As said about immersion, to enjoy a full-fledge experience of the virtual world, there is a need to interact with the virtual environment. Don’t forget virtual reality makes you unaware of time and space when you put on the HMD. This is tantamount to the fact that you are interacting with the virtual world. Virtual reality immersion is key to virtual experience. Aside this, to be fully and truly involved in the virtual reality world, there is need for interaction.
Applications using virtual reality system devices allow a relative passive experiences of the virtual environment for the users. In time, users can now use the HMDs and watch movies that are preloaded giving ultimate users experience. Furthermore, users can watch movies in a motion chair while they get stimulated and subjected to different stimuli like fanning to stimulate wind and cold breeze to stimulate cold.
As users get immersed in the environment, interaction is activated by making them look around, trying to move around, moving hands and body etc. users’ path and movement are predictable and have been pre-determined with the design. Interestingly, these paths cannot be altered as they are part of the experience in virtual reality environment. You will definitely be a part of what you are viewing.
According to Steuer, virtual reality interactivity depends on several factors – speed, mapping and range. These factors are very fantastic in the sense that they are what determines the height of your virtual experience overall. Starting with mapping; mapping is about the capacity of the virtual reality system to initiate natural response to actions of the users from the stimuli.
Range is the number of possible outcomes likely to result from the action of a particular user.
Speed is the rate at which user’s action is incorporated in the HMD model and the actions are displayed in ways that the user can perceive and feel.
When you navigate in virtual reality environment, it is simple an example of interactivity. Also, if a user directs his/her movement in a virtual environment, it is also an interactive experience.
Key reasons why interactivity is important are;
- User may be bored: as a user, it is possible for you to get tired of exploring the environment. You are likely to quickly pull out of the view as there won’t be any reasonable impact from you with the virtual environment. Importantly, the beauty of virtual reality is the corresponding influence that users have with their virtual environment. It is room for interactivity that keep boredom away and gets users active with their virtual environment.
- There may be reduction in immersion: interaction works most percentile in the immersion with the virtual environment. This is key because when interaction is poorly designed, ability to get immersed in the virtual environment is reduced. Don’t forget that the ability to interact with the environment is what solidifies immersion.
So when the virtual environment is fascinating and engaging, you would be easily immersed in what is in view. A true interactivity is that which involves modifying the environment. Hence, as users are able to respond to the environmental actions and stimuli, they will be able to make reasonable sense of the virtual reality environment.