potential. Until now movement has been fairly restricted. There will certainly be more types of applications once we understand how to implement this for practical use.
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