Interactivity Element

The element of interaction is of utmost importance to make the user really feel free to get involved with the virtual environment. Previously technology was not so advanced hence the user’s experiences were not so satisfactory. The user can wear a Head Mounted Display (HMD) and watch a pre recorded movie where he can have the sensation of air blowing his air. Here the sense of immersion was developing but since there was less involvement of the element of interaction the experience was passive.

Nowadays new technological advancements researches and developments have reached the sensory outputs of the user to a different level. We know well that in DisneyQuest in Orlando, Florida they feature CyberSpace Mountain, where patrons can design their own roller coaster. They then ride themselves in this highly exciting virtual environment simulation. It’s however again not a true virtual environment as the element of interaction is missing.

The element of interaction depends on a number of factors again. They are:-

  • Speed
  • Range
  • Mapping

Computer scientist Jonathan Steuer defines speed as the rate of an user’s actions that a computer records in itself and the way it is reflected in a manner the user can realize it.
Range is the number of possible results or reactions that can come out of any action made by the user. Mapping is the ability of the computer system to produce results as good as the natural world in response to the actions made by the user.

Giving the power to the user to move from place to place inside a virtual environment is a kind of interactivity. It is an interactive experience for the user if he himself can manage to navigate. This is developed to keep the excitement in the user alive. A poorly designed interaction can hamper immersion to a great extent and the user may simply stop getting involved in the virtual environment.

When the user can modify the environment then the simulation becomes even more interactive. The virtual environment is considered to be truly well designed and developed if it responds to the user’s action in a way that it makes sense. If the reaction of the virtual environment is different and has no connection between the user’s actions and is unpredictable then it will again disturb the user’s sense of Telepresence.