Disney Research has conducted an experiment on interactions with dynamic objects when the user is immersed in virtual reality.
The research laboratories of Disney, whose goal is to carry out scientific and technological innovations that will boost the company’s efforts, have presented an experiment in which a user has to catch a real ball while immersed in a virtual environment. The experiment implements three types of aids to visualize the ball in virtual reality: rendering the virtual ball, the trajectory of the ball and the end point where it will stop based on the trajectory that is calculated with an unscented Kalman filter. Both the user’s gloves and the ball include markers similar to those shown by the Facebook CEO or those that we could test at the Samsung booth at the MWC with the OptiTrack cameras. As we can see in the following video in which these visual aids are interspersed, the user’s perception increases with the combination of aids, but the strategy of catching the ball changes, resembling that of a robot.
Despite the latency of the system created by Disney for the experiment, the research team concludes that users are quite efficient in the task and that combining real objects with virtual ones is something feasible. When users see the end point and not the virtual ball, they change their way of intercepting it, reducing the problem to something as simple as placing their hand on the point. The researchers believe that this experiment offers valuable insights into how interactions with dynamic objects are achieved in virtual reality.