MAR 14, 2024 10:50 AM PDT

Enhancing VR Realism: RedirectedDoors+ System Breaks New Ground

Can virtual reality (VR) be tailored to explore larger areas and allow users to “walk” around their environment? This is what a recent study published in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics hopes to address as a team of international researchers have developed a new VR system called RedirectedDoors+ that can allow users to expand their environments beyond the real-world physical boundaries, such as walls and doors. This study holds the potential to not only expand VR environments but also drastically reduce the real-world environments that are typically required for VR experiences.

"Our system, which built upon an existing visuo-haptic door-opening redirection technique, allows participants to subtly manipulate the walking direction while opening doors in VR, guiding them away from real walls," said Dr. Kazuyuki Fujita, who is an assistant professor in the Research Institute of Electrical Communication (RIEC) at Tohoku University and a co-author on the study. "At the same time, our system reproduces the realistic haptics of touching a doorknob, enhancing the quality of the experience."

Image of a study participant using the RedirectedDoors+ system. (Credit: Kazuyuki Fujita et al)

RedirectedDoors+ contains three novel elements that enable users to expand their VR environments: “door robots” that are wheeled robots possessing doorknob-like mechanisms, a computer algorithm that enables the door robots to function properly by opening doors, and an additional computer algorithm that prevents users from running into real-world walls. For the study, the researchers enlisted 12 participants to test RedirectedDoors+, discovering the system that not only keeps users within the confined real-world space, but can be used in smaller spaces than what are traditionally used for VR environments.

Schematic breakdown of RedirectedDoors+. (Credit: Kazuyuki Fujita et al)

"RedirectDoors+ has redefined the boundaries of VR exploration, offering unprecedented freedom and realism in virtual environments," said Dr. Fujita. "It has a wide range of applicability, such as in VR vocational training, architectural design, and urban planning."

What new VR enhancements will RedirectedDoors+ enable in the coming years and decades? Only time will tell, and this is why we science!

As always, keep doing science & keep looking up!

Sources: IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, EurekAlert!, Tohoku University

About the Author
Master's (MA/MS/Other)
Laurence Tognetti is a six-year USAF Veteran who earned both a BSc and MSc from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Laurence is extremely passionate about outer space and science communication, and is the author of "Outer Solar System Moons: Your Personal 3D Journey".
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