Eelke Folmer
Human+ Lab
University of Nevada, Reno

VR-STEP: Walking-in-Place for Hands Free Navigation in Mobile VR Environments

Low-cost smartphone adapters, such as Google Cardboard, can bring virtual reality to the masses, but input is typically limited to using head tracking and complex tasks, such as navigation requires using an external controller. Walking-in-place (WIP) offers a natural, and more immersive form of virtual locomotion that can reduce VR motion sickness. WIP, however, is difficult to implement in mobile contexts as it typically relies on bulky controllers or an external camera. We present VR-Step; a WIP implementation using real-time pedometry that is achieved using a smartphone's inertial sensors and that requires no instrumentation. VR step offers a high accuracy and low latency. A user study with 18 subjects found that VR-Step is just as efficient but more intuitive and immersive than an auto-walk technique.


Sam Tregillus and Eelke Folmer, VR-STEP: Walking-in-Place using Inertial Sensing for Hands Free Navigation in Mobile VR Environments, Accepted for 2016 ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'16) [23% acceptance rate]