Cage Grid

User goal / Problem this is trying to solve

  • Understand the boundaries of the physical space allocated to VR physical movement
  • Prevent the user from hurting themselves or damaging their surrounding environment when in VR

Interaction

The user physically moves around their VR play area whilst in the VR application, however when they approach the boundaries of the playable area or the roomscale parameters that have been set up, a translucent grid appears to mark the boundary in each direction. The grid has the appearance of a virtual cage superimposed over the 3D virtual world, warning the user not to venture outside of the cage.

If the user waves a controller too close to the boundary, the boundary markers also appear, and often there is a visual change in the appearance of the hands or virtual controller if it touches or goes beyond the cage.

When the user moves away from the boundary the cage disappears, so as not to disrupt the VR experience, unless there is a risk to the user.

  1. User approaches a defined wall or boundary = cage grid appear
  2. User breaks through the boundary with their hand, head or any other trackable part of the body = cage changes colour or behaviour to escalate the warning
  3. User backs away from the boundary = cage grid disappears, until needed again

Good 

  • Prevents user hitting a wall or walking into objects
  • Provides orientation within the physical world
  • Only appears if there is an imminent threat
  • Both Vive and Oculus provide settings reduce the prominence or intensity of the grid (in Oculus it needs to be activated, with Vive, the opacity and coverage can be reduced)

Bad

A drawback is that some users find the grid to be disruptive to their experience, especially if they are in a small area but rarely move enough to leave the playable area. This can contribute to a break in presence.

Examples

Oculus Guardian system

Variations:

Vive ‘advanced chaperons’ shows a single line at waist height to represent the boundary. Dev mode only shows the boundary markers on the floor.