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Hoppe, Matthias; Karolus, Jakob; Dietz, Felix; Wozniak, Pawel W.; Schmidt, Albrecht and Machulla, Tonja (2019): VRsneaky: Increasing Presence in VR Through Gait-Aware Auditory Feedback. In: Chi 2019: Proceedings of the 2019 Chi Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

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While Virtual Reality continues to increase in fidelity, it remains an open question how to effectively reflect the user's movements and provide congruent feedback in virtual environments. We present VRsneaky, a system for producing auditory movement feedback, which helps participants orient themselves in a virtual environment by providing footstep sounds. The system reacts to the user's specific gait features and adjusts the audio accordingly. In a user study with 28 participants, we found that VRsneaky increases users' sense of presence as well as awareness of their own posture and gait. Additionally, we find that increasing auditory realism significantly influences certain characteristics of participants' gait. Our work shows that gait-aware audio feedback is a means to increase presence in virtual environments. We discuss opportunities and design requirements for future scenarios where users walk through immersive virtual worlds.

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