Effects of Brightness on Distance Judgments in Head Mounted Displays

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Computer Science


Many HMD applications are improved when people perceive and act similarly in the virtual world as they would in an equivalent real environment. However, multiple studies show people underestimate egocentric distances in HMDs while being reasonably accurate in the real world. Some studies also show that brightness in the periphery may be one factor influencing these distance judgments. We built upon this previous work and examine if the brightness of the entire screen affects distance judgments. Using direct blind-walking, we compared a bright environment to an artificially darkened one with a between-subject experiment. The results of the experiment indicate that overall brightness has no significant effect on egocentric distance judgment. We discuss the implications of our findings in the context of previous work. Our findings may help designers of HMD software featuring dark environments (e.g., some entertainment applications).

Publisher's Statement

© 2020 ACM. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1145/3385955.3407929

Publication Title

Proceedings - SAP 2020: ACM Symposium on Applied Perception