The effects of minification and display field of view on distance judgments in real and HMD-based environments

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science, Center for Scalable Architectures and Systems


Distance perception is important for many virtual reality applications, and numerous studies have found underestimated egocentric distances in head-mounted display (HMD) based virtual environments. Applying minification to imagery displayed in HMDs is a method that can reduce or eliminate the underestimation [Kuhl et al. 2009; Zhang et al. 2012]. In a previous study, we measured distance judgments with direct blind walking through an Oculus Rift DK1 HMD and found that participants judged distance accurately in a calibrated condition, and minification caused subjects to overestimate distances [Li et al. 2014]. This article describes two experiments built on the previous study to examine distance judgments and minification with the Oculus Rift DK2 HMD (Experiment 1), and in the real world with a simulated HMD (Experiment 2). From the results, we found statistically significant distance underestimation with the DK2, but the judgments were more accurate than results typically reported in HMD studies. In addition, we discovered that participants made similar distance judgments with the DK2 and the simulated HMD. Finally, we found for the first time that minification had a similar impact on distance judgments in both virtual and real-world environments.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Applied Perception