Judgment of natural perspective projections in head-mounted display environments

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The display units integrated in todays head-mounted displays (HMDs) provide only a limited field of view (FOV) to the virtual world. In order to present an undistorted view to the virtual environment (VE), the perspective projection used to render the VE has to be adjusted to the limitations caused by the HMD characteristics. In particular, the geometric field of view (GFOV), which defines the virtual aperture angle used for rendering of the 3D scene, is set up according to the display's field of view. A discrepancy between these two fields of view distorts the geometry of the VE in a way that either minifies or magnifies the imagery displayed to the user. Discrepancies between the geometric and physical FOV causes the imagery to be minified or magnified. This distortion has the potential to negatively or positively affect a user's perception of the virtual space, sense of presence, and performance on visual search tasks. In this paper we analyze if a user is consciously aware of perspective distortions of the VE displayed in the HMD. We introduce a psychophysical calibration method to determine the HMD's actual field of view, which may vary from the nominal values specified by the manufacturer. Furthermore, we conducted an experiment to identify perspective projections for HMDs which are identified as natural by subjects-even if these perspectives deviate from the perspectives that are inherently defined by the display's field of view. We found that subjects evaluate a field of view as natural when it is larger than the actual field of view of the HMD-in some cases up to 50%. Copyright © 2009 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

Publication Title

Proceedings of the ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, VRST