Academic VR researchers have shown that “people typically underestimate egocentric distances in immersive virtual environments,” sometimes up to 20%. This could have huge implications for architectural visualizations, but also for anyone making aesthetic judgments based upon the proportion and scale represented within a virtual environment. I had a chance to catch up with University of Minnesota professor Victoria Interrante at the IEEE VR conference to talk about her 12 years of research into some of these perceptual and cognitive effects within virtual environments. We talk about some of the causes, the role of embodiment in distance estimation, photorealistic vs stylized environments, and the impact of having virtual humans within the environment.
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