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Evaluating accuracy and precision in a stereoscopic display: Perception of 3-D object motion

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Julie Harris


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Stereoscopic depth is often included in the design of tele-operation or Virtual Reality (VR) systems, with the expectation that it will enhance a participant's feeling of presence in a scene, and improve perceptual accuracy. Our aim here was to test the latter assertion: is human stereoscopic depth perception accurate? We examined how well humans can use stereoscopic information to perceive and respond to a simple object undergoing three dimensional (3-D) motion. Observers viewed a scene containing a stationary reference point and a target point that moved towards them in depth, along a range of trajectories, to the left or right of straight towards their nose. How good should performance be? Simple geometry can be used to show that the average and difference of the left and right eye's projections can be used to estimate trajectory angles. How good is human performance? In several different tasks, results suggested that although observers could distinguish between different trajectories precisely, their accuracy of perception was very poor. Angles were perceived as up to 3-5 times wider than was physically specified. This suggests that stereoscopic depth does not provide accurate perception in simple environments and has implications for the design of 3-D Virtual Environments.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harris JM

Editor(s): Woods A.J., Bolas M.T., Merritt J.O., Benton S.A.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Proceedings of SPIE: Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems X

Year of Conference: 2003

Pages: 292-303

ISSN: 0277-786X

Publisher: International Society for Optical Engineering


DOI: 10.1117/12.477278