Viewpoint-controlled Navigation in Virtual Reality for Exploratory Image Browsing
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Virtual reality allows users to explore virtual worlds in a close-tonatural way. As the current trend of gaming and tele-presence applications suggests, this has much potential for realistic experiences. But there is more. Not only is the experience realistic, it is also intuitive and thus we aspire to explore the potential of virtual reality for abstract environments. In this thesis we set out to explore the suitability of virtual reality for exploratory image browsing. In particular viewpoint control and the effect of visualizations are examined. Our participants expressed more enthusiasm for exploratory image browsing in a confined domain of their expertise than for broad applications to discover new images. During the navigation, some of the participants looked at center of the view, others towards the edges. Some used the structure to navigate, others the passing images. The fisheye views were appreciated if the view highlighted regions of interest. Distortion of the sphere fisheye view approach was acceptable for layouts with other information such as structure and similarity, whereas the stacking fisheye view approach suffered from incorrectly rectifying depth levels in the stack. Using the viewpoint to navigate was very easy and intuitive to learn and quite satisfactory, although the resolution of head-mounted displays cannot compete with that of high resolution screens yet.