Indexed on: 03 Jan '18Published on: 03 Jan '18Published in: Games for health journal
The latest generation of head-mounted displays (HMDs) provides built-in head tracking, which enables estimating position in a room-size setting. This feature allows users to explore, navigate, and move within real-size virtual environments, such as kitchens, supermarket aisles, or streets. Previously, these actions were commonly facilitated by external peripherals and interaction metaphors.The objective of this study was to compare the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive in terms of the working range of the head tracking and the working area, accuracy, and jitter in a room-size environment, and to determine their feasibility for serious games, rehabilitation, and health-related applications.The position of the HMDs was registered in a 10 × 10 grid covering an area of 25 m2 at sitting (1.3 m) and standing (1.7 m) heights. Accuracy and jitter were estimated from positional data. The working range was estimated by moving the HMDs away from the cameras until no data were obtained.The HTC Vive provided a working area (24.87 m2) twice as large as that of the Oculus Rift. Both devices showed excellent and comparable performance at sitting height (accuracy up to 1 cm and jitter <0.35 mm), and the HTC Vive presented worse but still excellent accuracy and jitter at standing height (accuracy up to 1.5 cm and jitter <0.5 mm). The HTC Vive presented a larger working range (7 m) than did the Oculus Rift (4.25 m).Our results support the use of these devices for real navigation, exploration, exergaming, and motor rehabilitation in virtual reality environments.