Development of An Interface Simulating Swimming Motion for Virtual Space Walk-Through

Virtual Reality (VR) contents have been becoming popular. However, VR would certainly cause VR motion sickness. One of the main factors in VR motion sickness might be the discrepancy between the predicted physical experiences and the actual physical experiences. To prevent such discrepancy, an approach is effective that synchronizes the user’s physical movements in the virtual space with the user’s somatosensory movements. There has been developed a VR system which provides such a somatosensory interface. However, it is too huge, expensive and difficult to operate. In this paper, we propose a simple somatosensory interface for moving virtual space by imitating swimming motions. The users of our system move the virtual space like to swim in the water by the kicks of both foot and the strokes of both arms. We developed a sensory interface that measures user’s imitating swimming motions by four gyro sensors. Each gyro sensor is a 9-axis gyro sensor, including a 3-axis angular velocity sensor, a 3-axis acceleration sensor, and a 3-axis geomagnetic sensor. Four gyro sensors measure the movements of the strokes of both arms and kicks of both feet, respectively. Five students evaluated our interface. They use our interface to navigate the specified course. After that, they answered the questionnaires. Experimental results verified that our interface was useful and effective for moving the virtual space without causing VR motion sickness.