Abstract

Two experiments examined perceived spatial orientation in a small environment as a function of experiencing that environment under three conditions: real-world, desktop-display (DD), and head-mounted display (HMD). Across the three conditions, participants acquired two targets located on a perimeter surrounding them, and attempted to remember the relative locations of the targets. Subsequently, participants were tested on how accurately and consistently they could point in the remembered direction of a previously seen target. Results showed that participants were significantly more consistent in the real-world and HMD conditions than in the DD condition. Further, it is shown that the advantages observed in the HMD and real-world conditions were not simply due to nonspatial response strategies. These results suggest that the additional idiothetic information afforded in the realworld and HMD conditions is useful for orientation purposes in our presented task domain. Our results are relevant to interface design issues concerning tasks that require spatial search, navigation, and visualization.

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