Mobility

Pros and Cons for users

  • Pro: Users with physical impairments can and do participate in virtual environments
  • Pro: Virtual environments can offer users the ability to overcome real world physical barriers
  • Pro: Avatars allows users to customise how they present themselves to others. Some users choose an avatar with a wheelchair, others do not: some switch between avatars with and without mobility aids 1
  • Con: Users with mobility impairments may have difficulty using input devices such as motion controllers
  • Con: Interaction in virtual environments often involves precise click targets
  • Con: Users with mobility impairments may have difficulty using head trackers to adjust roll, pitch and yaw
  • Con: Users with severe mobility impairments may find locomotion, such as walking or flying, difficult
  • Con: Users may have difficulty sensing haptic cues
A wheelchair being used as an input device for a virtual environment
A wheelchair being used as an input device. Image courtesy of Tim Lupo

Haptic Interface

Examples of Haptic Sensory Cues 2
CueAmbientObjectMovementInformational
Tactile Atmospheric Wind Air-conditioning airflow Movement wind Directional wind
Factory floor vibration Floor air-conditioning vibration Footstep vibration Proximity alert vibration
Kinesthetic N/A Force feedback for object collisions Arm swing Force feedback from joystick

Adjusting Head Height

  • In VR, headset sensors are used to track head height.
  • Accurate head height contributes to the user's sense of immersion.
  • Lower head height makes it easier to interact with objects on the floor, but harder to reach objects at table or head height. 3
    User interaction from a seated perspective. Animated gif courtesy of Brian Van Buren, Tomorrow Today Labs
  • Increased head height makes it easier to interact with objects at table height, but may put floor objects out of reach.
    User interaction from a standing perspective. Animated gif courtesy of Brian Van Buren, Tomorrow Today Labs

Mobility Use Cases

  • As a user with a mobility impairment, I need to be able to adjust time limits, so I can complete tasks.
  • As a user with a mobility impairment, I need support for alternative input devices, so that I can interact with the environment.
  • As a user with a mobility impairment, I need to be able to remap or reconfigure input controls, so that I can interact with the environment. 4
  • As a user with a mobility impairment, I need spacing between interactive buttons and objects, so I can avoid errors.
  • As a user with a mobility impairment, I need to be able to adjust the sensitivity of input controls, so I aim accurately. 4
  • As a user with a mobility impairment, I need a focus indicator, so I can identify which element has focus.
  • As a user with a mobility impairment, I need to be able to interact from a lower head height.

References

Next : Hearing

Contact Us

For assistance or to report accessibility problems please contact:

Andrew Normand
Web Accessibility Lead
Email: anormand@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 9035 4867