Redirected coffee

Yesterday Stefan made an astute comment regarding my post about Future Furniture. If your physical furniture has rounded corners, but your virtual view of it doesn’t, then you might miss the table when you try to put down your coffee mug.

We can tackle that problem by adopting techniques earlier used to help people walk around in VR without bumping into walls, by developing redirected walking. The basic idea is to show you a modified reality that keeps you away from obstacles. When you walk within a VR world you might believe you are turning around a 90 degree corner, but in fact you are turning 70 degrees or 110 degrees.

Other researchers have since applied these ideas to reaching for and picking up objects. In mixed reality, you can give people an altered view of their hand and arm position (and therefore the position of the coffee cup they are holding).

So they can think they are putting down their coffee on the corner of a sharp-cornered table. But in reality they are placing the cup down a slight distance away — within the safe confines of a table that has rounded corners.

Leave a Reply