Stepping-Driven Locomotion Interfaces



Walking-in-place and real-walking locomotion interfaces for virtual environment systems are interfaces that are driven by the user’s actual stepping motions and do not include treadmills or other mechanical devices. While both walking-in-place and real-walking interfaces compute the user’s speed and direction and convert those values into viewpoint movement between frames, they differ in how they enable the user to move to any distant location in very large virtual scenes. Walking-in-place constrains the user’s actual movement to a small area and translates stepping-in-place motions into viewpoint movement. Real-walking applies one of several techniques to transform the virtual scene so that the user’s physical path stays within the available laboratory space. This chapter discusses implementations of these two types of interfaces with particular regard to how walking-in-place interfaces generate smooth motion and how real-walking interfaces modify the user’s view of the scene so deviations from her real motion are less detectable.


Virtual reality Virtual locomotion Walking-in-place Stepping-in-place Virtual treadmill Redirection Reorientation Motion compression Change blindness redirection 



Whitton’s work on this chapter was supported in part by the NIH National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and the Renaissance Computing Institute, and Peck’s in part by the European grant VERE, an Integrated Project funded under the European Seventh Framework Program. We both thank our colleagues whose work is reported here for the pleasure and stimulation of working with them on this topic.


  1. 1.
    Arns L (2002) A new taxonomy for locomotion in virtual environments. Ph.D. Dissertation, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 2002. Accessed 10 Sept 2012 from ProQuest Disseration and ThesesGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bouguila L, Evequoz F, Courant M, Hirsbrunner B (2004) Walking-pad: a step-in-place locomotion interface for virtual environments. In: Proceedings of the 6th international on multimodal interfaces, ACM, New York, pp 77–81. doi: 10.1145/1027933.1027948
  3. 3.
    Bowman DA, Koller D, Hodges, LF (1997) Travel in immersive virtual environments: an evaluation of viewpoint motion control techniques. In: Proceedings of the virtual reality annual international aymposium (VRAIS 1997), IEEE Press, Washington, pp 45–52, 215. doi: 10.1109/VRAIS.1997.583043
  4. 4.
    Bowman DA, Kruijff E, LaViola JJ et al (2005) 3D user interface: theory and practice. Addison-Wesley, BostonGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bruder G, Steinicke F, Wieland P (2011) Self-motion illusions in immersive virtual reality environments. In: Proceedings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 39–46Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Cirio G, Marchal M, Regia-Corte T, Lécuyer A (2009) The magic barrier tape: a novel metaphor for infinite navigation in virtual worlds with a restricted walking workspace. In: Proceedings of the ACM symposium on virtual reality software and technology (VRST 2009), pp 155–162Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dean GA (1965) An analysis of the energy expenditure in level and grade walking. Ergonomics 8(1):31–47MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Duh HB, Parker DE, Phillips J, Furness TA (2004) Conflicting” motion cues at the frequency of crossover between the visual and vestibular self-motion systems evoke simulator sickness. Hum Factors 46:142–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Feasel J, Wendt JD, Whitton MC (2008) LLCM-WIP: low-latency, continuous-motion walking-in-place. In: Proceedings of IEEE symposium 3D user interfaces’08, pp 97–104Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gibson JJ (1950) The perception of the visual world. Houghton Mifflin, BostonGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hodgson E, Bachmann E, Waller D (2011) Redirected walking to explore virtual environments: assessing the potential for spatial Interference. ACM Trans Appl Percept 8(4):1–22 (Article 22)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hosman R, Van der Vaart J (1981) Effects of vestibular and visual motion perception on task performance. Acta Psychol 48(1–3):271–287CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Interrante V, Ries B, Anderson L (2007) Seven league boots: a new metaphor for augmented locomotion through moderately large scale immersive virtual environments. In: Proceedings of the IEEE symposium on 3D user interfaces, pp 167–170Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Inman V (1981) Human walking. Williams & Wilkins, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Jerald J, Peck TC, Steinicke F, Whitton MC (2008) Sensitivity to scene motion for phases of head yaws. In: Proceedings of the ACM symposium on applied perception in graphics and visualization (APGV), pp 155–162Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kim J-S, Gracanin D, Quek F (2012) Sensor-fusion walking-in-place interaction technique using mobile devices. In: Proceddings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 39–42Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Konczak J (1994) Effects of optic flow on the kinematics of human gait—a comparison of young and older adults. J Motor Behav 26:225–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Neth CT, Souman JL, Engle D, Kloos U, Bülthoff HH, Mohler BJ (2011) Velocity-dependent dynamic curvature gain for redirected walking. In: Proceedings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 151–158Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nitzsche N, Hanebeck UD, Schmidt G (2004) Motion compression for telepresent walking in large target environments. Presence Teleoper Virtual Environ 13(1):44–60Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Peck TC, Fuchs H, Whitton MC (2009) Evaluation