MACBETH: Management of avatar conflict by employment of a technique hybrid
Since virtual objects do not prevent users from penetrating them, a virtual environment user may place his real hand inside a virtual object. If the virtual environment system prevents the user's hand avatar from penetrating the object, the hand avatar must be placed somewhere other than the user's real hand position. I propose a technique, named MACBETH (Management of Avatar Conflict By Employment of a Technique Hybrid) for managing the position of a user's hand avatar in a natural manner after it has been separated from the user's real hand due to collision with a virtual object. This technique balances visual/proprioceptive discrepancy in position and velocity by choosing each so that they are equally detectable.
To gather the necessary information to implement MACBETH, I performed user studies to determine users' detection thresholds for visual/proprioceptive discrepancy in hand position and velocity. I then ran a user study to evaluate MACBETH against two other techniques for managing the hand avatar position: the rubber-band and incremental-motion techniques. Users rated MACBETH as more natural than the other techniques and preferred MACBETH over both. Users performed better on a hand navigation task with MACBETH than with the incremental-motion technique and performed equally well as with the rubber-band technique.