Exploring the Impact of Visual Information on Intermittent Typing in Virtual Reality

For touch typists, using a physical keyboard ensures optimal text entry task performance in immersive virtual environments. However, successful typing depends on the user’s ability to accurately position their hands on the keyboard after performing other, non-keyboard tasks. Finding the correct hand position depends on sensory feedback, including visual information. We designed and conducted a user study where we investigated the impact of visual representations of the keyboard and users’ hands on the time required to place hands on the homing bars of a keyboard after performing other tasks. We found that this keyboard homing time decreased as the fidelity of visual representations of the keyboard and hands increased, with a video pass-through condition providing the best performance. We discuss additional impacts of visual representations of a user’s hands and the keyboard on typing performance and user experience in virtual reality.

Image of experiment conditions
VR view of conditions studied in the experiment. A: NONE – No virtual keyboard or user hand representations. B:
KEYBOARD – Virtual keyboard and no user hand representations. C: KEYBOARDHANDS – Virtual keyboard and virtual user hand
representations. D: PASS-THROUGH – Video pass-through portal of the physical keyboard and user’s physical hand.

Team

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