of reorientation techniques and distractors for walking in large virtual environments. IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph 15(3):383–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Peck TC, Fuchs H, Whitton MC (2010) Improved redirection with distractors: a large-scale-real-walking locomotion interface and its effect on navigation in virtual environments. In: Proceedings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 35–38Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Peck TC, Fuchs H, Whitton MC (2011) An evaluation of navigational ability comparing redirected free exploration with distractors to walking-in-place and joystick locomotion interfaces. In: Proceedings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 55–62Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Peck TC, Fuchs H, Whitton MC (2012) The design and evaluation of a large-scale real-walking locomotion interface. IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph 18(7):1053–1067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Peck T, Whitton M, Fuchs H (2008) Evaluation of reorientation techniques for walking in large virtual environments. In: Proceedings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 121–127Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Pleban, RJ, Eakin DE, Slater MS et al (2001) Research report 1767: training and assessment of decision-making skills in virtual environments. Accessed 19 Aug 2012
  26. 26.
    Quinn K (2011) U.S. Army to get dismounted soldier training system. Def News Train Simul J (Online). Accessed 19 Aug 2012
  27. 27.
    Razzaque S (2005) Redirected walking. Dissertation and computer science technical report TR05-018, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Razzaque S, Kohn Z, Whitton MC (2001) Redirected walking. In: Proceedings of the eurographics workshop on virtual reality, pp 289–294Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Razzaque S, Swapp D, Slater M, Whitton MC, Steed A (2002) Proceedings of the eighth eurographics workshop on virtual environments, pp 123–130Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Robinett W, Holloway R (1992) Implementations of flying, scaling and grabbing in virtual worlds. In: ACM Symposium on interactive 3D graphics, pp 189–192Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rushton SK, Harris JM, Lloyd MR, Wann JP (1998) Guidance of locomotion on foot uses perceived target location rather than optic flow. Curr Biol 8:1191–1194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Steinicke F, Bruder G, Jerald J, Frenz H, Lappe M (2010a) Estimation of detection thresholds for redirected walking techniques. IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph 16(1):17–27Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Su J (2007) Motion compression for telepresence locomotion. Presence Teleoper Virtual Environ 16(4):385–398Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Suma E, Clark S, Krum D, Finkelstein S, Bolas M, Warte Z (2011) Leveraging change blindness for redirection in virtual environments. In: Proceedings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 159–166Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Slater M, Usoh M, Steed A (1995) Taking steps: the in influence of a walking technique on presence in virtual reality. ACM Trans Comp-Hum Interact (TOCHI) 2(3):201–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Templeman JN, Denbrook PS, Sibert LE (1999) Virtual locomotion: walking in place through virtual environments. Presence Teleoper Virtual Environ 8(6):598–607CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Templeman JN, Sibert LE et al (2007) Pointman—a new control for simulating tactical infantry movements. Proc IEEE Virtual Real 2007:285–286Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Warren WH (2004) Optic flow. Chpt 84. MIT Press, Cambridge, pp 1247–1259Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Warren WHJ, Kay BA, Zosh WD et al (2001) Optic flow is used to control human walking. Nature 4(2):213–216Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Wendt JD (2010) Real-walking models improve walking-in-place systems. Dissertation and Computer Science Technical Report TR10-009, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wendt JD, Whitton MC, Brooks FP (2010) GUD-WIP: Gait-understanding driven walking-in-place. In: Proceedings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 51–58Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Williams B, Narasimham G, McNamara TP, Carr TH, Rieser JJ, Bodenheimer B (2006) Updating orientation in large virtual environments using scaled translational gain. In: Proceedings of the 3rd ACM symposium on applied perception in graphics and visualization (APGV 2006), pp 21–28Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Williams B, Narasimham G, Rump B, McNamara TP, Carr TH, Rieser J, Bodenheimer B (2007) Exploring large virtual environments with an HMD when physical space is limited. In: Proceedings of the 4th ACM symposium on applied perception in graphics and visualization (APGV 2007), pp 41–48Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Whitton MC, Cohn J, Feasel J et al (2005) Comparing VE locomotion interfaces. In: Proceedings of IEEE virtual reality, pp 123–130Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Yan L, Allision RS, Rushton SK (2004) New simple virtual walking method-walking on the spot. In: Proceedinds of 9th annual immersive projection technology (IPT) symposiumGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Zheng Y, McCaleb M, Strachan C et al (2012) Exploring a virtual environment by walking in place using the Microsoft Kinect (Poster Abstract). In: Proceedings of the ACM symposium on applied perception, p 131Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceThe University of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.Event Lab, Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations