Evaluation of the impact of different levels of self-representation and body tracking on the sense of presence and embodiment in immersive VR

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Guilherme Santos Gonçalves
Miguel Correia Melo
Luis Barbosa
José Vasconcelos Raposo
Maximino Bessa
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The main goal of this paper is to investigate the effect of different types of self-representations through floating members (hands vs. hands feet), virtual full body (hands feet vs. full-body avatar), walking fidelity (static feet, simulated walking, real walking), and number of tracking points used (head hands, head hands feet, head hands feet hip) on the sense of presence and embodiment through questionnaires. The sample consisted of 98 participants divided into a total of six conditions in a between-subjects design. The HTC Vive headset, controllers, and trackers were used to perform the experiment. Users were tasked to find a series of hidden objects in a virtual environment and place them in a travel bag. We concluded that (1) the addition of feet to floating hands can impair the experienced realism (p = 0.039), (2) both floating members and full-body avatars can be used without affecting presence and embodiment (p > 0.05) as long as there is the same level of control over the self-representation, (3) simulated walking scores of presence and embodiment were similar when compared to static feet and real walking tracking data (p > 0.05), and (4) adding hip tracking overhead, hand and feet tracking (when using a full-body avatar) allows for a more realistic response to stimuli (p = 0.002) and a higher overall feeling of embodiment (p = 0.023).