Grasping objects in immersive Virtual Reality


Grasping is one of the fundamental actions we perform to interact with objects in real environments, and in the real world we rarely experience difficulty picking up objects. Grasping plays a fundamental role for interactive virtual reality (VR) systems that are increasingly employed not only for recreational purposes, but also for training in industrial contexts, in medical tasks, and for rehabilitation protocols. To ensure the effectiveness of such VR applications, we must understand whether the same grasping behaviors and strategies employed in the real world are adopted when interacting with objects in VR. To this aim, we replicated in VR an experimental paradigm employed to investigate grasping behavior in the real world. We tracked participants’ forefinger and thumb as they picked up, in a VR environment, unfamiliar objects presented at different orientations, and exhibiting the same physics behavior of their real counterparts. We compared grasping behavior within and across participants, in VR and in the corresponding real world situation. Our findings highlight the similarities and differences in grasping behavior in real and virtual environments.

2019 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (VR)