Room Scale VR Explained: The Most Important Concept in VR

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Room Scale VR Explained: The Most Important Concept in VR

Room scale VR gives users the ability to move around freely through immersive experiences.

VR is not the same without room scale.

Immersive experiences are created by tracking movements of the headset and controllers in real time and reflecting them in VR.

This makes it possible for users to move naturally and interact with virtual objects in the environment.

Without room scale support, the experience feels awkward due to the limitations placed on their movements.

In this blog, we’ll discuss how it works and why it’s required for a truly immersive VR experience.

  • VR Tracking: The Importance of Degrees of Freedom (DoF)
  • 6DoF vs. 3DoF
  • How to Set Up Room Scale VR
  • Room Scale VR for Gaming
  • Room Scale VR for Enterprise
  • Understanding Behavior in Room Scale VR

VR Tracking: The Importance of Degrees of Freedom (DoF)

Users are tracked in VR by the position of their headset or controller.

Their movements are converted into the virtual world by measuring how they move along degrees of freedom. (DoF)

DoF refers to the number of ways an object can be tracked within a space.

VR headsets support either 6DoF or 3DoF.

3 Degrees of Freedom (3DoF)

room scale vr 3dof

A representation of the movements tracked in 3DoF. Image: Arun Prasath

Room scale VR isn’t provided by 3DoF tracking because only rotational movements of the head is tracked. As they tilt and turn their head, the device can sense and alter its display accordingly.

Changes in user position are not tracked.

3DoF VR Headsets:

  • Samsung Gear
  • Google Cardboard

6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF)

A room scale VR experience can only be provided in 6DoF. This is done by combining 3DoF rotational head movement with translational tracking.

Translational movements are when users move from one place to another. The device uses both of these movements together to understand how users move in a 3D space.

room scale vr 6dof

A representation of the movements tracked in 6DoF. Image: Arun Prasath

6DoF VR Headsets

  • Oculus Rift
  • PSVR
  • Oculus Quest
  • HTC Vive

Why does it matter?

3DoF severely limits how users can interact with the environment around them. It’s the difference between passively observing the surroundings and being able to move through the simulation.

The feeling of exploring a virtual world and picking up objects provides an extra level of immersion. We call this the feeling of “presence” because users often suspend disbelief due to how real everything feels.

This is the feeling that creates unforgettable VR experiences.

vr room scale presence

The feeling of presence. Image: One Bonsai

Setting Up Room Scale VR

Room scale VR tracking is done through internal or external sensors.

Internal Sensors: The Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S were released in 2019 with “inside-out tracking.” This means they have built-in sensors and cameras.

These sensors help the headset track the surrounding area and user position to adjust accordingly in the virtual world.

External Sensors: The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift use external sensors set up around the room to track users.

Space Required for Room Scale VR: You will want a minimum of 2M x 1.5M (6.6ft x 5ft) for a comfortable experience.

Room Scale VR for Gaming

room scale vr gaming

Image: Road to VR

Room scale VR is made for gaming because it lets you experience new perspectives that aren't possible through other platforms.

Whether you’re dodging bullets, swimming through an abandoned ship or slicing cubes with a lightsaber. The ability to move around the room is much more engaging than a seated experience.

It also provides game developers with new ways to tell stories and design environments. They have to be mindful of any details that may break the immersion. Every year there are new games that are testing the limits of what’s possible.

Room Scale VR for Enterprise

room scale vr business

Image: Stambol

Static experiences from 3DoF don’t provide the depth required to capture insights into user behavior.

Room scale is crucial for creating realistic scenarios in VR.

You can get a more accurate picture of how users may react to real world situations. This is especially important for industrial scenarios that require users to carry out tasks and manipulate virtual tools with their hands.

With the proper implementation of VR, you can improve learning outcomes, develop better products and make more informed decisions.

Enterprise Use Cases:

  • Prepare workers for dangerous scenarios in VR by testing how they react and make decisions under pressure.
  • Conduct consumer research to see how shoppers purchase products in-store. Eye tracking can show you what draws their attention.
  • Test product features by inviting customers to step into a virtual vehicle. Observe how they interact with the dashboards and if they have any issues.

Understanding Behavior in Room Scale VR

The implementation of VR alone isn't enough. Enterprises must be able to prove ROI and measure success by understanding behavior in VR.

More enterprises are seeking alternative solutions for training and collaboration due to coronavirus. (COVID-19) Proving ROI from VR is more important than ever.

This is where Cognitive3D comes in.

We help enterprises get insights into:

Our platform makes it easy for you to start capturing VR specific metrics.

We are headset agnostic and support over 27 headsets as well as most software engines including Unity, Unreal, C++ and JS.

This means you can simply install our SDK and connect your headset to receive analytics in VR.


Learn more about how VR can help your business

5 Creative Uses of VR in the Medical Industry

3 Reasons Why Virtual Reality Is Transforming Retail Analytics In 2020

Why VR Analytics Is Critical To Prove ROI

5 Top Advantages Of Using Virtual Reality In Safety Training

Posted by Albert Liu
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