Spatial Awareness and Depth Perception in Various Display Methodologies (e.g. 2D and 360 degree Photos/Videos, and Virtual Reality)

Spatial Awareness and Depth Perception in Various Display Methodologies (e.g. 2D and 360 degree Photos/Videos, and Virtual Reality)

Background

The ability to accurately depict the scene of an incident to a jury is a key element of presenting trial demonstratives. Digital images are often used as trial demonstratives and are a vital resource in the presentation and transfer of information to a jury during litigation, but the information conveyed through visual cues varies greatly depending on the display method.

In many cases where visual perception and situational awareness are a vital component of understanding the nature of an incident, traditional two-dimensional photographs may be insufficient. Immersive technology, such as virtual reality (VR) and head mounted displays (HMD), may provide a valuable alternative to traditional media forms.

Approach

Ongoing research performed by Explico aims to evaluate the efficacy of different display methodologies in conveying depth perception and spatial awareness during an "optical illusion" misstep and fall case. The details of the case are presented HERE.

Participants were asked to view 8 different display methods that depicted an 9-inch step rise in the interior of a yacht. Static photographs, 360º photographs and videos, as well as VR replica of the subject scene were tested. Results indicate that individuals were able to perceive a larger number of visual cues when immersed in a three-dimensional virtual environment compared to other display methods.

Research performed by Explico resulted in peer-reviewed publications.

Takeaway

  • As new methods of capturing and conveying spatial information enter the field of forensic investigation, virtual reality presents an alternative to provide accurate trial demonstrative for jurors. Explico Engineering continues to work towards validating HMDs and VR environments for incorporation in the field of forensic investigation.
  • The VR environment allowed users to perceive more environmental cues compared to static photographs of the scene, demonstrating the marked advantage of using HMDs in a VR environment to allow users to visualize a scene more accurately.
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