Exploring effects of screen-fixed and world-fixed annotation on navigation in virtual reality


In this paper, we consider the effect of different types of virtual annotations on performance during a navigation task in virtual reality. Two major types of annotations were shown to users: screen-fixed annotations that remained fixed in the user’s field of view, and world- fixed annotations that are linked to specific locations in the world. We also considered three different levels of navigation information, including destination markers, maps visualizing the layout of the space being navigated, and path markers showing the optimal route to the destination. We ran a within-subjects study where participants completed three trials with each of the six combinations of annotation type and information level, for a total of 18 trials in a virtual environment. Average speed, distance traveled, and the time taken to reach the destination were recorded during each trial. Participants were also asked to point back to where they started the trial upon reaching the destination, as a measure of spatial memory. Finally, participants were tasked with completing a secondary activity while navigating, so as to assess what effect annotation types had on multitasking performance. Participants navigated significantly more quickly when using world-fixed annotations; however an interaction effect was observed between the type of annotation and the level of information, which suggests that world-fixed annotations are not inherently better than screen-fixed annotations; instead, it is important to consider both the type of annotation and what information it displays.

2020 IEEE conference on virtual reality and 3d user interfaces (VR)